Domestic Violence

Accused of domestic violence or abuse?  Contact Bellevue domestic violence lawyer Timothy L. Healy at 425-657-3192.  The phone is answered 24/7.

Domestic violence claims can be made or exaggerated for many improper purposes, including jealousy, resentment, rage, or to obtain leverage in divorce or child custody proceedings.  Nonetheless, because the conduct is often not witnessed, and because law enforcement and the public are often predisposed to sympathize with the alleged victim, defending against these claims can be difficult.  Through a thorough investigation, use of forensic and circumstantial evidence, and exposing the alleged victim’s motives, an experienced defense attorney can sometimes have charges dismissed, reduced, or obtain an acquittal at trial.

As a Skilled Bellevue Domestic Violence Attorney

I have successfully defended many claims relating to abuse, violation of protection orders, and other domestic criminal matters.  It is important to act swiftly if faced with domestic violence charges.  For a confidential consultation, contact our office by phone at (425) 657-3192, or through our online contact form.

Domestic Violence Under Washington State Law

The law of the State of Washington recognizes domestic violence as a serious crime against society, and recognizes that until the last few decades, domestic violence protections under the law have not always been evenly enforced by law enforcement.  As a result, the state requires that criminal laws be enforced without regard to whether persons are married, cohabiting, or in a relationship.  Particular protections are given to police officers in the enforcement of domestic violence laws.  As a result of this public campaign against domestic violence, sometimes police, prosecutors and the courts are overzealous in the prosecution of alleged domestic violence, and innocent people suffer as a result.

Domestic violence claims generally rest upon some other improper conduct, such as a physical or sexual assault, placing a person in imminent fear of harm, stalking, harassment, criminal trespass, and so forth.  When this conduct occurs between two individuals who are current or former spouses or partners, cohabiting family members, parents and other relatives of a child, or cohabitants who are or were dating, special legal protections come into play.  Even the emotional or economic abuse of an individual where these family-type relationships are present can amount to domestic violence.  Domestic violence claims can generally be charged as felonies or as misdemeanors depending on the circumstances, and getting a defense attorney involved before charges have been filed is important.

Domestic violence complaints can be easily made.  Once they are made, the wheels of the state’s justice system begin moving, and recanting or dropping of charges by the complaining party will not necessarily stop the prosecution.  Prosecutors have the discretion to continue to pursue domestic violence claims even where the alleged victim drops the charges.  The alleged victim is generally portrayed as one who suffers from battered person’s syndrome or a similar condition, and is blaming him or herself and seeking to avoid confrontation with the alleged abuser.  Often when the prosecution forges ahead in these cases, the defendant and the family suffer as a result.

Federal Domestic Violence Defense

Federal laws also protect against domestic violence.  These laws seek to limit domestic violence in two ways.  First, federal law prohibits crossing state lines to physically injure an intimate partner, harass or stalk an intimate partner, or to violate a protection order.  This conduct is also prohibited on federal Indian lands.  Second, federal law limits the rights of domestic abusers to own firearms.  Violation of any of these federal laws is a felony.