Who is a Family or Household Member?

In Washington State Domestic violence includes: (a) Physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, between family or household members; (b) sexual assault of one family or household member by another; or (c) stalking as defined in RCW 9A.46.110 of one family or household member by another family or household member. So then … what (or who) is a Family or household member? After all, that term is used repeatedly in Washington’s domestic violence definition.

In Washington a “family or household member” is defined as a spouse, domestic partner, former spouse, former domestic partner, persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time, adult persons related by blood or marriage, adult persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past, persons sixteen years of age or older who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past and who have or have had a dating relationship, persons sixteen years of age or older with whom a person sixteen years of age or older has or has had a dating relationship, and persons who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship, including stepparents and stepchildren and grandparents and grandchildren.

It may seem crazy, but if you are wondering why a 73 year old Washougal man who stabbed his live-in caregiver was arrested for domestic violence this past Veteran’s day, it is because the relationship between the man and his caregiver fit Washington’s definition of ‘family or household member’. Now, the elderly man faces the prospect of not just basic assault consequences and/or punishments, but also the consequences and punishments that go along with domestic violence assault. Often this tends to be a loss of some very important constitutional privileges, like the right to bear arms. It also means that the elderly man may be facing the real prospect of having to do a year’s worth of domestic violence treatment.

Undoubtedly, the 73 year old man could benefit from the assistance of a qualified domestic violence attorney. In fact anyone facing a DV charge should get prepared to protect themselves, or face the specter of the government causing havoc in their life; they would best be served by hiring a qualified Seattle domestic violence attorney to help them with the meanderings of our criminal court system. The Seattle domestic violence attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle domestic violence 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 assault, property destruction or some other domestic violence related crime, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys immediately.

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