In Washington State a misdemeanor of Abandonment of a dependent person 3rd degree offense can have a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor you could be facing jail time and trouble securing employment in the future. If you have been charged with Abandonment of a dependent person in the 1st degree or 2nd degree you are facing felony charges.
Often times Abandonment of a dependent person 3rd degree charges are prosecuted in city courts with differing procedures and penalties. Although a Abandonment of a dependent person 3rd degree charge may sound relatively harmless, it can have a long-lasting impact on your ability to obtain housing and find employment. If convicted many employers will simply pass over your application for years to come. With a criminal record most employers will not ask for an explanation, but simply reject your application. Additionally, government employment and military service may be impossible.
For many people charged with Abandonment of a dependent person 3rd degree this is the first time they have been on the wrong side of the law. Additionally, many of these charges are domestic disputes or simply a misunderstanding.
Below I have listed the Washington State Law for Abandonment of a dependent person 3rd degree:
RCW 9A.42.080 - Abandonment of dependent person in the third degree
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a person is guilty of the crime of abandonment of a dependent person in the third degree if:
(a) The person is the parent of a child, a person entrusted with the physical custody of a child or other dependent person, a person who has assumed the responsibility to provide to a dependent person the basic necessities of life, or a person employed to provide to the child or dependent person any of the basic necessities of life; and
(b) The person recklessly abandons the child or other dependent person; and:
(i) As a result of being abandoned, the child or other dependent person suffers bodily harm; or
(ii) Abandoning the child or other dependent person creates an imminent and substantial risk that the child or other person will suffer substantial bodily harm.
(2) A parent of a newborn who transfers the newborn to a qualified person at an appropriate location pursuant to RCW 13.34.360 is not subject to criminal liability under this section.
(3) Abandonment of a dependent person in the third degree is a gross misdemeanor.