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Articles Posted in Assault

Physical altercations often follow verbal disagreements, and in some cases, it is difficult to determine who is ultimately responsible for starting a fight. Thus, in many instances in which a person is charged with assault, self-defense is a viable defense. The State may try to thwart a self-defense argument, though, by asserting that the defendant was the first aggressor and should be found guilty. The appropriateness of a first aggressor instruction was the topic of a recent ruling issued by a Washington court, in a matter in which the defendant argued the instruction was improper. If you are accused of assault, it is prudent to speak to a capable Washington assault defense attorney to evaluate your options.

The Alleged Assault

It is reported that the defendant was waiting at a bus stop where another man was also waiting. The defendant walked back and forth very close to the other man, who asked the defendant to back up. The defendant then showed the man a knife and became verbally aggressive. The man then encountered the victim in the bathroom and advised him of the defendant’s behavior. When the victim left the bathroom, the defendant started yelling at him, then punched him in the head. The two men started fighting, and the defendant stabbed the victim numerous times. The defendant was charged with two counts of assault with deadly weapon enhancements. He was convicted of both charges, after which he appealed, arguing in part that the trial court erred in giving a first aggressor instruction to the jury.

The First Aggressor Instruction

A court reviews whether there was adequate evidence submitted to warrant a first aggressor instruction de novo. If the evidence produced at trial was sufficient to support the instruction, the evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the party that requested the instruction. The court explained that a first aggressor instruction would not be deemed improper where there is credible evidence that would allow a jury to reasonably find that the defendant provoked the need for the victim to act in self-defense. Continue reading

Generally, the State is not permitted to introduce evidence of prior bad acts or wrongs to establish that a person violated the law on a certain occasion. In other words, the State cannot point to previous behavior in an effort to convince a jury that a defendant acted similarly on the date of an alleged crime. Evidence of other wrongs may be admitted for other reasons, however. The grounds for admitting evidence of prior acts of domestic violence was the topic of a recent Washington opinion, in a matter involving a felony violation of a no-contact order. If you are accused of a domestic violence offense, it is advisable to speak to a capable Washington domestic violence defense attorney about your rights.

The Alleged Crime

It is reported that the defendant and the victim became romantically involved when they were co-workers. At some point, a no-contact order was entered, preventing the two from associating with each other. Regardless, they saw each other at a party for their former employer. Later that evening, the victim sent a friend messages indicating she had been assaulted by the defendant. The friend went to the victim’s house and observed marks on her leg and face. He then heard someone in the garage and hid in the bathroom, and called 911.

Allegedly, during the 911 call, the defendant could be heard engaging in an altercation with the victim. The police arrived and arrested the defendant, who was charged with felony violation of a no-contact order. He was convicted, after which he appealed, arguing in part that the trial court erred in admitting evidence of prior acts of domestic violence at his trial. Continue reading

Assault charges can result in substantial penalties, but simply because someone is charged with assault does not mean that the State can obtain a conviction. In many cases, there are numerous defenses a person can assert, including self-defense. Recently, a Washington court explained what evidence a defendant must set forth to demonstrate that an action was taken in self-defense, in a matter in which the defendant appealed his conviction for assault with a deadly weapon. If you are charged with assault, it is vital to meet with a dedicated Washington assault defense attorney to discuss your possible defenses.

The Alleged Assault

It is reported that the defendant lived with his wife in an apartment, and his mother-in-law and father-in-law lived in the same complex. The defendant became abusive towards his wife, and she obtained a no-contact order against him, but she continued to live with him regardless. She eventually told him she wanted a divorce due to his behavior. The following day, she left the apartment to take their children to school and returned home after a short time. When she arrived in her apartment, she found her mother bleeding on the floor. The mother, who suffered critical injuries, indicated that the defendant had assaulted her. The defendant was charged with multiple crimes, including first-degree assault with a deadly weapon. He was convicted of assault, after which he filed an appeal, arguing in part that the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was not acting in self-defense.

Proving an Assault Constitutes Self-Defense

Under Washington law, to obtain a conviction for assault, the State must prove that the defendant acted with the intent to cause great bodily harm and did, in fact, inflict significant harm. If a defendant raises a claim that he was acting in self-defense, the burden shifts to the State to demonstrate, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant was not acting in self-defense. Continue reading

Typically, when a crime is committed, the police do not actually witness the offense and must rely on eyewitness reports and other evidence to attempt to identify a defendant. Mere suspicion alone is not sufficient to arrest a person, however, as the police must have probable cause to believe that a person committed a criminal offense prior to taking a person into custody. What constitutes probable cause was the topic of a recent Washington opinion issued by a court in a case in which the defendant appealed his conviction for assault and other crimes on the basis that his arrest was improper. If you are charged with assault, it is in your best interest to speak to a skillful Washington assault defense attorney to evaluate your rights.

Factual History

It is alleged that in November 2017, the victim called 911 and reported that the defendant, who was her boyfriend, came into her apartment, struck her in the face, and held a gun to her stomach while threatening to kill her unborn baby. The victim exited the apartment, which the police then surrounded, ordering the defendant to come out with his hands up.

It is reported that the defendant did not come out of the apartment but was arrested shortly thereafter behind the apartment next door. He was charged with assault and other crimes. A jury convicted him, after which he appealed, arguing in part that the police lacked probable cause to arrest him and therefore his arrest and conviction were unlawful. The court disagreed and affirmed his conviction.

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People convicted of crimes of domestic violence are often prohibited from interacting with their victims via domestic violence no-contact orders. Thus, if a person subject to a no-contact order subsequently contacts the victim, it may result in additional criminal charges. While a no-contact order must be valid to be enforceable, there are specific parameters for objecting to an order as improper. The failure to comply with the correct procedural process can result in the waiver of rights, as demonstrated in a recent Washington ruling. If you are accused of violating a no-contact order or committing another crime of domestic violence, it is advisable to meet with a Washington domestic violence defense attorney to assess your options.

The Defendant’s Alleged Violation

Allegedly, the defendant was convicted of fourth-degree assault, which was a crime of domestic violence in October 2017. The court issued a five-year domestic violence no-contact order, barring the defendant from interacting with the victim either indirectly or directly or being within 500 feet of her. The defendant continued to contact the victim regardless, however.

It is reported that in January 2018 and March 2018, incidents occurred in which the defendant assaulted the victim. During the second incident, he took her purse as well. He was subsequently charged with two felony violations of the domestic violence no-contact order and robbery. Following a trial, the jury convicted the defendant, and he was sentenced to five years in prison. He then appealed, arguing in part that the no-contact order was invalid.

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In a criminal case, it is the prosecution’s duty to try to convince the jury that the defendant is guilty of the charged offenses. The prosecution must remain within the confines of the law, however, and cannot introduce evidence or testimony that is improper, as it may be prejudicial and result in an unjust verdict. Recently, a Washington court discussed what constitutes an improper and harmful statement in a case in which the defendant was convicted of multiple crimes, including assault. If you are accused of assault, it is advisable to meet with a Washington assault defense attorney to determine your options.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant was raised by the victim, who was his grandmother. As he grew older, their relationship deteriorated. He ultimately moved out and went to live with the victim’s former romantic partner. One evening he entered the victim’s home and injected drugs into his arm. The victim told him to leave, after which the defendant held a gun to her head, stating he would kill her. He then struck the victim in the head with the gun.

It is reported that the victim and another individual were found dead. The defendant was charged with numerous crimes, including assault and murder, to which he pleaded not guilty. During its closing statement, the prosecution directed the jury that it should feel right in the gut, heart, and head to find the defendant guilty. The defendant was convicted, after which he appealed, arguing that the statements were prejudicial and amounted to prosecutorial misconduct.

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In some criminal matters, even a defendant that admits to committing the allegedly criminal acts may be found not guilty if a valid justification for the behavior exists. For example, in many assault cases, the defendant may be able to avoid a conviction by demonstrating that the alleged unlawful acts were taken in self-defense. In a recent Washington assault case, the court discussed each party’s burden of proof with regard to self-defense. If you are accused of an assault crime, it is prudent to confer with a skilled Washington assault defense attorney to discuss your possible defenses.

The Alleged Assault

Allegedly, the defendant and her husband became involved in a verbal altercation over the fact that the defendant had a boyfriend. The defendant began looking for the deed to their house to prove that she was a co-owner but became enraged when she could not find it. She began throwing things and then started to hit and kick her husband. She ultimately charged him with a sword that was a replica from a movie and sliced his arm. The husband called 911 and had to be airlifted to a hospital due to his wounds.

It is reported that the defendant was arrested and charged with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, which was deemed a crime of violence. The case proceeded to trial, and the defendant was convicted, after which she appealed, arguing in part that the State failed to produce sufficient evidence that she was not acting in self-defense. The appellate court ultimately rejected her arguments and affirmed her conviction.

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Assault crimes are often committed in the heat of the moment, in response to an emotionally charged event. Thus, if the State can produce evidence that demonstrates motive, it may be able to persuade a jury that a defendant is guilty of the offense charged. The admissibility of motive evidence was recently discussed in a Washington assault case in which the court denied the defendant’s appeal of his conviction. If you are charged with assault or another crime, it is smart to talk to a trusted Washington assault defense attorney to determine what evidence may be used against you.

The Alleged Assault

It is alleged that the defendant and his victim were engaged and lived together. The victim confronted the defendant regarding his drug use, and they became embroiled in a physical argument. The defendant choked the victim, who broke free and ran outside. The defendant then followed the victim and hit her and proceeded to drag her back into the house. A motorist passing by observed the incident and allowed the victim to call 911. The defendant then fled.

Reportedly, the defendant was arrested two days later. He was ultimately charged with second-degree assault, witness tampering, and other crimes. A trial was held before a jury, and the defendant was convicted as charged, and his offenses were deemed crimes of domestic violence. Following his sentencing hearing, he appealed.

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While a person can be convicted of more than one crime for acts that occur during a single event, state and federal law prohibits a person from being convicted for the same criminal activity more than once. Thus, if a defendant is convicted multiple times for essentially the same crime, it may constitute a violation of the rule against double jeopardy and may be grounds for reversal. This was discussed in a recent Washington case in which the defendant was convicted for both second-degree and fourth-degree assault, for a single act. If you are accused of an assault crime, it is in your best interest to speak to a dedicated Washington assault defense attorney regarding your rights.

The Alleged Assault

It is reported that the police responded to a report of a domestic violence incident between the defendant and his victim. When the police spoke to the victim, she stated that the defendant had strangled her and bit her thumb and upper lip. The victim was covered in blood as well. The defendant was charged with second-degree assault for strangling the victim and two counts of fourth-degree assault for biting her.

Allegedly, during the trial, the victim testified that the defendant held her down rather than strangling her, and while he was holding her down, he bit her thumb. She denied that he bit her lip or that she advised the police that he bit her lip. The defendant was found guilty of second-degree assault and one of the counts of fourth-degree assault. The defendant appealed, arguing the acts for which he was convicted happened in a single assault and convicting him more than once constituted double jeopardy.

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Physically attacking someone often constitutes a crime. Specifically, in Washington, it may be grounds for assault charges. While engaging in physically violent behavior is generally unlawful, a defendant that is acting in self-defense might be found not guilty. If the State can show that the defendant was the first aggressor, however, the jury may be advised that self-defense is not available as a defense. In a recent Washington assault case, the court discussed the first aggressor exception to self-defense and when it applies. If you are accused of committing assault, it is prudent to meet with a trusted Washington assault defense attorney to evaluate your possible defenses.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the defendant had a contentious relationship with the alleged victim, due to the fact that the defendant believed the victim had stolen one of his guns. At one point, the victim fired shots at the defendant’s house, and a bullet nearly struck the defendant in the head. There is conflicting evidence as to whether the victim threatened to kill the defendant. Approximately four years later, the defendant was at a gas station when he saw the victim sitting in a car in the parking lot.

It is alleged that the defendant fired multiple shots at the car and ultimately killed the victim. The defendant was charged with numerous counts of first-degree assault as well as first-degree murder. At trial, the jury was given the first-aggressor instruction. The defendant was found guilty as charged, after which he appealed. The appellate court reversed the conviction, stating that the first aggressor charge relieved the State of proving the defendant committed the alleged acts. The State then appealed.

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