Domestic Violence Penalties
In Washington, domestic violence is an act of violence perpetrated against somebody with whom the perpetrator is in a familial or household relationship. If you are convicted on misdemeanor or felony charges of this nature, you may face any of a number of domestic violence penalties. Penalties can include jail time, fines, probation, loss of civil liberties, and mandatory domestic violence batterer’s treatment. At Blair & Kim, our Seattle domestic violence attorneys may be able to represent you in seeking a dismissal or taking your case to trial. When it’s not possible to secure a dismissal or not-guilty verdict, we may be able to help you get the penalties associated with a conviction reduced.Domestic Violence Penalties
When somebody commits certain violent crimes against someone with whom they have a family or household relationship, they can be charged with domestic violence. Family and household members for purposes of domestic violence charges include spouses, exes, domestic partners and former domestic partners, people related by blood or marriage, people with children together, people who’ve lived together, people over age 16 who are dating, people over age 16 who live together or who lived together or were romantically involved, parents and children, and grandparents and grandchildren.
If you are convicted of this type of offense, you may face harsh domestic violence penalties. There is no mandatory imposition of a jail sentence for a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor domestic violence conviction, though people who are accused of domestic violence will generally spend time in jail at least initially during domestic violence proceedings.
Serving jail time after a domestic violence conviction may be more likely if the circumstances surrounding the offense were egregious. If, for example, the domestic violence is charged as a felony, it’s likely that you will face jail time. The amount of time to which you could be sentenced would depend on the crime and your criminal history. Domestic violence crimes that may be charged as felonies when you have a particular history of domestic violence include assault, stalking, harassment, telephone harassment, and violation of a no-contact order.
When domestic violence is charged as a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor, the penalties may not be as severe. Misdemeanor domestic violence may be punished with a maximum of 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. For a gross misdemeanor, you may face a maximum of 1 year in jail and a $5000 fine.Other Penalties
In addition to possible jail time and fines, if you are convicted of domestic violence, the court may require you to participate in a 12-month state-approved Domestic Violence Batterer’s Program at your own expense. You may also your right to possess a firearm. The loss will be permanent unless you successfully petition the court to put your rights back in place, but there are certain circumstances under which that right will not ever be restored.
Additionally, the court may issue a no contact order under RCW 10.99.040. The no-contact order may be put in place even if the purported domestic violence victim doesn’t want it. You may also face limits on child custody and visitation under RCW 26.09.191 and 26.10.160.
If you’re not a United States citizen, you can face serious immigration consequences for a domestic violence conviction. You may also face probation and travel restrictions.Consult a Seasoned Domestic Violence Attorney in Seattle
If you are charged and convicted of domestic violence in Seattle, you may be confronted with serious penalties as well as collateral consequences. A seasoned criminal defense lawyer can work to help you seek a favorable outcome in your case. At our firm, our criminal defense attorney joins forces with our family law attorney to defend clients in a manner that takes into account any potential family law consequences that the criminal proceedings may have. For example, the best strategy may vary depending on whether the perpetrator and the victim share children. We represent those charged with domestic violence in areas including Kings County, Bellevue, Kirkland and Redmond. Call us at (206) 622-6562 or contact us via our online form.