Being accused of any type of crime is problematic, but domestic violence charges are particularly severe. There are many cases when a spouse may contact authorities in the middle of an argument without there ever being any fear of injury, resulting in unwarranted domestic assault accusations.
Even if the victim wants the charges dropped, authorities may decide to pursue the case and severely disrupt your day to day life. In these cases, having a reliable domestic violence lawyer in Everett can help protect your rights and maintain a normal routine as much as possible.
At Russell & Hill, PLLC, we have decades of combined experience handling family violence charges. We strive to build a solid case and aim to minimize the chances of a negative outcome for each one of our clients.
In Washington State, domestic violence is defined as the infliction of harm by one family or household member to the other. This includes physical pain, bodily injuries, sexual assault, fear of physical harm, stalking, and other forms of abuse.
Some of the most common criminal acts that may fall under domestic violence include, but are not limited to:
Receiving a domestic violence charge is an extremely serious accusation. It can impact several areas of your life, from your personal relationships right down to your professional development. Hiring a domestic violence attorney will help you understand the charges you’re facing and use all the resources available to help safeguard your overall well-being.
Domestic violence convictions bring both direct criminal consequences and indirect effects that impact several parts of your life. What’s more, victims can’t simply drop the charges or decide not to pursue them because the case is filed by the police department.
Some of the ways a domestic violence conviction can affect you include:
One of the worst parts of receiving a domestic violence charge is that it usually comes accompanied by a no-contact order. As the name suggests, a no-contact order prevents you from getting in touch with your spouse, children, or other family members for an extended period of time.
In case you live with your spouse, you won’t be able to return to your home so you’ll need to find alternative living arrangements. You can also be banned from going to your children’s school or within a certain distance of the victim.
People accused of domestic violence may also see their right to bear firearms temporarily suspended. Known as the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, this amendment prevents people convicted of domestic violence from having access to guns, but it can also be extended to people under a no-contact order in certain circumstances.
In many cases, being convicted of or pleading guilty to a domestic violence charge will also incur mandatory counseling. Individuals are required to attend a State-certified program that can be as long as 12 months. This program is not usually sponsored by the authorities, so you’ll also have to cover additional fees and expenses related to the counseling as well.
In addition to covering expenses related to treatment, people convicted of abusive behavior towards household or family members may also receive financial penalties. These fines can range from hundreds to a few thousand dollars, potentially resulting in a significant loss for the alleged perpetrator.
Washington State has a mandatory arrest law for domestic violence cases. As long as the authorities find probable cause, people accused of family abuse are put into custody and subsequently released in most cases.
However, charges may still result in probation and even jail time, depending on the gravity of the accusations.
Contacting a domestic violence attorney can help defend your rights against family violence accusations. Besides building a solid case, having a knowledgeable attorney can also help minimize the disruptions you suffer, allowing you to take back control of your life.
Prosecutors and judges are always quick to draw conclusions about people accused of domestic violence, even when the circumstances are debatable. Don’t face these charges alone. Instead, contact a reliable Everett domestic violence attorney to help defend your rights and your family’s well-being.
The way in which your lawyer defends you when you’ve been charged with domestic violence can vary depending on the specific nature of the circumstances. The following are among the more common defenses an attorney might employ:
THE ALLEGED VICTIM IS LYING
This is one of the most frequently-employed defenses in domestic violence cases for a simple reason: the fact that a spouse or other such individual accused you of domestic violence does not mean they are telling the truth.
There are various reasons why some choose to lie about being the victims of domestic violence. For example, perhaps your spouse is angry with you for some reason, and decides to “get even” by accusing you of a crime you did not commit.
It’s important to always be honest when discussing your case with an Everett domestic violence attorney. Don’t claim your accuser is lying if they are in fact telling the truth about what has occurred.
However, if they are lying, an attorney could potentially find various holes in their story that indicate they have not been truthful.
SOMEONE ELSE COMMITTED AN ACT OF VIOLENCE
This is a defense that might be used if you have been accused of physically assaulting your accuser. If they have scars or other signs of injury, you may know you did not inflict those wounds, but they could claim you did so.
Thus, your lawyer could possibly defend you by finding evidence that shows you could not have been the individual responsible for harming your accuser. This may involve proving your real-life whereabouts at the time your accuser was attacked conflict with your accuser’s version of events.
It could also involve looking for any evidence to suggest that you were at the scene when your accuser claims they were attacked. Building a strong defense can require considering the evidence your accuser could potentially use against you. You need to know how they will present their case so we can be prepared to refute it.
YOU WERE ACTING IN SELF-DEFENSE
This is another defense tactic that is relevant when an accuser claims you committed an act of violence against them and has wounds to back up their story.
Perhaps you did inflict those wounds. However, you may have done so out of desperation because you were being attacked and were thus acting in self-defense. To employ this defense, an Everett domestic violence lawyer could, for example, request police reports to look for any statements your accuser might have made indicating they admitted to acting in violence against you. It might also be possible for an expert to determine that the wounds your accuser sustained are the type you might inflict if you were acting in self-defense.
Again, it’s vital that you be honest. Only tell your lawyer you were acting in self-defense if this is the truth. And remember, these are only a few examples of the types of defenses an Everett domestic violence attorney can use. We will tailor our defense strategy to your specific circumstances.
At Russell & Hill, PLLC, we have decades of experience handling family abuse cases and protecting households across Everett and surrounding areas.
Our team of experienced domestic violence attorneys in Everett is here to provide the guidance you need. Get in touch with us by giving us a call, visiting our offices in Everett, or by filling out our online contact form today!