The allegation of Domestic Violence can be added to a number of crimes
in Washington, including but not limited to Assault, Harassment, and Malicious Mischief.
If law enforcement responds to a domestic violence call and determines
that there is probable cause to believe that a domestic violence crime
was committed, they are required to arrest the person they believe is
the primary aggressor. If you are arrested for a DV offense, you will
be required to appear before a judge on the next judicial day.
The purpose of this first appearance is threefold:
Determination of Probable Cause: The judge will determine whether there is probable cause to believe that
you committed the domestic violence crime(s) alleged.
Entry of a Pretrial Release Order: If probable cause is found, the judge will impose some pretrial release
Your release will depend on your compliance with these conditions. These
conditions often involve the posting on bail or bond, an order that you
not consume or possess alcohol or other controlled substances, an order
that you surrender weapons, and a No Contact Order prohibiting you from
contacting the alleged victim.
Advisement of Rights: The judge will advise you of the charge(s) and your rights. If you cannot
afford a private defense attorney, you will be given the opportunity to
apply for court-appointed counsel at this first appearance.
If you are convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, the court can
place you on probation for up to five years (most other misdemeanors carry
a maximum of two years’ probation), you can be ordered to attend
Domestic Violence Batterer’s Treatment, and you may lose your right
to possess a firearm.
What is DV?
Domestic Violence is defined generally as any crime committed by one “family
or household member” against another. “Family or household
members” can be spouses, former spouses, co-parents, people in dating
relationships and many other types of relationships. For the full definition, see
Domestic Violence charges are aggressively prosecuted by the Whitman County
If you are charged with a Washington DV offense, you are facing serious
consequences and should talk to an experienced Washington defense attorney
as soon as possible. As a former deputy prosecutor, Luke Baumgarten knows
which issues matter and what defenses work. For a free consultation, call
If you have been arrested for a DV offense and need immediate assistance,
call our toll-free 24x7 help line: (888) 445-2878.