If you are charged with Assault 4 DV - Domestic Violence in unincorporated King County, your charges will be heard at the Kent RJC domestic violence court. It is important to know how this court works and what offers the prosecutors are empowered to make in an effort to successfully resolve your case without a conviction. If your case is resolved without a conviction, this means that the Assault 4 charge will be kept off of your record.
After your arraignment on Washington Assault 4, Malicious Mischief, Harassment, or other Washington domestic violence charge, your case will likely be set for a pretrial hearing. It is important that your obtain a Washington domestic violence attorney to represent you at your pretrial hearing. The court procedure at your pretrial hearing calls for your Washington Domestic Violence Assault Attorney to negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf. If a successful agreement is reached, your case may be resolved that day. If a successful agreement cannot be reached, your case may be set for motions, or even a jury trial.
In representing my clients on King County domestic violence charges, I am often able to negotiate an offer that ends up with the charges being dismissed if certain conditions are met. This offer is often referred to as a pretrial diversion, or a stay of proceedings. Basically this offer is a contract between the defendant and the state where the defendant agrees to maintain lawful behavior and agrees to do certain other requirements. These other requirements often include completing domestic violence classes, paying court costs, completing alcohol treatment (if alcohol was involved in the incident), checking in with a probation officer, and coming back to court when required. If the defendant lives up to his or her end of the contract, the state agrees that the prosecutor will move to dismiss the case at the end of the contract period. For the Kent Regional Justice Center domestic violence court, the term of the contract is usually 18 months.
While the pretrial diversion offer seems like a great opportunity at first, you should be sure to consult with a Washington Domestic Violence Attorney before entering a deal and giving up your rights. As part of the diversion deal, you have to agree to give up your right to a trial, and stipulate to the admissibility of the police report should you violate or fail to complete the agreement. This means that if the contract is violated, the judge will just read the police report and in almost all cases find you guilty of the underlying crime and then proceed to sentencing. Sentencing in that particular court is often harsh, including lengthy jail terms. So, while there is a lot to gain with such an agreement, there is also a lot to lose. Again, make sure to consult with an experienced domestic violence attorney when facing a domestic violence charge at the Kent RJC.
If you are charged with Assault 4 Domestic Violence, Lynnwood Domestic Violence Assault Attorney Lance Fryrear is here to help.