In Washington State a misdemeanor Criminal Mistreatment 4th degree offense can have a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 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 Criminal Mistreatment in the 1st degree or 2nd degree you are facing felony charges.
Often times Criminal Mistreatment 4th degree charges are prosecuted in city courts with differing procedures and penalties. Although a Criminal Mistreatment 4th 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 Criminal Mistreatment 4th 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 Criminal Mistreatment 4th degree:
Criminal mistreatment in the fourth degree
(1) A person is guilty of the crime of criminal mistreatment in the fourth degree if the person is the parent of a child, is a person entrusted with the physical custody of a child or other dependent person, is a person who has assumed the responsibility to provide to a dependent person the basic necessities of life, or is a person employed to provide to the child or dependent person the basic necessities of life, and either:
(a) With criminal negligence, creates an imminent and substantial risk of bodily injury to a child or dependent person by withholding any of the basic necessities of life; or
(b) With criminal negligence, causes bodily injury or extreme emotional distress manifested by more than transient physical symptoms to a child or dependent person by withholding the basic necessities of life.
(2) For purposes of this section, "a person who has assumed the responsibility to provide to a dependent person the basic necessities of life" means a person other than: (a) A government agency that regularly provides assistance or services to dependent persons, including but not limited to the department of social and health services; or (b) a good samaritan as defined in RCW 9A.42.010.
(3) Criminal mistreatment in the fourth degree is a misdemeanor.