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Being accused of a domestic violence charge can be particularly severe. There are many causes of a partner argument leading to an unwarranted domestic assault accusation. Even if the victim chooses to drop the charges, authorities can still decide to pursue the case. In these instances, having a reliable Seattle domestic violence attorney by your side to help protect your rights and maintain a normal life is important.

At Russell & Hill, PLLC, we have decades of combined experience handling family violence charges. We strive to build a solid case and aim to minimize the chances of a negative outcome for each one of our clients.

Understanding a domestic violence charge

The Washington state law defines domestic violence as:

  1. Physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, sexual assault, or stalking of one intimate partner by another intimate partner; or
  2. Physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, sexual assault, or stalking of one family or household member by another family or household member.

The most common criminal acts that fall under domestic violence include:

  • Assault
  • Malicious mischief
  • Harassment (verbal, telephone, or cyber)
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Violating protection or restraint order

When a police officer responds to a domestic violence incident, they must complete a police report, even if no arrest was made. Next, the Seattle City Attorney’s Office will review the police report to decide if charges should be filed.

  • If they decide to file charges, only the prosecutor has the authority to drop them. The victim is a witness and has no authority to drop charges.
  • If they decide not to file charges, the victim will be notified of that decision.

Understanding a domestic violence conviction

Domestic violence convictions can impact several parts of your life other than direct criminal consequences. A few ways a domestic violence conviction can affect you include:

  • No-Contact orders: A non-contact order prevents you from getting in touch with your spouse, child, or other family members for an extended period of time.
  • Loss of the right to possess firearms
  • Mandatory Counseling: Individuals can be required to attend a State-certified program.
  • Financial penalties
  • Probation and possible jail time

According to the Seattle Municipal Court, “individuals convicted of domestic violence offenses are usually placed on supervised probation for two years.” The Seattle Municipal Court Probation Services has a specialized Domestic Violence Unit with probation counselors who will monitor the completion of court-ordered counseling.

Those convicted of a domestic violence charge must report in person each month until they have completed treatment.

How a Seattle Domestic Violence Attorney Can Help You

Contacting a criminal defense attorney can help defend your rights against family violence accusations. Having an experienced Seattle domestic violence attorney by your side can help minimize the disruptions you suffer from a domestic violence charge, which will allow you to take back control of your life.

At Russell & Hill, we have decades of experience handling family abuse cases and protecting households across Seattle and surrounding areas. Our team of experienced Seattle domestic violence attorneys is here to provide you the guidance you need. Contact us today by calling 206-880-7703, visiting our offices, or by filling out our online contact form.

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