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Domestic violence charges are complicated and life-changing

On Behalf of | May 1, 2024 | Assault, Domestic Violence

Washington’s Criminal Procedure Code lists various crimes as domestic violence if they involve harm or threats of harm. These crimes include serious offenses like assault, kidnapping and rape but also include things like breaking into someone’s home (burglary) or not following a court’s protective order. The critical thing that makes an act of domestic violence is the relationship of the alleged perpetrator to the alleged victim.  Any dating, intimate, co-habiting or family relationship can be the basis of adding the domestic violence designation to any other crime.

Family life can be complicated

Allegations can arise from various situations, sometimes fueled by jealousy or anger. People might make these claims during a rough stretch, divorce or a battle over child custody. Even when these allegations are exaggerated or made for the wrong reasons, they can be hard to fight. The reasons include:

  • There are laws in place that pursue charges even if the accuser wants to drop them.
  • There is a public bias where people immediately assume the defendant is guilty even before the trial
  • These incidents usually don’t have witnesses to contest the charges.

The defendant’s parent may also be involved

Parents can find themselves grappling with domestic abuse issues if their college-aged child or adult offspring faces domestic violence charges. The stakes are incredibly high- not only is there immediate concern about the potential legal consequences, but there’s also the looming threat of long-term repercussions.

A conviction could tarnish their future, leaving a permanent mark on their criminal record and potentially lead to listing their name on a sex offender registry. It could close doors to career opportunities, higher education, and even housing. It is imperative that parents and family members act swiftly, possibly preventing these severe outcomes that sidetrack the accused’s prospects and reputation.

Building a solid defense is essential

Defending a loved one against domestic violence charges is challenging but not impossible. An experienced defense attorney knows how to investigate the case, use evidence that might not be directly related, like texts or emails, and show the court why the person making accusations might have a reason to lie. Sometimes, the defense can get the charges thrown out, make them less serious, or even win the case at trial.