What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence refers to a criminal act committed by a member of a household or by a 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. Domestic Violence itself is not an actual charge; it is more of a label or tag that can be added on to a number of criminal charges. 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, an ex-girlfriend.
The ramifications of being charged with a Domestic Violence related charge is that your freedom can be regulated long before trial. The first potential problem that occurs even before a conviction is that 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. This order can be issued even if the complaining party wishes to have it dropped. If you are the petitioner or respondent in a No-Contact Order, please visit our No-Contact Order Issued? page to learn more information.
The second pre-conviction issue that arises from being charged with a Domestic Violence related crime is that some employers require employees to inform them if they are charged with a crime related to Domestic Violence. An experienced Domestic Violence criminal defense attorney can potentially eliminate the Domestic Violence “tag” or “label” in a plea deal. If the employer learns of the Domestic Violence charge before a deal can be made, or if the person is actually convicted of a Domestic Violence charge, he or she could lose their job.
The third pre-conviction issue that can arise from being charged with a Domestic Violence related crime is that 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 guns until the case is over. If you are later convicted, you would lose your ability to own or possess firearms. It is possible to reinstate your firearms rights if you have been convicted of a crime in the past. Visit our Firearm Rights page to learn more information about reinstating your rights and call us to see if you are eligible.
Working with a criminal defense attorney can help mitigate these pre-conviction issues that often come up when charged with a crime related to Domestic Violence. Call Powers Law Group today at 360-419-0809 to schedule your free consultation today.