Seattle Domestic Violence Lawyers
Uncompromised Focus & Personal Attention in Washington
An accusation of domestic violence can have far-reaching consequences in civil, criminal, and family law proceedings, as well as to your livelihood. These types of accusations can ruin family relationships and reputations. If you are accused of a crime involving domestic violence, you should contact a qualified lawyer as soon as possible. Our domestic violence attorneys in Seattle at Hart Jarvis Murray Chang PLLC have more than 40 years of collective experience representing clients in similar circumstances.
Domestic Violence Laws in Washington
In Washington, under RCW 10.99.020 domestic violence is defined as criminal activity that a family member or intimate partner commits against another family member or intimate partner. According to RCW 26.50.010, family members and intimate partners include:
- your spouse or former spouse
- your domestic partner or former domestic partner
- someone with whom you have had a child
- anyone related to you by blood or marriage
- an adult you currently live with or have lived with in the past
- anyone over the age of 16 who currently lives together or have lived together and are or were romantically involved
- someone you are dating if you and the individual are older than 16
- your parents and children (including stepparents and stepchildren)
- your grandparents and grandchildren
Criminal actions that can constitute domestic violence include, but are not limited to:
- Reckless endangerment
- Criminal trespass
- Malicious mischief
- Unlawful imprisonment
- Violating a restraining order
- Interfering with the reporting of domestic violence
In Washington, under RCW 10.31.100, police officers only need probable cause to arrest someone on suspicion of domestic violence, which means that they can make an arrest if and when facts and circumstances known to the officer would lead a reasonable person to believe a crime has been committed.
Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction
Domestic violence convictions in Washington State can have serious penalties. These can include jail sentences, fines, probation, and participation in domestic violence treatment programs. In addition, those convicted may lose their right to possess a firearm and their freedom of association, as well as their ability to travel.
Circumstances labelled as Domestic Violence may result in:
- Criminal charges
- Restraining orders
- Continuing no contact orders
- Loss or limitations on child custody
- Being removed from your home
- Limitations on your freedom of movement, association, and travel
- Imposition of domestic violence treatment programs
In addition to penalties for conviction, there are many possible indirect consequences for individuals convicted of a crime involving domestic violence. Many people find their relationships with family, friends, acquaintances, and work colleagues are damaged beyond repair. People convicted of domestic violence may face job loss and find their professional reputations ruined.
Proactive Defense Strategies
The actions you take immediately following an accusation of domestic violence can have a significant impact on how the situation is ultimately resolved. We encourage you to contact our domestic violence lawyers in Seattle as soon as possible. We can guide you, advise you, and help you make informed decisions.
When you need an experienced attorney to defend you against allegations of domestic violence, call (206) 866-2944 to discuss your situation.