Felony Domestic Violence
Domestic violence in Washington involves physical or verbal abuse that happens inside a familial or intimate relationship. Violence can transpire between siblings, parents, girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, and husbands. Often charges are instigated because one of the people involved calls 911 and reports that violence was used against him or her. Sometimes there is just one episode of domestic violence, while in other cases, domestic violence recurs over time. When the underlying crime in this type of case is a felony, you may be charged with felony domestic violence. If you are facing criminal charges of this nature, a Seattle domestic violence attorney can advise you of your legal options.Felony Domestic Violence
In Washington, domestic violence includes almost any crime perpetrated by one family or household member against another family or household member. It can take the form of emotional abuse, sexual assault, physical violence, neglect, and economic control. Crimes that may be charged as domestic violence when the requisite relationship exists include kidnapping, assault, murder, manslaughter, burglary, reckless endangerment, criminal trespass, rape, interfering with a domestic violence report, damage to property, violation of a protection order, false imprisonment, and stalking or cyberstalking.
Most of the time, domestic violence is charged as a misdemeanor. When it’s charged as a misdemeanor, you can face up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. It can also be charged as a gross misdemeanor, for which you face 365 days of incarceration and a $5000 fine. However, there are incidents that may be charged as felonies. For example, when the underlying crime causes substantial bodily harm to a victim, it may be charged as felony domestic violence. Similarly, if a minor is assaulted, a domestic violence offense may be charged as a felony. Similarly, if sexual abuse of a minor is involved, domestic violence may be charged as a felony. When domestic violence is charged as a felony, you can face more than a year in jail.
Under Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 9A.36.041, you may be charged with assault in the fourth degree, which is a Class C felony charge if you have two or more previous adult convictions within 10 years for certain offenses, under circumstances in which domestic violence was pled and proven after July 23, 2017. These prior convictions may be for harassment under RCW 9A.46.060, repetitive domestic violence, assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, assault in the third degree, or an out-of-state comparable offense.Penalties
There are sentencing guidelines that courts follow, and these mandate different amounts of jail time or fines based on whether a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony is charged. There are three classes of felonies. If domestic violence is charged as a Class C felony, you could face 5 years’ incarceration plus a $10,000 fine. If domestic violence is charged as a Class B felony, you could face 10 years’ incarceration plus a $20,000 fine. The most serious felony domestic violence would be charged as a Class A felony, for which you could face up to life imprisonment and a $50,000 fine.
If you’re convicted of felony domestic violence, you could face not only imprisonment and huge fines, but also restitution, probation, and counseling. You may need to go through electronic home monitoring. If you have a prior criminal offense on your record, you could face enhanced criminal charges and a longer term of imprisonment.
Furthermore, you may face a no contact order in connection with a felony domestic violence conviction. If such an order is put in place, you could be prevented from seeing your own children or going into your own house.Consult an Experienced Domestic Violence Attorney in Seattle
You should take felony domestic violence charges in Seattle very seriously, and it is wise to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can represent you in both the criminal case and any petition for a protective order. Our firm has both a criminal defense and family law attorney who come together to generate individual strategies for each client. We also represent those accused of domestic violence in Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, and Kings County. Call us at (206) 622-6562 or contact us via our online form.