ASSAULT UNDER WASHINGTON LAW
“Assault” is essentially the intentional infliction of unwanted physical harm. To successfully prove that a person assaulted another, a prosecutor must show that the accused intentionally 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.
LEGAL DEFENSES TO ASSAULT CHARGES
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 Law has been providing clients with proven results for years. Our attorneys have over two 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.
We serve clients throughout Washington including those in the following localities: King County including Bellevue, Kent, and Seattle; Benton County including Kennewick; Chelan County including Wenatchee; Clallam County including Port Angeles; Grays Harbor County including Aberdeen; Kitsap County including Port Orchard; Kittitas County including Ellensburg; Pierce County including Tacoma; Skagit County including Mount Vernon; Snohomish County including Everett; Spokane County including Spokane; Thurston County including Olympia; Whatcom County including Bellingham; and Yakima County including Yakima.
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