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Far too many relationships are abusive relationships filled with emotional abuse and family violence. In the state of Washington, it is the relationship between the parties that determines whether a crime is a crime of domestic violence. Domestic violence charges can create a tremendous upheaval in your life and your family’s lives. If you are charged with violating domestic violence laws in the Seattle area, call experienced Seattle domestic violence defense attorney Kevin Trombold at once.
WHAT’S CONSIDERED AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP?
People often wonder when does fighting and bickering with a husband or wife turn into something more serious? What constitutes an abusive relationship? Abuse is a pattern of behaviors designed to gain control over a domestic partner. Contrary to popular belief, it’s possible to have an abusive relationship without violence. These are known as verbally or mentally abusive relationships. What is a verbally abusive relationship? Verbal abusers treat their partners poorly, tell them what they are and are not allowed to do, and frequently belittle or undermine them.
Do you know what to do in an abusive relationship? It’s difficult for people in these abusive relationships to figure out how to stop these patterns. Bringing it to the abuser’s attention is the first step. But, if you can’t stop it, it’s important to know when to leave these relationships in order to protect yourself and begin to learn how to heal and overcome the situation.
WHEN IS IT CONSIDERED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
There are several relationships that clearly fall into the “family or household member.” It’s pretty clear that currently married couples are family members, and so can be the source of domestic violence. Same with a parent and his or her child. What about couples that have divorced, though? Can domestic violence occur with siblings? A stepfather and his stepchild? Two people who are dating? Roommates? Relatives in-law? Do these relationships fall in the “family or household member” category and therefore make it possible for domestic violence to happen in Washington?
The answer to all of these is “yes.”
WHAT IS FAMILY VIOLENCE AND ABUSE?
People often refer to domestic violence as family violence, or intimate partner violence, since the parties involved are usually related by blood or marriage. What does family violence mean? Washington’s domestic violence statutes cast a wide net, catching many different relationships between people. Both current and former spouses fall in this net, as well as adults who were never even married, but who have had a child together. This net gets much, much wider when it grows to include adults not only related by blood, like siblings, but also by marriage, which includes not only spouses, but also adult in-laws, like brothers and sisters in-law.
People in a “dating relationship” can also open the possibility of domestic violence charges. The category of “family or household member” also includes not only unmarried people, regardless of gender, who live together, but also unmarried people, regardless of gender, who used to live together, too. Even some crimes convicted against your college roommate can be considered domestic violence.
WHAT CAUSES FAMILY VIOLENCE?
Law enforcement are often left wondering what causes family violence? Why does this happen? A simple argument between two people can quickly turn into an instance of family violence with bodily injury. Why does this occur? Alcohol sometimes plays a factor in these disagreements, but many times, it is simply a fight that gets out of hand.
WHAT CONSTITUTES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND DOMESTIC ABUSE?
There is often confusion over the difference between domestic violence vs. assault. Domestic violence crimes in Washington are really just other crimes, committed against certain people. Assault is one of the most common crimes to also be considered domestic violence which causes bodily harm, but it’s not the only one. In some cases, domestic violence will occur with bodily injury, while in others, it will occur without injury. Some people commit domestic violence with a deadly weapon. Another common crime to carry the domestic violence label is harassment. Harassment happens if you unlawfully threaten to hurt someone, break or damage their stuff, or confine them in some way, and then to make it seem as if you’re going to follow through on your threats. Violating a no contact order or a protection order comes as a domestic violence offense more often than not.
As you can see, the list of crimes that can be considered domestic violence is long. The Washington courts, however, have made this long list even longer, by focusing on the non-exclusivity of the statute, and this has come to include acts that you would not necessarily expect, such as the exposure of others to sexually transmitted diseases. This makes defending against criminal domestic violence charges in Washington state that much more complex.
KNOWLEDGEABLE LAWYER EXPLAINS SPOUSAL ABUSE VS. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
People often use spousal abuse and domestic violence interchangeably, but what is spousal abuse? Is there a difference between spousal abuse and domestic violence? Generally, spousal abuse cases involve two people who are married, whereas domestic violence can involve a much broader range of people. Abuse can refer to any type of conduct, not just physical. Spousal abuse and divorce are often closely related. Many victims file for divorce after realizing they are in an abusive relationship, and many others are abused by their spouses during the divorce process.
There are no specific spousal abuse laws in Washington, as these crimes are covered under the domestic violence laws.
WHO DOES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AFFECT?
Where does domestic violence happen? In short, it can happen anywhere. It is hard to say which country has the highest domestic violence rate because there are some countries where domestic abuse is legal, including Algeria, Armenia, and Haiti. But in the U.S., where is domestic violence most prevalent? The statistics change on a yearly basis, but in the years past, New Mexico, Maine, and Vermont are some of the states with the highest rates of domestic violence.
What about other factors? Which race has more domestic violence? What about male vs. female? Historically, African American women are the group most often victimized by domestic violence. This crime is often thought of as a gender issue, but the truth is, both men and women can be victims or can be accused of committing domestic violence and family violence.
ATTORNEYS IN KING COUNTY EXPLAIN MANDATORY ARREST
Domestic violence situations almost invariably arise in the same way: The domestic violence accuser or a bystander calls 911 after a disturbance, and the police arrive. If the officer determines that there’s probable cause to believe that there was a domestic violence crime committed, you’ll be arrested and taken to jail.
There is no such thing as domestic violence without arrest, even if the crime occurred without injury or the victim decides to move forward without pressing charges. It’s important to remember that cops are required to make an arrest when they respond to a domestic violence call and have probable cause to think that there’s been a domestic violence crime. Because of this mandatory arrest law, police are often quicker to make the decision to handcuff you and take you away than they would be in other situations. That being said, they cannot arrest you for domestic violence without evidence.
But, how the police investigate domestic violence calls is set up to lead to an arrest. When they respond to the call, law enforcement officers will separate you and the person accusing you of domestic violence and interview you each individually. This often results in a “he said, she said” situation, where both of your stories conflict with each other’s. However, as long as police hear one of you – or a witness – say that domestic violence happened, then they have probable cause to believe that there was a domestic violence crime. It’s a very low standard for you to be arrested.
WHEN CAN A RESTRAINING ORDER BE ISSUED?
Many domestic violence cases involve a restraining order. Who files a restraining order? While claims of domestic violence are pending, the person bringing the claim has the right to obtain a Domestic Violence Order for Protection. In fact, victims who have been injured often immediately ask their attorneys, “Do I need to get a restraining order and if so, how do I file a restraining order?” The victim’s attorney will show them where to file and how to file for this protection. Once a claim is filed, a judge is who approves and who issues the restraining order. What’s a restraining order do? This is a civil order from the court telling one person to refrain from threatening or contacting another. Why get a restraining order? Victims often seek these protective orders to force the accused person to leave their shared residence. In addition, this Order can grant one parent temporary custody of minor children. In many cases, the accused party does not have a place to go and is unable to see his family, which is how domestic violence leads to homelessness and how it causes depression.
When does a restraining order expire? How long a restraining order lasts will depend on the type. A temporary order will last for 14 days or until a hearing has taken place, however a final order can either last up to one year or be permanent.
WHAT IS A RESTRAINING ORDER VIOLATION?
Those who are accused of domestic violence often wonder what happens when a restraining order is violated. Some restraining orders are issued with power of arrest, which means the person who was issued the order may be arrested if he is found in violation of it. Violators may face contempt of court charges, or other penalties such as fines and jail sentences.
However, you must be notified of the restraining order. If a restraining order is issued without notice, and you violate the terms, a domestic violence lawyer may be able to help you fight the penalties.
WHY FIGHT A RESTRAINING ORDER?
To put it simply, it’s important to understand how a restraining order can affect you so you realize how imperative it is to fight it. These orders can greatly impact your living situation and current child custody agreement. Don’t ever deal with a restraining order without an attorney. Many orders are issued without reason in cases without violence. You may not know how to fight these orders, but a skilled lawyer certainly will.
LET AN ATTORNEY FIGHT THE CHARGE – AND THE CONSEQUENCES
A domestic violence charge – fairly or not – tells others about your character. A spouse abuse conviction can result in fines and a jail sentence, but the worst consequence may be the loss of respect from friends, family members, neighbors, and colleagues. A domestic violence charge can negatively impact your employment opportunities, and other important aspects of your life such as child custody.
AVOID PENALTIES OF A FAMILY VIOLENCE CHARGE WITH THE HELP OF EXPERIENCED LAWYERS IN SEATTLE
But, the penalties don’t end there. In Washington, if you get convicted for a crime that has an element of domestic violence, there are No Contact Orders and restrictions on both your ability to travel, and to own a gun. You will also be required to attend and complete a certified domestic violence abuser treatment program, also known as the Domestic Violence Perpetrator Treatment Program. This program will teach offenders how domestic violence can be prevented. One of the ways in which domestic violence can be prevented is by learning anger management techniques and using them to calm down instead of becoming abusive or violent.
In Seattle, defendants convicted of domestic violence offenses are eligible to receive supervised probation for two years. Among the duties of the probation counselors during this two-year period is their obligation to monitor the completion of court-ordered treatment programs and counseling by the convicted abuser.
If you’re charged with spousal abuse or with any crime of domestic violence in the Seattle area, you must have high-quality legal help at once. Call the Law Offices of Kevin Trombold immediately. Experienced Seattle domestic violence defense attorney Kevin Trombold has more than twenty years of experience representing clients on various domestic violence charges in the greater Seattle area.
SEATTLE LAW FIRM DISCUSSES THE FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND SERVICES ACT
Which act protects against domestic violence? The federal government understands how domestic violence affects families and how it changes you, which is why they passed The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act. The Family Violence Act gives federal funding to victims of family violence in the U.S. Funding is used to provide these victims who are dealing with family violence with shelter and other help they need in order to work through their issues with family violence.
ONE OF THE TOP LAW FIRMS IN SEATTLE, WA WITH A REPUTATION FOR EXCELLENCE
A domestic violence charge will affect you for years if you do not act quickly to seek representation from a qualified attorney. Attorneys are especially important in criminal trials involving domestic violence because the stakes are high. The rules of evidence and procedure can be difficult to understand and apply. Prosecutors are generally tireless in seeking the maximum sentence available. You need someone who knows how to navigate the legal process. It is best you contact an attorney today.
Seattle criminal defense attorney Kevin Trombold will immediately get to work to begin investigating the specifics of your case. Mr. Trombold has decades of experience working in criminal law, and has become known as one of the most skilled attorneys in the Seattle area. Some of his criminal practice areas include DUI, domestic violence (DV), drug offenses, sex crimes, theft, and other felony criminal charges. If you have been charged with any domestic violence crime in or around Tacoma, Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, or Pierce County, please contact the Law Offices of Kevin Trombold right away by calling 206-249-9656 or writing an email through the form on this site. When you take the time to phone or message our office, you can set up a free consultation to speak with one of our skilled criminal defense attorneys about your case and how our legal resources can help fight the charges you are facing.
When I was recently referred to Kevin Trombold by my Divorce Attorney I knew he must be the best. My son and I walked into Kevins office, and on the wall was a plaque that had Kevin's name as one of the Top 100 Attorneys. We knew we were in good hands. I had some serious questions and needed advice and guidance for my son. Kevin took the time with us explaining all ramifications and how to handle them. The information he gave us was very beneficial. I felt that Kevin was very knowledgable. Our matter was handled immediately. I would Highly recommend Kevin Trombold Attorney. Thank you Kevin!