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Tacoma Domestic Violence Lawyer

Domestic violence offenses are crimes that involve the abuse of a spouse, family member, or other household member. A domestic violence conviction in Tacoma, Washington can significantly impact a defendant’s life, freedom, and reputation. If someone has filed domestic violence charges against you, contact Tacoma domestic violence attorney Mark S. Treyz today.

How Often Does Domestic Violence Occur?

Statistics show a high rate of domestic violence in the United States. Nearly 20 people suffer physical domestic abuse per minute, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. This equates to over 10 million victims per year. On an average day, people place more than 20,000 phone calls to domestic violence hotlines nationwide. Around 15% of all violent crime in the U.S. falls under the category of domestic violence. The true statistics for domestic violence are likely even higher. Only about 34% of injured domestic violence victims seek medical care.

Who is More Likely to Commit Domestic Violence?

Men are more likely than women to commit domestic violence. However, men can also be victims of violence by intimate partners. Women are more likely to become victims: one in four women experience severe intimate partner violence or stalking, while one in nine men can say the same. One in seven women have suffered injuries from an intimate partner, compared to one in twenty-five men.

What Needs to Happen For You to be Charged With Domestic Abuse?

For domestic violence charges to apply, the alleged perpetrator and victim must:

  • Share the same house
  • Be immediate family members
  • Be blood relatives
  • Married or divorced
  • Dating or engaged to be married
  • Engaged in a romantic relationship
  • Have a child together, including step-parents and step-grandparents

Crimes that might be charged as domestic violence include:

  • Assault
  • Harassment
  • Violation of an order of protection
  • Malicious mischief
  • Interfering with reporting of domestic violence
  • Property destruction
  • Intimidation with a weapon
  • Reckless endangerment

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. If you believe that you have been wrongly accused of any form of domestic violence, immediately seek legal counsel from a Tacoma domestic violence lawyer.

Does Domestic Violence Require Evidence?

Yes, it takes evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the act of domestic violence in question. It is the prosecutor’s burden of proof to demonstrate that the defendant is guilty of the alleged crime. Fulfilling this burden takes showing admissible evidence that establishes the defendant’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Evidence may include eyewitness statements, medical records or photographs documenting victims’ injuries, prior domestic violence allegations or phone calls to police, and testimony from experts.

Washington Domestic Violence Penalties

The majority of domestic abuse charges in Tacoma are gross misdemeanors. If you are prosecuted for this, you could serve up to 364 days in jail, pay a maximum fine of $5,000, and be on probation for up to 5 years. A conviction for 2nd degree domestic violence assault, is punishable by up to 10 years of jail time and a maximum fine of $20,000.

If you get convicted of a 4th degree domestic violence assault offense, you have to partake in a 1-year mandatory batterer’s treatment program. It is also very unlikely that you will ever be able to possess a firearm. Here are more civil consequences that can accompany your domestic violence assault charge:

  • Mandatory DNA sample for Federal database
  • Loss or denial of employment
  • Revocation of job-related licenses or certifications
  • Travel restrictions, denial of entry
  • Declined from college and higher education
  • Denial of housing or eviction

How to Get a Domestic Violence Charge Dismissed

As a defendant, getting domestic violence charges dismissed may take help from a Tacoma domestic violence lawyer. Hiring a lawyer can greatly improve your odds of a successful defense. Your attorney can help you take steps that can increase the likelihood of the courts dismissing the charges against you. These steps may include convincing the victim to drop the charges, remain silent, or agree to an alternative resolution. Other solutions can include proving that prosecutors arrested the wrong person or do not have enough evidence to validate the charge.

Hiring a Tacoma criminal defense lawyer is the number one step toward getting a domestic violence charge dismissed. An attorney can explore all available defense strategies for your particular case. He or she can also give you counsel on how to proceed. You may receive helpful advice such as not posting about your case on social media, or not speaking to police officers without your attorney present. Working with a lawyer can help you avoid common mistakes and make your defense as strong as possible.

How to Protect Your Rights After a Domestic Violence Arrest

Domestic violence is an issue that has become highly politicized. It is also one that has a 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. Because of the unusual nature of domestic violence charges relative to other criminal charges in Washington, you should carefully follow the guidance of an experienced domestic violence attorney who can advise you on the steps to take to avoid receiving additional charges, as well as, what you can do to assist in your own defense.

Contact a Tacoma Domestic Violence Lawyer

Mark Treyz is a criminal attorney in Tacoma with over 30 years of experience defending the accused of domestic violence and other criminal charges. As a former prosecutor and pro tem judge, he knows how the system works in regard to domestic violence allegations. Call the Law Office of  Mark S. Treyz at (253) 272-8666. The initial consultation is free.

We also serve those who have been arrested for domestic violence in Puyallup & Lakewood.


“I have had the privilege of having Mark represent me in a couple of life-changing issues. His dedication and knowledge made me feel like I was his only client. Mark is truly a credit to his profession! Thank you, Mark, for all of your expertise and dedication.” – J.S.