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What qualifies as domestic violence in Washington?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2023 | Domestic Violence |

In Washington state, many different crimes fall under the umbrella of domestic violence. Depending on the crime’s severity and whether the individual has committed more than one crime of similar nature, it can constitute a misdemeanor or a felony. The former is less severe than the latter, which can lead to significant problems.

Family members

The state of Washington can charge individuals with domestic violence if they commit crimes against a family member or household member.

What does family or household member mean?

Under Washington state law, for a person to qualify as a family member or household member, they must be:

  • Husband or wife
  • Former husband or wife
  • Parents of a child, even if they have not resided together
  • People related by blood or marriage
  • People who live together or lived together in the past
  • Minors 16 or older who are currently living with the individual accused of domestic violence, or who have lived with them in the past, or have had a romantic relationship with them
  • Minors 16 or older who are dating another minor 16 years of age or older
  • Minors 16 years of age or older and who had a relationship in the past with someone who was also 16 years old or older
  • Parent and child relationships

What does a dating relationship mean?

  • According to Washington law, a dating relationship exists when a relationship between two people is social and romantic.
  • How long the relationship has been going on, how often they have seen each other throughout the relationship. These are details that the court deems important.

Understanding the definition of a crime is critical. Washington law has its own laws about what constitutes a domestic violence crime. For this reason, ensure you understand the definitions and factors outlined by law.