Domestic Violence in Washington State and Beyond

We here at SQ Attorneys handle a wide range of criminal matters. One of the more common criminal charges an individual may find themselves charged with is a domestic violence related offense. Domestic violence refers to violent or abusive acts committed by one family or household member against another, such as child abuse or spousal abuse. Domestic violence can refer to physical harm, or behavior that is controlling, coercive, or threatening. It can occur in any kind of intimate relationship — married or unmarried, straight or gay, living together, or simply dating.

Domestic violence usually involves a repetitive physical and psychological abuse or a “cycle of violence.” Specific crimes charged vary based on: 1) The severity of the victim’s injuries, 2) Whether a minor was present and 3) Whether a protective or restraining order was violated

Anyone can become a domestic violence offender or victim. While rape and murder can be forms of domestic violence, most often domestic violence consists of lesser forms of physical abuse such as slapping and pushing. Stalking can also be a form of domestic violence.

Domestic violence battery or assault is a crime under the umbrella of domestic violence. It is also called “spousal battery.” Battery is a criminal charge when violence and force are used against someone or it is attempted against someone. You do not have to actually be hurt for the guilty person to be charged with battery. You can think of domestic battery being the specific charge someone is guilty of, but it is all within a domestic violence case.

Many states define domestic violence as a distinct crime in itself. In Washington state, a domestic violence tag may be added on a specific charge resulting in a loss of rights and a mandatory no contact order. In some other states, a suspect who strikes a significant other may be charged with domestic violence instead of (or in addition to) other crimes such as assault and battery. Recognizing that domestic abusers take advantage of their victims’ trust and confidence, after a conviction for domestic violence prosecutors often push for sentences that are harsher than those that might be sought for assault-type crimes involving two strangers. Those sentences typically include special protections for past (and potential) targets of domestic abuse.

Many forms of abuse are included in the definition of domestic violence: 1) Physical abuse can include hitting, biting, slapping, battering, shoving, punching (any type of violent behavior inflicted on the victim), 2) Sexual abuse occurs when the abuser coerces or attempts to coerce the victim into having sexual contact or sexual behavior without the victim’s consent, 3) Emotional abuse involves invalidating or deflating the victim’s sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem and 4) Economic abuse takes place when the abuser makes or tries to make the victim financially reliant

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a criminal charge, immediately contact a Seattle Criminal Attorney. A Criminal lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Criminal Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a crime in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle Criminal Lawyer.

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