Domestic Violence

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:

  1. Determination of Probable Cause: The judge will determine whether there is probable cause to believe that you committed the domestic violence crime(s) alleged.
  2. Entry of a Pretrial Release Order: If probable cause is found, the judge will impose some pretrial release conditions. 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.
  3. 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 RCW 10.99.020.

Domestic Violence charges are aggressively prosecuted by the Whitman County Prosecutor’s Office. 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 509-339-7102.

If you have been arrested for a DV offense and need immediate assistance, call our toll-free 24x7 help line: (888) 445-2878.