Domestic Violence 101

Our Washington State government considers domestic violence in Washington State to be a big problem.  As a consequence, it is easy to falsely allege that domestic violence has occurred, and it is virtually impossible to prevent a prosecution for domestic violence once an allegation of domestic violence has been made.  Moreover, what many people do not understand is that when law enforcement is called to respond to a domestic violence 911 call, they are required by law to make an arrest, even in cases where law enforcement might not otherwise have arrested someone.

It should never be assumed that simply because an alleged victim of domestic violence has decided to change her testimony that the case will “go away”; prosecutors believe that there are numerous reasons someone may want to change their testimony. For example, prosecutors tend to believe that “victims” are scared because they may have no money and the “abuser” will not support them monetarily, or alternatively the “victims” are scared that they will suffer more injuries at the hands of their “abuser”.  Prosecutors, therefore, will often take their case to trial even with a victim who changes their mind and says the incident never happened.  Only a prosecutor can decide whether or not to press charges; domestic violence “victims” have no control over whether a case is charged or prosecuted, they are just witnesses who can be summoned into court and have their statements used against their will, and against their desire. In fact, the United States Supreme Court has specifically ruled that in certain circumstances 911 calls that are made by a “victim” can be introduced into evidence, even if the “victim” doesn’t show up in court for trial. This is true notwithstanding the fact that we have a constitutional right to confront witnesses who testify against us.

Domestic violence is not just associated with allegations of “Assault”.  Other crimes such as “Burglary” or “Malicious Mischief” can also be charged as crimes of domestic violence in Washington State.  Moreover, a domestic violence (“DV”) designation adds serious additional penalties to the actual crime charged.

It is typical in Washington State domestic violence cases that a “No Contact Order” is issued by the court.  Often these orders stay in place until the case is completely resolved notwithstanding the “victim’s” repeated requests to have the order lifted; a violation of a no contact order can be even more serious than the underlying domestic violence charge and often results in more jail time than the domestic violence charge that gave rise to the no contact order in the first place.

Domestic violence allegations are extremely serious in Washington State.  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 qualified and reputable Seattle domestic violence defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for domestic violence in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances.

Leave a reply