Seattle Domestic Violence

Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving Seattle Residents

Located on an isthmus, Seattle is the county seat of King County, Washington, and the eighth-largest port in the country. Its population consists of over 650,000 residents. Although logging was its primary industry when it was settled, today it is better known for its technology industry. Seattle is also the birthplace of rock legend Jimi Hendrix. As with other major cities around the country, there are many arrests for violent crimes every month in Seattle. If you have been charged with an offense, an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Timothy L. Healy can help protect your rights.

Facing Domestic Violence Prosecution in Washington

Domestic violence is not a single statutory crime, but rather a designation given to several different crimes where the perpetrator and victim share a family or household connection. Under RCW 10.99.020(3), this type of bond includes the relationships between spouses, people who were once spouses, people with a child together even if they weren't married, adults who are related by marriage or blood, and adults living together or who previously lived together. It also extends to 16-year-olds or anyone older who are living together or have lived together and had a dating relationship, and it includes people with a parent-child relationship, including stepparents and grandparents.

Some of the crimes classified as domestic violence crimes if the requisite relationship is present are assault, rape, harassment, malicious mischief, and stalking. All of these carry severe penalties if you are convicted of them. Most people think of assault when they think of domestic violence. However, some forms of domestic violence involve other types of criminal conduct. To prove harassment, for example, a prosecutor must show the defendant knowingly threatened to cause bodily injury to the victim, to cause physical damage to somebody else's property, to subject the victim or someone else to physical confinement or restraint, or to maliciously perform an act intended to substantially hurt the victim or another's safety. The prosecutor must also show that the defendant placed the person threatened in reasonable fear that he or she would carry out the threat. In other words, a live-in boyfriend who threatens his girlfriend that he will rape her and lock her up if she does not obey him could be found guilty of domestic violence harassment, even if he has not already restrained or raped her.

This crime is usually a gross misdemeanor. But it also can be a class C felony, which has stiffer penalties, if the alleged perpetrator has been previously convicted of harassing the same victim or members of his or her family, or a person specifically named in a no contact order. No contact orders are often requested in the early stages of a domestic violence charge. They forbid the defendant from having contact with the victim and possibly other people in the victim's family. Violating a no contact order can itself be a crime of domestic violence.

Discuss Your Charges with a Seattle Attorney

Timothy L. Healy is a domestic violence attorney with substantial experience assisting individuals in the Seattle area. He understands how stressful it is to be accused of this crime, the serious legal and social consequences of such charges, and what strategies are likely to be most effective during plea bargaining or at trial. For a free and confidential consultation, call (425) 657-3192 or contact us via our online form. Our phone is answered 24/7.