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Serving Skagit,
Island, Whatcom and
Snohomish Counties

Complications from an Assault Charge

If the alleged victim is a family member, significant other or roommate, the crime of Assault can be labeled a crime of domestic violence too. Any crime alleged to include Domestic Violence, can cause serious complications to a person. The first issue is that a person will likely end up in custody at the local jail because the police must arrest a person if the domestic violence took place within four hours of their arrival. Then, once a person is released from custody, the court will likely issue a No-contact Order.

A No-Contact order will prevent a person from going back to their homes, access to a vehicle or even stop someone from seeing their children. The court will keep this order in place until a hearing to decide if the order should be dropped. It is very important for an attorney to get involved quickly so that they can try and convince the prosecutor to drop the NCO or to have the court have it heard quickly.

At the court hearing, the judge will decide if the parties will be safe when an order is lifted. The court usually has the person protected in the order make a statement. If the court issues a No-Contact order to protect you and you want it dropped, please contact the court where the charge is filed and prosecuting authority who is charging it. The court will also allow the prosecutor to make an argument as to whether the order should be dropped too. Once the court has this information, the judge will decide to either lift the order or to keep it in place.

If the order is lifted, then a defendant will be free to contact the protected party. If the order is kept in place, then the defendant must not speak or communicate to the protect person in anyway. Even if the defendant is called by the protected party, no contact must still occur. For example, if the defendant sees the protected party at the store, then he must turn around and leave. It is of upmost important, that contact not happen between the parties even if the protected party does not want the order to be in effect. If contact does happen, and the prosecutor finds out, it is very easy for the state to obtain a conviction for Violation of a No Contact Order.

Finally, if you are convicted of the crime Assault you will face at least the possibility of a year in jail and a $ 5,000 fine. Additionally, you can be ordered to stay away from a spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend or child for periods of time that can last years. I the assault is defined as a crime of Domestic Violence you will also lose your right to have and carry firearms. There can also be additional complications with your employment or attempts to find future work. In short, the crime of assault should be taken very seriously and the need for an experienced and effective criminal defense attorney be explored very early in the criminal justice process.