MRJC – Assault 4 – DV

If you are arrested, and subsequently charged, by a WSP trooper in unincorporated King County for Assault 4 DV, your charges will be heard at the Kent MRJC (hereinafter, “MRJC”) domestic violence court. This is so even if the incident happened near Shoreline, West Seattle or even Redmond. All of the non-felony related DV cases for the King County Prosecutor’s Office are handled at the MRJC; in effect, it is a ‘one stop shop’.

If cited for Assault 4 – DV it is abundantly important to know and understand how the MRJC court works, and what offers the prosecutors are empowered to make in an effort to successfully resolve their cases. First, when a charge is filed a person is summoned for an ‘arraignment’ wherein they enter a plea of ‘not guilty’. Upon entry of a plea at the arraignment, the case will be set for another hearing entitled a ‘pretrial hearing’. The court procedure at a pretrial hearing involves negotiations with the prosecutor on the defendant’s behalf. If a successful agreement is reached, the case may be resolved that day. If a successful agreement cannot be reached, the case may be set for another pre-trial hearing, motions, or even a jury trial.

If one’s cards are played right, negotiations may end with the charges being dismissed. This may even be done via a signed agreement between the state and the defendant which stipulates that if certain conditions are met the case will be dismissed. This outcome is often referred to as a pretrial diversion agreement, stay of proceedings or stipulated order of continuance. Regardless of its name, the outcome is essentially a contract between the defendant and the state where the defendant agrees to maintain lawful behavior and agrees to do other delineated requirements. Requirements often include completing domestic violence classes, paying court costs, completing alcohol treatment (if alcohol was involved in the incident), checking in with a probation officer, and coming back to court when required. If the defendant lives up to his or her end of the contract, the state agrees that the prosecutor will move to dismiss the case at the end of the contract period, which can be up to 24 months but in some instances can be negotiated to 18 months.

It should be noted that although the aforementioned resolution may seem like a great opportunity (and often it is) to resolve one’s case favorably, a defendant should be sure to consult with a seasoned Seattle Domestic Violence Attorney before entering any deal and giving up his/her rights to contest evidence. Moreover, if a defendant is saddled with immigration issues it is monumentally important to ensure that such an agreement is ‘immigration safe’. Failure to do so may lead to either deportation or an inability to become a US citizen. Finally, it is important to note that if the terms of the agreement are violated the court may simply revoke the ‘deal’ and convict (and sentence) the defendant of the charges alleged. Sentencing on an Assault 4 – DV charge is often harsh, and may include lengthy jail time. So, while there is a lot to gain with contractual resolution of an Assault 4 – DV case, there is also a lot to lose too.

Considering all of the foregoing, it should go without saying that if you or a loved has been arrested for a domestic violence related crime in unincorporated King County immediately contact a Seattle domestic violence criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and interests. The Seattle domestic violence criminal defense attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle domestic violence criminal defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. 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 of the given case. So, whether cited for domestic violence related malicious mischief, assault, property destruction or some other crime, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys immediately.

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