Understanding Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic violence charges can result in serious legal consequences, and knowing how to defend against them is very important as it is a very nuanced area of criminal law. Domestic violence can take the form of physical, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse. Facing domestic violence charges in Washington can have serious legal consequences. Navigating this complex area of criminal law requires a nuanced understanding of local regulations. Learn how to effectively defend against domestic violence accusations with insights from the experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer
What are Domestic violence charges in Washington?
Anything that causes physical, emotional, or sexual harm to an intimate partner or family, or household member can be regarded as domestic violence. An intimate partner can include a roommate, girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, or basically anyone that you might be living or having an intimate relationship with. It can also include a former intimate partner as well, such as an ex-girlfriend or ex-spouse.
It can also be a pattern of behavior exhibited by a family member that is controlling, intimidating, or threatening. Some common examples include harassment, assault, malicious mischief, sexual assault, and stalking. Below are the definitions of some forms of convictions in which domestic violence is prevalent.
- Harassment: threats or attempts to harm an individual.
- Assault: when physical contact is made with intent to harm an individual.
- Malicious mischief: Destruction of another individual’s property. This can include property that is shared between you and your spouse.
- Sexual assault: engaging in non-consensual sexual contact with an individual.
- Stalking: threatening comments being made, Following, or monitoring an individual’s activities.
- Restraining order violations: violating a restraining or protection order can result in more counts against the defendant.
These charges and consequences can vary depending on the county or jurisdiction in which it occurred. They can also be affected by your criminal background, such as being a repeat offender. It is also crucial to acknowledge that while domestic violence is mostly attributed to men, it can involve both men and women in any sort of relationship.
Legal consequences of domestic violence
Cases involving domestic violence are typically taken very seriously by law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges. Being convicted of domestic violence offenses include fines, probation, and jail time. If the domestic violence charge can have a significant impact on other cases such as divorce, it might have even more consequences that will negatively impact you in these matters. These can include having to pay more spousal or child support, less time with children on the parenting plan, and even long-term restraining orders. Because of how seriously these cases are handled, it is important to hire attorneys that know this area of law well and can help defend your interests to the best of their ability. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer is a great place to start with any accusations being made against you.
Defenses against domestic violence
Having a strong defense is incredibly important to your case, and the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer is very experienced in this area. Coming to us may be the best decision you can make for yourself as we get a number of these cases every year. Some of the most common defenses against domestic violence include:
- Self-Defense or defense of others: Individuals accused of domestic violence may bring up that they acted in self defense. Our attorneys will guide and assist you as to what types of evidence are most helpful to establish this defense if applicable.
- General denial: An individual may be falsely accused of domestic violence. Obtaining evidence testimony from others can have a huge impact on the outcome of your case.
- Unintentional assault: It may even have been an accident. Throwing a ball into a bin and having it bounce off of someone and hit them causing injury is a great example of this. Evidence and testimony is also crucial in this defense.
As you can see, in each of these commonly used defenses, evidence and testimony are going to be crucial in the outcome of your case. Additionally, evidence can take many forms. Our experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer know what kind of evidence is best in each type of defense, and if need be they can also file subpoenas for evidence you may not normally be able to get ahold of.