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Domestic Violence in Washington

Under Washington laws Domestic Violence is defined by RCW 10.99.020. The laws of Washington describe domestic violence as a crime committed by one family or household member against another family or household member. Domestic violence can also occur between individuals that are involved in a dating relationship.

In addition to spouses, people that have children together or are related by blood or marriage, family or household members can include adults currently or formerly living together. In parent-child relationships natural parents, step-parents, step-children, grandparents, grandchildren are included within the definition.

When looking at a dating relationship the primary consideration is whether a social and romantic relationship exist between the victim and the defendant.

Crimes associated with domestic violence include Assault, Harassment, the Interfering with the Reporting of a Domestic Violence crime, Malcious Mischief (causing physical damge to the property of another), and Violation of a No Contact Order. Domestic Violence crimes can be felony or misdemeanor offenses, typically determined by the extent of injury to persons or property of the victim.

If convicted of a Domestic Violence crime a person can incur several significant consequences. Most people are aware of the possible loss of freedom associated with jail time as well as probation and fines. However, Domestic Violence convictions will also result in loss of firearm privileges, potentially permanent loss of such rights, court ordered treatment participation with a certified Domestic Violence treatment provider at a significant personal expense. Additionally, one will be subject to a No Contact Order issued by the court regardless if the other party opposes such order. Such orders can extend to two years impacting families both financially and emotionally.

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