If you’re in Seattle or Washington State, and facing assault charges, you need a criminal defense attorney for help. Assault is a very serious criminal charge. A conviction for this crime could have a profound impact on your freedom, livelihood, and family.
The attorneys at Black & Askerov have over 30 years of combined experience defending clients on assault charges. Rely on us for the quality representation you deserve. Here are the key facts you need to know now.
Assault Under Washington Law
Washington law says that an “assault” can be committed in three different ways: 1) intentionally making harmful or offensive contact with another person; 2) attempting to injure another person; and, 3) intentionally creating the fear of injury in another person. To successfully prove that a person assaulted another, a prosecutor must show essentially that the accused intentionally created unwanted physical contact or performed some act that caused a victim to fear actual harm. Note that assault does not have to include a weapon or actual physical harm. The mere proof of a threatening act that would cause a person to believe harm was present could be enough for an assault charge.
There are four degrees of Assault under Washington law. Assault 4 is the least severe charge and is a gross misdemeanor. Assault 1, 2 and 3 are more serious charges and are all felonies. The use of firearms or other deadly weapons drastically increase the seriousness of assault charges.
Penalties for Assault
An assault charge can have major implications if successfully proven. The penalties for assault include both lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines. For example, a conviction for Assault 1 is punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $50,000 fine. Penalties also increase if the assault was done in connection with domestic violence or takes place against a child. Further, a conviction means you will have a criminal record – which can cause damaging results on its own.
Criminal Defenses Exist
There are three main defenses to an assault charge. The first relates to an accused’s intent. Remember that assault is the intentional infliction of unwanted harm. If an accused can show that he never intended for his act to cause a fear of harm, an assault charge can likely be dismissed or dropped.
The remaining two defenses involve self-defense and the defense of another. That is, an accused can try to dismiss an assault charge by showing:
- He was acting in self-defense; or,
- He was acting in defense of another person.
Criminal charges in Washington must be taken seriously. They can have profound impacts on a host of different areas in your life – including your children, job, family, loved ones, and liberties. If you’re facing an assault charge, get real help that makes a difference.
The criminal defense firm of Black & Askerov has been providing clients with proven results for years. Our attorneys have over three decades of combined experience in delivering success stories to clients. They have unwavering skills and tested knowledge with assault charges. Please contact them today for help. You’ll never regret it.