Child Abuse and Domestic Violence

Attorneys Defending Seattle Residents Against Criminal Charges

Sometimes family relationships become strained, and violence erupts. In certain instances, both people are violent, while in other situations, one person is aggressive or violent towards the other. Unfortunately, there are situations in which children are injured by a parent or other adult. Child abuse and domestic violence are serious allegations to face, and can alter your family’s future. If you are concerned about child abuse and domestic violence charges, it is advisable to consult a firm that has experience with both criminal defense and family law matters. The Seattle domestic violence lawyers at Blair & Kim can bring perspective from both of these areas of law when representing defendants in the criminal justice system in both felony and misdemeanor cases.

Child Abuse and Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can include physically violent acts, economic exploitation or abuse, neglect, emotional abuse, and sexual assault. In Washington, domestic violence includes many different crimes in which the victim and perpetrator have a certain relationship. The relationship that turns a crime into domestic violence is a family or household member relationship between the victim and the perpetrator. Crimes that may be domestic violence where this relationship exists include reckless endangerment, murder or manslaughter, assault, burglary, kidnapping, rape, stalking, cyberstalking, false imprisonment, interfering with reporting of domestic violence, and violation of a protection order.

By law, a police officer who responds to a domestic violence call must make an arrest if he or she has probable cause to believe an assault or other significant domestic violence offense was perpetrated in the prior four hours. When the officer thinks it is a mutual assault between family or household members, she is supposed to arrest whichever person she thinks is the primary aggressor in the altercation. Under Washington law, officers are required to arrest for violations of civil protection orders or no contact orders as well.

Assault of a Child

A parent, guardian, or teacher is allowed to use force on a minor that is reasonable and moderate in order to correct or restrain the minor under Revised Code of Washington (RCW) section 9A.16.100. Force can’t be used for disciplinary purposes, and a given action may not be dangerous, but many people don’t know what a court would find reasonable. The court will presume specific acts are not reasonable when used to hold back or correct a minor. These include kicking, burning, cutting, or throwing a child, hitting a minor with a fist, shaking a baby or toddler, threatening a minor with a deadly weapon, stopping a child from breathing or performing acts likely to cause bodily harm that’s more than transient little marks or transient pain. Reasonableness of other acts hinges on how old and big the minor is, among other things.

If the prosecuting attorney believes you used unreasonable or immoderate force, you may be charged with criminal assault of a child, which is a felony. There are three degrees of criminal assault of a child, and the penalties depend on the specific charge. First degree assault of a child is charged under RCW section 9A.36.120, and it is charged when a prosecutor believes there was intent to inflict great bodily harm and there was use of a deadly weapon or firearm, poison, or an actual infliction of great bodily harm. This is a class A felony that can be punished with life in prison and a maximum fine of $50,000. Second degree assault of a child is charged under RCW section 9A.36.130. Second degree assault of a child occurs if substantial bodily harm is inflicted or there is assault by strangulation or there is assault with a weapon. It can also be charged in connection with torture of the child. It can be punished with up to 10 years of imprisonment and a $20,000 fine. Third degree assault of a child is charged under RCW section 9A.36.140. It is a class C felony that involves assaulting a child with a weapon or with criminal negligence that causes extended suffering, and results in penalties of 5 years of imprisonment and a maximum $10,000 fine.

Experienced Domestic Violence Lawyers in Seattle

If you are charged with child abuse and domestic violence in Seattle, you need to take these charges seriously. These criminal charges can have an effect not only on your rights and freedoms, but also your family and the outcome of any family law proceedings. At our firm, our criminal defense and family law attorneys work together closely to develop the appropriate strategy for each client. We also represent those accused of child abuse and domestic violence in Kings County, Bellevue, Kirkland and Redmond. Call us at (206) 622-6562 or contact us via our online form.

Client Reviews
Mark C. Blair has no rival in his field in Seattle. A consummate professional. Communication was brief, straightforward, easy to understand, and without a typical condescending tone you can sometimes experience from attorneys on top of their field. Correspondence was timely and always affective. Any in need of criminal defense, should have a conversation with Mr. Blair, and you will quickly see and feel, no further contacts, referrals, or phone calls need be made. The money and time that can be saved by streamlining future contact and collateral damage in the sentencing process will far and away be worth every penny of the fee structure. Thank you very very much Mark Blair. N.Mark French
Sara Kim of BlairKim is a great attorney. I had never before had representation or dealt with the legal system and she made it very easy for me. She converted the legalese into laymans terms for me and helped me to understand the steps of the process. When I hesitated on certain decisions, Sara gave me the confidence and encouragement to proceed – especially since it was most beneficial to me in the long run. Sara is very straightforward and professional while also being personable and pleasant to deal with. Tamara
Sara Kim was the perfect lawyer for our situation. We were determined not to involve the courts in our divorce. Within the first 30 minutes of consultation, Sara proposed an equitable formula for division of property which we used to negotiate an agreement that felt fair to both of us. Our flat fee arrangement with Sara covered the filing of paperwork which alleviated much pressure for us during a very stressful time. I highly recommend Sara for her flexibility, professionalism, and efficiency. Carrie