Civil Standby Sometimes not so Civil

In Washington State domestic violence related allegations are extremely pervasive. Other than DUI charges, domestic violence charges are probably the most widely filed criminal charge in our Washington State district and municipal courts. People charged with domestic violence generally are required to have no contact with the alleged victim. This is formally done by way of a No Contact Order (“NCO”). A NCO prohibits contact between the accused and the alleged victim and means that contact cannot be made by either the accused himself or by a third party on the accused’s behalf. Once a NCO is imposed many Seattle criminal defense attorneys ask the court to permit for a “civil standby”.

A civil standby order provides one time access to the household, under the supervision of law enforcement personnel for the purpose of retrieving a very limited number of belongings and personal affects.

Once a court signs an order authorizing a civil standby, local law enforcement personnel maybe contacted for assistance. The personnel will meet the accused person at his residence and supervise him for a short period of time while his “necessary” belongings are retrieved. As a general rule, the person will likely only have 15-20 minutes before the civil standby is recalled or otherwise comes to an end. The alleged victim has the right to be present and any disputes as to ownership of property will likely be resolved (for the time being) in the favor of the individual still residing in the residence. A second civil standby is generally never granted. Thus, it is always important to make a list of the most necessary things to the accused and their locations before entering the residence.

Because of the significance of a domestic violence allegation in Washington State, it is imperative that when a person is facing single or even multiple criminal charges arising out of an argument that got out of hand, a person cannot simply entrust his life, his future, his reputation or even his profession to an inexperienced and untested Washington State lawyer. He must seek – he must demand – only the very best criminal defense representation available. A qualified Seattle domestic violence attorney will take the time to investigate the events that led up to a person’s arrest for domestic violence. He or she will interview eyewitnesses, subpoena emergency room medical records, and carefully review police reports. In court, the Seattle domestic violence lawyer will interview police officers to determine if they actually understood the situation before they made an arrest, pointing out information and facts that contradict the allegations against his/he client. The attorney will make absolutely sure that jurors get the whole story and not just the one-sided version offered by the alleged victim and the prosecuting attorney. It should go without saying that anyone charged with domestic violence in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle domestic violence defense lawyer.

The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly seasoned and reputable Seattle domestic violence defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for domestic violence in and around Western Washington and the greater Puget Sound region. The team is designed to create success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office so as to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations brought against the accused are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances. If accused of a crime protect your rights – contact SQ Attorneys, (206) 441-0900; (425) 998-8384 – it will be the best decision you make all day.

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10.0Gregory Wayne Schwesinger
10.0Saad Qamer Qadri