Spokane Domestic Violence Charges: DV Assault 4th Degree, DV Assault 2nd Degree, DV Malicious Mischief
HELPFUL STARTING INFORMATION FROM OUR SPOKANE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ATTORNEYS
This Should Help You Get A Handle On Your Situation...
Sorry to hear that you've gotten caught up in the Spokane Court System...
We understand that you've probably been recently released and have a no-contact order (NCO) that is preventing you from going home and communicating with your loved ones...
If you're feeling isolated and/or confused by the whirlwind of events that are happening, then we hope you can find some answers here.
We'll also be here for you, if you feel the need to talk to one of our top Spokane Domestic Violence Attorneys about your options and best course of action...the initial consultation is free. But take your time. We're not pushy.
Spokane Domestic Violence Defense Topics
More Helpful Domestic Violence Defense Information Below...
What Is A Spokane Domestic Violence Charge?
What makes this a domestic violence charge? Basically, the term "domestic violence" just denotes that there is a certain type of relationship between the accused and the alleged victim. The "domestic violence tag" can essentially be attached to any crime. However, it is mostly associated with assault and malicious mischief charges.
What types of relationships make it a domestic violence? The court typically is looking for a "social relationship of a romantic nature, or an incident between family or household members. See RCW 26.50.010
Definition of Family or Household Members: "Family or household members" means spouses, domestic partners, former spouses, former domestic partners, persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time, adult persons related by blood or marriage, adult persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past, persons sixteen years of age or older who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past and who have or have had a dating relationship, persons sixteen years of age or older with whom a person sixteen years of age or older has or has had a dating relationship, and persons who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship, including stepparents and stepchildren and grandparents and grandchildren. See RCW 26.50.010
Tip: Sometimes prosecutors and courts will classify a relationship as one that qualifies as "domestic".
What's the definition of "Domestic Violence"? According to RCW 26.50.010, "Domestic violence means: (a) Physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, between family or household members...".
Note: an issue with a roommate can result in a domestic violence charge.
How Can A Domestic Violence Conviction Impact My Future?
Domestic violence convictions can have a serious impact on your future. Never take a domestic violence charge lightly. There is just too much at stake. Here are some common areas that it can effect:
- Losing your right to possession firearms.
- Housing eligibility - for renters especially.
- Certain employment types can be affected - medicine and teaching especially.
- How potential employers may view you.
- Your right to participate in children's school function or volunteer work.
- Parenting and custody.
- Right to travel outside the state (Interstate Compact).
- Deportation for non-citizens.
- May count as a felony point in certain situations.
- Multiple charges of violating a no-contact-order can result in additional charges and even a felony with jail time.
This is not the entire list, but you get the drift...
A domestic violence charge is nothing to take lightly. At the very least, make sure you talk to a competent Spokane Domestic Violence Attorney to go over your options and rights.
Understanding The Basic Court Process For Your Spokane Domestic Violence Charge
The basic court process runs in this general sequence:
- Arrest or Charge by Summons: You'll of course know if you've been arrested. However, you may get a summons in the mail telling you to appear in court.
- Arraignment/First Appearance: Scary stuff! Here you have a court appearance where a judge will read the charges, find probable cause (or not), ask you to enter a plea. PLEAD NOT GUILTY! Trust me. It's expected and will not be held against, even if you personally think you're guilty and want to throw yourself on the sword. The court wants you to have due process, which means you need time to meet a lawyer and go over the evidence and your options. So, plead not guilty. Lastly, the judge will set pre-trial release conditions (bond, or whatever restrictions or testing they want).
- Pretrial Conferences: You may have several of these. They generally get set about every 30 days. Basically, you're showing up to court and telling them where you're at with your case (i.e. close to settlement, going to trial, need more time...). You and your domestic violence lawyer will probably file a few continuances, which is a form that moves your court date into a future date.
- Plea and Sentence, or Set for Trial: If your lawyer is able to find a reasonable and acceptable resolution for you, then you may enter into a plea agreement with the prosecution and ask the court to follow it. Essentially, plead guilty to a lesser crime or enter into some other type of court monitored resolution.
If an acceptable resolution cannot be reached via negotiations, then you may have to set the matter for trial to let a judge and/or jury to decide the matter.
- Probation Period: (If you've plead guilty or been found guilty by a jury or judge.) You'll check in a with the probation department and eventually be assigned a probation officer. They'll make sure that you're doing all the things that you're supposed to do, per the court. If you violate probation, you can be returned to court (via showcause), and a judge could enter more sanctions like jail or fines.
Where Do I Go For My Spokane Domestic Violence Case (Courthouses)?
There are three different courthouses in Spokane (we're ignoring the Federal Court). The Spokane County District Court, the Spokane Superior Court, and the Spokane Municipal Court.
The County District Court is located inside of the Public Safety Building. The Municipal Court is located in the Annex to the Spokane Superior Courthouse.
All of these courts are located just off of North Monroe and Broadway (map coming soon).
If you are charged with a felony domestic violence charge, then you will need to appear in the Superior Courthouse. If you're charged with misdemeanor domestic violence (DV 4th Assault or Malicious Mischief), then you will be in either the Municipal Court or the County District. Your paperwork should tell you which court and what time.
Tip: Superior Courtrooms are numbered 201...202...203.... County District Courtrooms are number 1 through 6, while Municipal Courtrooms are designated as A, B, C, and D.
Glossary Of Spokane Domestic Violence Terms
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