What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence refers to a criminal act committed by a member of a household, or family member against another member of that household or family. This criminal act can be an assault, child abuse, spousal abuse, threat or any number of defined crimes in the state of Washington. For a person to be charged with a crime of Domestic Violence (DV) the alleged victim must be one of the following:
- A Spouse;
- A Girlfriend/Boyfriend;
- A Roommate;
- Anyone living together;
- A Child (including step-child);
- A Parent (including step-parent);
- Sister or Brother;
- Grandfather or Grandmother;
- And anyone who lived together in the past, for example, and ex-girlfriend.
The ramifications of being charged with a Domestic Violence related charge is that your freedom can be regulated long before trial. The court, or the prosecutor, will likely try to have a No-Contact or Restraining Order issued against you to protect the complaining party. This order could mean you will have to leave your home, stay away from your children and be prohibited from speaking to a loved one until the court says otherwise.
Some employers require employees to inform them if they are charged with a crime related to Domestic Violence. If the person is later convicted, they could lose their job.
The court can also order you to surrender any and all your firearms until the case is resolved. So, if you like to hunt, you will not be able to access your gun until the case is over. If the person is later convicted they would lose their ability to own or possess firearms.