Child Abuse and Domestic Violence
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.