Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

Seattle Lawyers Helping Defendants Fight Criminal Charges

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.

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