Felony Domestic Violence
In Washington, domestic violence includes any crime perpetrated by someone who has a family or household member relationship with the victim. For example, if you hit your wife, you could be charged with domestic violence. Usually, domestic violence is charged as a misdemeanor, but in certain cases, it may be charged as a felony. You should take felony domestic violence charges seriously when they are levied against you. At Smith & White, our Tacoma domestic violence lawyers may be able to represent you.Grounds for Felony Domestic Violence Charges
There are many types of abusive behaviors that can be involved in domestic violence, including physical violence, sexual assault, economic control and exploitation, neglect, or emotional abuse. However, domestic violence is defined by being perpetrated by people with a family or household member relationship with the victim. Family or household relationships include spouses, ex-spouses, relatives by blood, relatives by marriage, people who are at least 16 and are living together or have lived together before, people who are at least 16 who are having or have had a dating relationship, and people with a legal or biological parent-child relationship.
Crimes considered domestic violence when the appropriate relationship is present include manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment, burglary, coercion, criminal trespass, property damage, kidnapping, rape, interfering with a report of domestic violence, violating a protection order, stalking, cyberstalking, or false imprisonment. Usually, domestic violence is charged as a gross misdemeanor. However, it can also be charged as a felony. You should make sure to contact an attorney immediately if you are facing a felony charge.
Felony domestic violence includes assault in the first, second, or third degree, malicious mischief in the first or second degree, felony harassment, and violations of a no contact order. You might be charged with felony domestic violence if you have crashed your spouse’s car into a post and caused damage of $6,000. You could be charged with felony domestic violence if you have committed felony harassment against your ex-wife. Felonies can be class A, B, or C felonies, with the greatest penalties being applied to class A felonies.
Domestic violence in the form of a first-degree assault is one type of a class A felony charge. You can be found guilty of first-degree assault if you, with the intent to inflict great bodily harm, assaulted someone else with a firearm or another deadly weapon. For example, if you pistol-whipped your wife, you could be charged with a class A felony. The potential penalty is a maximum of life imprisonment and a $50,000 fine.
Domestic violence in the form of malicious mischief in the first degree is charged when there is damage to property in an amount more than $5,000. For example, if you drive your spouse’s car into the wall of the garage in a fit of rage, causing damage to the house and car that is worth $10,000, you can be charged with malicious mischief. This is a class B felony. The potential penalty is up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
Violating a protective order is a class C felony if you perpetrated a third- or fourth-degree assault, engaged in actions that created a substantial risk of a serious physical injury or death, or have two or more prior convictions for violations of a protective order. For example, if a protective order was in place to protect your spouse, and you went to your formerly shared home and threw a TV at her so that she needed to be hospitalized, you could be charged with a class C felony. For a class C felony, you can face a maximum of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.Contact an Experienced Domestic Violence Attorney in the Tacoma Area
If you are charged with felony domestic violence in Washington, you should retain a skillful criminal defense lawyer. We represent people in Tacoma and throughout Pierce, King, Kitsap, and Thurston Counties. Contact us at (253) 203-1645 or via our online form.