One common question that my clients ask me is what happens if you are convicted of a charge for Assault IV Domestic Violence in Washington? Arguments can escalate in the blink of an eye, and before you know it, the police are called to your door. Understanding what this charge means is important to defend against the case.
For many of my clients, it is their first time coming to court. They are uncertain about what the future holds. Do not plead guilty to a domestic violence charge before speaking with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. This article will help explain what you can expect if convicted of an Assault IV Domestic Violence charge.
Will I Go To Jail?
Many people have already spent at least a night in jail at the beginning of the case due to Washington’s mandatory arrest law. However, a judge could impose additional jail time depending on the specific facts of the case and any previous criminal history. A conviction for Assault IV Domestic Violence is a gross misdemeanor, carrying a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. Judges also have the power to sentence an individual to a term of electronic home confinement or work crew (community service in some circumstances) in lieu of jail.
It is important to vigorously defend these cases from the beginning. We understand that there are often two sides to the story, and sometimes officers rush to a quick judgment before deciding to arrest someone. Only in understanding my client’s perspective can we build a strong defense to the charge. Do not plead guilty before speaking with an attorney! For many years, our office has successfully defended our clients and protected their rights. We have secured numerous case dismissals and reductions in the charges.
Is There Probation?
An Assault IV Domestic Violence conviction carries several years of probation. During this time, you could be subject to several court requirements such as a No Contact Order, attending court-ordered counseling, paying court costs, and routinely reporting to a probation officer. Violating any of these conditions of probation could lead to future court hearings, additional jail time or other sanctions. Knowing this, it is important to understand how probation works so that your case resolves as smoothly as possible. Your attorney will know how best to argue your case to a prosecutor and the court. We may be able to assist in reducing the probation time, arguing against a No Contact Order, lowering your court fines, and minimizing any reporting requirements.
What is a No Contact Order?
A No Contact Order would prohibit you from contacting the other party in any way or going near places such as his/her residence or place of employment. It would also prohibit you from having third parties contact him/her on your behalf and further prohibit you from monitoring someone or keeping him/her under surveillance.
Violating this order could land you in jail and result in a new criminal charge of Violating A No Contact Order. Much like Assault IV Domestic Violence, a criminal conviction for Violating a No Contact Order is a gross misdemeanor, carrying a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. If you have three or more convictions for violating a no-contact order against the same person, you could be charged with Felony VNCO, a class C felony punishable by a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If you have any questions about the parameters of a No Contact Order, it is important to speak with your attorney. We fight to protect your rights in court and work to help you understand the nuances of a No Contact Order.
Would I Have to Attend Counseling?
If convicted of an Assault IV Domestic Violence Charge in Washington, the judge could order you to attend certain classes such as domestic violence treatment, anger management classes, drug or alcohol classes, and mental health evaluations. It is important to speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney about your rights and options in your case.
Do I Have To Pay Court Costs?
The court has the authority to impose a $5,000 fine if you are convicted of an Assault IV Domestic Violence charge. In addition to the $5,000 maximum fine, domestic violence cases often see hidden costs such as those for classes and treatment, pretrial monitoring fees, and other court costs. Make sure your attorney explains to you the financial aspects of a criminal charge. We understand how to properly defend these types of cases and work to get your court costs lowered as much as possible.
Will I Lose My Gun Rights?
A conviction for Assault IV Domestic Violence results in you being prohibited from possessing any firearms for a minimum of 3 years. Do not risk it, because if you are found to be in violation of this, you could be charged with the felony offense of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.
Contact us if you would like to petition the court to restore your gun rights. There are certain legal requirements that must be met, including successfully finishing all the terms of your sentence. Contact our office today to see if you are eligible to restore your gun rights. We can likely assist you in getting your rights back without you ever having to come to court.
Can I Get This Expunged From My Record?
It is possible to get a conviction for Assault IV Domestic Violence expunged. However, certain legal requirements must be met. Generally speaking, you must wait at least five years after you have completed all the terms of your sentence. There are other legal requirements, so contact us if you would like legal assistance in expunging your record. Once the charge is vacated or expunged, you can legally indicate to employers and housing authorities that you were never convicted of that charge.
If you want to successfully defend against Assault IV Domestic Violence charges, you must know what are the potential consequences following a conviction. Domestic violence allegations can carry jail time, court-ordered counseling and treatment, checking in with a probation officer, attending classes, and abiding by a No Contact Order. It is crucial to speak with a knowledgeable domestic violence attorney.
For years our office has successfully defended against domestic violence charges in Vancouver, WA and Clark County. We understand the intricacies of criminal law, take the time to understand your side of the story, and know-how to scrutinize police reports. We fight to protect your rights. We have secured numerous dismissals and reduced charges and work hard to get you the best possible resolution. Contact our office for a free evaluation if you need professional legal representation.