If you have a strained relationship with a spouse, romantic partner or household member, you may experience frequent altercations with that person. Even if physical violence does not occur, he or she can potentially make a domestic violence accusation that could affect your future.
Take these steps to take to protect yourself after receiving notice about domestic violence charges against you.
Review the accusations
Read the police report carefully when accused of domestic violence. Washington recognizes five general categories of this offense:
- Physical violence, including assault, kidnapping, or imprisonment
- Emotional violence, including preventing domestic violence reporting, violating a protection order, reckless endangerment, threats, property damage, stalking and burglary
- Sexual violence and assualt
- Economic control
Even threats without actual contact can result in domestic violence charges.
Understand next steps
Some domestic violence situations involve mandatory arrest. This may apply if you violate a civil protection or no contact order. It also applies if law enforcement visits your house after a call and has primary cause to believe you were the aggressor of violence. You must remain in custody until you appear before the judge.
If your partner or family files charges, he or she cannot drop them later. The prosecutor in your county will decide whether to move forward with charges.
Many domestic violence convictions result in supervised probation. In this case, you must appear before the court monthly and comply with other terms of probation, such as drug testing or parenting classes. However, cases involving serious injury can result in felony convictions involving significant fines and jail time.