Domestic violence is not a specific crime in Tacoma, Washington, but it can encompass a number of crimes alleged to have been committed against people with whom a domestic relationship exists. On average close to 20 people are physically abused by a partner in the United States every minute. Both men and woman can be victims, and it is often a learned behavior that develops in a relationship over time. If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, you need a skilled Tacoma domestic violence lawyer in your corner.
For domestic violence charges to apply, the alleged perpetrator and victim must:
Crimes that might be charged as domestic violence include, among others:
The Department of Justice defines domestic violence as a pattern of behavior that is abusive in a relationship and that is used to control your partner. Domestic violence is not limited to physical abuse and sexual abuse, but can also include emotional, economic, and psychological abuse.
No Police Discretion in Making a Domestic Violence Arrest
Domestic violence cases are unusual when compared to other criminal cases in Washington courts because if police are called—even if a 911 call was hung up—and there is even the slightest cause to believe that some kind of unwanted contact occurred, they are required to make an arrest.
Furthermore, restrictions that amount to penalties are often imposed against the accused, prior to conviction, regardless of the doctrine of innocent until proven guilty. Immediate consequences of simply being accused may include:
Even if the complainant refuses to cooperate with police or to file charges, prosecutors can proceed without the alleged victim’s cooperation. A second charge can be added if the person who commits domestic violence tries to prevent or interfere with the victim making a report against them.
Protect Your Rights
Domestic violence is an issue that has become highly politicized. It is also one that has high potential for false allegations. Anyone accused of a crime that has been labeled as “domestic violence” will need the assistance of an experienced domestic violence defense attorney in Tacoma or elsewhere. The repercussions of being charged or convicted can last for years. Depending on the severity of the accusation the penalty could range from 90 days to 365 days in jail and up to $5000. in fines. In some cases the charge can result in a Class A, B, or C felony. Class A felonies can result in life in prison and up to a $50,000 fine.
Because of the unusual nature of domestic violence charges relative to other criminal charges in Washington, you should carefully follow the guidance of your experienced domestic violence attorney who can advise you on the steps to take to avoid additional charges being filed, as well as what you can do to assist in your own defense.
Mark Treyz is a criminal attorney in Tacoma, WA with over 30 years of experience defending the accused against domestic violence and other criminal charges. As a former prosecutor and pro tem judge, he knows how the system works especially as it applies to domestic violence allegations. He is well aware of the potential for false accusations and unwarranted prosecutions in very minor and clearly isolated cases.
Tacoma Domestic Violence Lawyer | A Commitment to Justice
Mark takes his commitment to the defense of the constitutional rights of the accused seriously. He believes that every defendant is innocent until proven guilty, and he is aggressive and complete in his investigation of every case he accepts.
When you are accused of domestic violence, your life is turned upside down, your reputation can suffer, and you may lose rights without even being convicted. The sooner you consult with Tacoma domestic violence attorney Mark S. Treyz, the better position he will be in to prevent pre-trial restrictions, and the greater opportunity he’ll have to investigate the circumstances that led to the accusation, the procedures that the police followed, and other important factors he can use to build a rigorous defense. An early appearance by your lawyer can make an enormous difference in the outcome of your case.
Don’t despair. Although the process may seem unfair and even hopeless at times, that is not the case. Defenses are available and options exist. Mark will not hesitate to do everything within his power to get you through your difficult time.
Call the law offices of Tacoma domestic violence attorney Mark Treyz immediately if you’ve been arrested or are about to be arrested. The initial consultation is free, and easy, flexible payment schedules are available.