Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
It can be stressful or even terrifying to be charged with sexual assault and domestic violence in Washington. Some domestic violence arrests are mandatory, which means that events may happen quite quickly leading up to your arrest. These types of charges can affect not only your criminal record but also such matters as who has custody over your children. Accordingly, it is critical to retain an experienced Seattle domestic violence lawyer who understands all of the potential consequences and how to fight the charges. At Blair & Kim, we know how difficult the experience is and all that is at stake. We develop strong strategies to defend clients accused of sexual assault and domestic violence, advocating during plea negotiations and at trial.Sexual Assault in Washington
Sexual assault is a term that covers various sex crimes, including the three degrees of rape, or forced sexual intercourse. What must be proven depends on the specific charge, but as with other crimes, sexual assault charges need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. First-degree rape, which is a Class A felony that can be punished by a maximum of life imprisonment and a $50,000 fine, requires a prosecutor to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant engaged in forcible sex without the victim’s consent, and the defendant inflicted serious physical injuries, used a weapon, kidnapped the victim, or came into a building in which the victim was located. For example, if the police come to your house because your friend has called and said that she was just raped at gunpoint by you, you would likely be charged with first-degree rape.
If the charge is indecent liberties, the prosecutor must show beyond a reasonable doubt that you engaged in forcible sexual contact without consent, you used forcible compulsion, and the victim was not able to consent because of physical helplessness, mental incapacitation, or a developmental disability.Connection Between Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
There is no separate crime for sexual assault perpetrated as domestic violence in Washington. Moreover, state law recognizes that domestic violence can be perpetrated between people who are not sexually attracted to each other. Under Washington law, certain crimes are considered domestic violence when they are perpetrated by a family or household member of the victim. People with family or household relationships include parents of a child, spouses, ex-spouses, blood relatives, marriage relatives, adults who are living together currently or who lived together in the past, people who are at least 16 and who are currently living together or who lived together in the past and have had a dating relationship, stepparents, and grandparents.
However, sexual assault is a type of crime that can be categorized as domestic violence when a family or household relationship is present. Other types of crimes include manslaughter, reckless endangerment, burglary, criminal trespass, kidnapping, property damage, interfering with the reporting of domestic violence, stalking, and false imprisonment.
Domestic violence crimes are usually misdemeanors or gross misdemeanors. Misdemeanors can be penalized with a maximum of 90 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. Gross misdemeanors can be penalized with a maximum of 365 days in jail and a fine of $5,000. If you are convicted of felony domestic violence, however, you can face more than one year of incarceration.
A police officer in Seattle responding to a call about domestic violence must make an arrest if the officer has probable cause to believe that domestic violence assault or another domestic violence crime was perpetrated in the last four hours. An arrest is also mandatory for a violation of a no-contact order or a civil protection order related to domestic violence or sexual assault.Consult a Skillful Sexual Assault Lawyer in Seattle
If you are charged with sexual assault and domestic violence in the Seattle area, you should retain a skillful criminal defense attorney who understands the penalties and collateral consequences, and who understands the strategies that are likely to be successful in fighting the charges. Our family law attorney and criminal defense attorney combine forces to build a strong strategy for each client. We represent people in Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond, among other areas of King County. Call us at (206) 622-6562 or contact us via our online form.