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Domestic Violence Attorney, Spokane WA undefined

A domestic violence arrest can have far reaching consequences in our court system. A judge will typically impose strict conditions on a defendant such as prohibiting them from contacting their loved ones, staying away from a certain residence, and not leaving the county. In addition, our clients have found that what often hits home the hardest is the different way people view you when you are facing such an allegation. It is important to have experienced and dedicated criminal defense lawyers on your side to free you from the cloud that a such a charge casts over you. Prosecutors on Domestic Violence cases can seem relentless, as if they take the case as a personal crusade. This often results from inexperience and an ignorance on the background of the relationship.

Under Washington law, Domestic Violence isn’t a charge by itself, rather it is a label the court puts on a variety of charges to note that the allegation involves family or household members. The label “Domestic Violence” or “DV” can be applied to Assault, Malicious Mischief, Reckless Endangerment, Harassment, Trespass, Burglary, and even Disorderly Conduct. To convict a person at trial, a prosecutor has to prove that the alleged victim was a family or household member.

Family or Household Memberundefined

A “family or household member” is defined as a person’s current or former spouse, a person with whom you have had a child, or any adults who live together or who have lived together in the past, or who have had a dating relationship. The definition also includes a child, or sibling, or parent of the accuser (including the step relationship). The lawyers at our firm often see prosecutors put a DV label on instances when two brothers get in a fight. This certainly isn’t what the legislature intended when the laws were created, and this can certainly give the wrong impression when a “Domestic Violence” arrest appears on a background check. This is one of the multiple ways that prosecutors can overreach and try to intimidate defendants.

A Domestic Violence Arraignment

At an arraignment for Domestic Violence charges a judge will often impose strict conditions of release. Typical conditions will be that the defendant not communicate with the alleged victim, and not go to his or her residence, school, or place of employment. A defendant is often ordered not to go back to his or her own house or apartment. If the police claim that the offense was alcohol related, the judge will often direct the defendant not to consume or possess alcohol while the charges are pending. A judge will often impose these conditions whether the charge is a misdemeanor or a felony.

Consequences of a Domestic Violence Convictionundefined

The jail time and fines for Domestic Violence seem to increase every year. A special domestic violence sentencing guideline applies in these cases. The penalties can vary depending on the level or degree of assault that is alleged, or whether other allegations are coupled with the assault claim. Aside from the jail time, a Domestic Violence related conviction can often have devastating consequences. It can prohibit firearm ownership, can prevent entry into Canada, and can be extremely hard to vacate from a person’s record. Additionally, a Domestic Violence conviction can also make it difficult to find an apartment.

The best way to avoid the above problems is to fight the charges as much as possible while they are still pending. At our firm we have the experience and the tenacity to fight these serious allegations, and we would welcome you to call our office to set up a consultation so we can discuss how we may be able to help you. We are often available on weekends and evenings and we look forward to discussing your court case with you.

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