If you have been charged with assault in Washington State, it is essential to contact a Washington State Assault Attorney. If found guilty, you could be facing serious consequences regardless of the degree of assault that you have been charged with. There are four degrees of assault charges in Washington State:
1st Degree Assault: Class A Felony. This charge is generally associated with a firearm or deadly weapon. 1st degree assault generally indicates that police believe that the defendant was attempting to murder the victim. 1st degree assault is punishable by up to life in prison and a fine of $50,000.
2nd Degree Assault: Class B Felony, unless sexual motivation (rape) was the reason for the assault. A person charged with Assault in the 2nd degree is typically alleged to have intentionally assaulted another and thereby recklessly inflicted substantial bodily harm, assaulted another with a deadly weapon, with intent to commit a felony, or assaulted another by strangulation or suffocation. 2nd degree assault is punishable by up to ten years incarceration and a fine of $20,000.
3rd Degree Assault: Class C Felony. Assault in the 3rd degree is generally the result of an altercation with a police officer, bus driver, nurse, firefighter or court employee. 3rd degree assault is punishable by five years incarceration and a fine of $10,000.
4th Degree Assault: Gross Misdemeanor. Assault in the 4th degree is a “catch all” offense. All assaults that are not serious enough to be classified as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree assault are charged as an assault in the 4th degree. 4th degree assault is punishable by 364 days incarceration and a fine of $5,000. If you have been charged with Assault in the 4th Degree in a situation of Domestic Violence the please see our Domestic Violence Webpage.
Remember, a charge is NOT a conviction. Often police do not have all the information. Police often decide that the first person to call 911 is the “victim.” Police respond to the scene of an alleged assault, talk to the alleged victim and interview witnesses. Based on their investigation they decide who to charge with assault.
If you are charged with assault in any degree you are facing serious charges and serious penalties including: prison, fines, and anger management classes. The government's prosecution machine will only get the alleged victims side of the story and will not attempt to ask you what happened. The prosecution will ultimately decide what degree of assault to charge you with. This decision will be based on a version of events given to them by the police and alleged victim.
However, there are many defenses to the charge of assault, including: self-defense, defense of others, defense of property, and consent. It is essential to have an experienced assault attorney who takes an interest in your side of the story. Your story is important to us. It can be very difficult for a prosecutor to prove you are guilty of assault based simply on the story of the alleged victim. Remember, a charge of assault is NOT a conviction.
Remember, if you have been charged with Assault in the 4th Degree in a situation of Domestic Violence then please see our Domestic Violence Webpage.