Assault charges are very serious criminal cases. One of the biggest challenges is fighting the No Contact Order once a person is arrested for Assault 4 with the special allegation of domestic violence. The cost to the person accused, as well as the entire family, can be overwhelming.
Additional Criminal Charges For Violating A No Contact Order
If you are arrested for Assault against a family member, friend, or roommate, you will be required to stay away from the victim—even if the victim lives in your home or apartment. The prosecutor and judge do not care whether you have no other place to stay. Any attempt to return to the home or have contact with the victim will likely result in an additional criminal charge.
No contact or no communication with the victim can be very tricky– especially when the alleged victim continually tries to make contact with the accused. Sometimes, if there are co-parenting issues and the whole event was a mistake, the person charged with Assault will correspond with the victim to make things easier on the family. This is a BIG mistake.
The subsequent criminal charge of Violating a No Contact Order can make it nearly impossible to negotiate a favorable deal for the defendant. Judges get very upset when a defendant violates a court order and, in particular, one that the judge feels is in place for the safety of a victim. No matter how tempting it is to respond to the text or phone call from the alleged victim, do not do it!
It Was Just A Heated Disagreement
Often, Assault in the Fourth Degree charges that involve family members are misunderstandings. Arguments might get out of hand and someone throws something, slaps another, or shoves a family member. All of those behaviors can be considered an assault. Once the police arrive, if an assault has occurred, law enforcement must arrest the alleged perpetrator.
Mandatory Arrest Rule
Washington law requires a mandatory arrest in most domestic situations where an assault or threat of assault has taken place. This arrest will lead to criminal charges. Once arraigned on the Assault charge, a No Contact Order will be put in place and the alleged person is not allowed to return to the home or location where the victim lives.
In rare circumstances, the No Contact Order can be avoided if you have legal counsel involved early in the process. It is unusual but you should always contact an experienced criminal defense as soon as law enforcement is involved and, ideally, before the arrest has been made.
Learn more about Washington’s Mandatory Arrest Rule
Don’t Consider Yourself A Victim?
Many “victims” in these cases feel like they are actually being victimized by the prosecuting attorney and the court. Due to the specialized training that prosecutors receive, indicating victims of domestic violence often recant their story, it may feel that the prosecuting attorney and judge discredit all “victims” after an Assault 4 arrest. The tone from the state can feel very condescending and demoralizing.
Don’t give up! Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who handles Assault cases. We have been successful on many occasions in providing victims the necessary steps they need to take to convey their accurate story to the prosecutor, the police, and/or the victim advocate. There are things you can do but the system will try to “protect you” regardless of whether you consider yourself a victim.
You Can’t Take It Back
In retrospect, many people wish that they had never called the police. But once the call is made and an arrest has been made, there is no going back. In Washington, the victim does not “press charges” and the alleged victim cannot drop charges. If the prosecutor feels that the elements for an Assault case exist, the case will most likely proceed.
We are here 7 days a week to counsel you through this tough situation. Assault 4 – Domestic Violence cases are overwhelming for everyone involved. We offer free consultations for cases filed in Kitsap or Thurston counties as well as cities in those areas. We have successfully helped hundreds of families through this same nightmare. Just reach out and see how we can help. 360-792-1000
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