Experienced Assault and Battery Lawyer in the Seattle Community

Assault and battery are considered serious crimes in the state of Washington, and a conviction can have harsh, long-term ramifications including the possibility of serving time in jail. If you face assault and battery charges, an experienced assault and battery lawyer can fight the charge on your behalf, which is your best hope for successfully protecting your freedom and your future. If you face assault charges in the Seattle area, immediately seek representation from experienced Seattle assault and battery attorney Kevin Trombold.


Seattle attorney Kevin Trombold has more than twenty years of experience representing clients accused of aggravated assault, misdemeanor assault, and similar crimes. Clients often ask, “What constitutes assault?” or “What does assault and battery mean?” State law defines the word “assault” to mean not only physical attack but also threats to harm or injure another. You can be prosecuted for “assaulting” someone you haven’t physically touched. Charges for assault must also be reviewed to determine if the defendant was acting in self-defense or in the defense of his or her home or loved ones.

Seattle Assault and Battery Attorney


It’s imperative to fight an assault charge because if you are convicted, you’ll face not only criminal penalties but probably a civil claim as well from a victim seeking civil damages. What is civil assault? If you injured the victim when you committed the crime, the victim may pursue a civil case against you and may be entitled to civil compensation. Examples of civil assault include sending someone to the hospital because of the injuries you caused, or inflicting a great deal of emotional or mental pain on the victim.

Civil assault lawyers will help victims learn how to file charges, but it’s important to note the legal procedure for this case will be completely separate from your criminal charges. What’s the difference between a civil assault vs. a criminal assault? A criminal case is used to determine guilt, whereas a civil case is brought against the defendant when the victim wants compensation. There is no verdict declaring you innocent or guilty in a civil case.


Each state has its own laws that define assault and battery charges, which leads many people to ask “Are assault and battery the same crime?” In many states, assault is the threat of physical harm, while battery is the infliction of physical harm on a victim. Therefore, there could be assault without battery when only a threat exists.

What is assault vs. battery in Washington? In this state, assault charges can cover both the threat of force and the use of force, so you can not be charged with battery.


The state of Washington recognizes four degrees of this crime, and the assault with battery sentence will vary depending on the degree of the charges. Assault in the first degree is a class A felony and considered a serious violent offense. To be charged with a felony for assault in the first degree, you must have:

  • Committed battery and assault with a deadly weapon, firearm or by any means to produce great bodily harm
  • Inflicted great bodily harm
  • Exposed or transmitted someone to poison, HIV virus or another destructive substance

Assault in the second degree is considered to be a class B felony and is a violent offense. You may be charged with assault in the second degree if you:

  • Strangle or suffocate someone
  • Committed assault and battery with intent to inflict substantial bodily harm
  • Intentionally inflict substantial bodily harm to an unborn child by inflicting injury on the mother of the child
  • Strike someone with a deadly weapon
  • Strike someone with the intent to commit a felony
  • Inflict bodily harm which can be considered equivalent to torture

Assault in the third degree is considered to be a class C nonviolent felony. You may be charged with assault in the third degree if you cause bodily harm because of your criminal negligence.


There are separate laws regarding assault of a child, which is a felony in Washington. The penalty for assault on a minor will vary depending on the circumstances of the crime.

If you commit assault on an officer, you will face third degree charges unless the circumstances of your crime warrant first or second degree charges.


Assault in the fourth degree is a misdemeanor. What is the difference between misdemeanor and felony assault? This crime is committed when the accused intentionally touches someone else in a harmful or offensive manner, such as hitting, spitting on or scratching someone. There is not a great deal of bodily injury involved in misdemeanor assault cases, and the crime is not committed with a weapon. Assault on a child is usually not charged as a misdemeanor, but in all other cases, intentionally touching someone in an offensive way is a misdemeanor. For example if you spit on a female or on a family member, this would be considered misdemeanor assault.

If you have been are facing charges for assault and battery, contact the experienced Seattle criminal defense attorney Kevin Trombold so he can begin defending your rights and fighting for the best possible outcome.


The penalties will vary depending on whether the assault is a felony or misdemeanor. For example, the penalty for assault causing bodily harm or felony assault with bodily injury will be more severe than misdemeanor assault. The felony assault with a deadly weapon sentence can be up to ten years behind bars for first time offenders and up to a life sentence if you have two other “strike” convictions on your record. If you are convicted of assault in the second degree, you may face up to 9 months in jail if this is your first offense, or a longer sentence if you have other convictions on your record. Your sentence may be extended if you had a deadly weapon at the time of the crime. Assault in the third degree is punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. However, if this is your first offense, your sentence may be significantly reduced to as little as three months in jail. What does felony assault mean for your future? It may be difficult to find a job or housing with a felony conviction on your record. Friends and family members may turn their backs on you as well. A felony conviction can greatly impact your life—so you will need the help of an experienced assault and battery lawyer in Seattle.

If you are charged with misdemeanor assault, you may face be penalized with up to one year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. Probation may be available to first time offenders.


The prosecutor has points to prove in order to get a conviction. He cannot bring assault charges against you without proof or without evidence. Every assault case must be investigated to determine if the accused person legitimately acted in self-defense or in the defense of his or her family, home, or property. If you have used reasonable force to defend yourself, your family or your property, you cannot be charged with assault.

It’s also possible that you were misidentified or that there was no assault at all and the purported “victim” fabricated the story to the police. This is common in cases of assault and battery with no witness besides the victim. However, if you are found guilty of criminal assault, the victim may also pursue civil damages against you. Because an assault charge can result in both criminal and civil liability, if you face the charge, your first call must be to an experienced criminal defense attorney.


Washington is one of many states that has adopted the three strikes law. This law inflicts much harsher penalties on individuals who have been convicted of three felony crimes. Typically, the sentence for the third conviction is life in prison. Assault in the first and second degrees are considered strikes on your record, putting you closer to the “three strikes” that the law refers to. For example, if you are convicted of assault in the first degree and have two prior “strikes” against you already, you may receive up to a life sentence in prison.

This law was designed to keep repeat offenders in prison for as long as possible. If you or a loved one has been charged, you are going to need an experienced Seattle assault lawyer on your side to fight the charges against you. Don’t hesitate to contact Kevin Trombold and his legal staff as soon as you are charged with this crime. Remember, assault carries serious consequences and should not be taken lightly by the accused.


If you are facing an assault charge, don’t hesitate to contact a criminal defense attorney right away. Seattle criminal defense attorney Kevin Trombold and his team will quickly begin to investigate assault and battery cases. At Kevin Trombold’s law firm, his team of lawyers is knowledgeable about the laws for battery and assault, and is ready to defend your rights in court. Kevin Trombold has over 20 years of experience, and over that time has built an excellent reputation among judges, peers, and prosecutors in the Seattle area. Some of the practice areas at The Law Offices of Kevin Trombold include assault and battery, theft, fraud, DUI, domestic violence, sex offenses, drug charges, and juvenile crimes.

If you or a loved one is charged with assault and battery in the Seattle area, please contact us today by phone at 206-249-9656 or email us by filling out the form on this site. Our attorneys help each client learn how assault charges work and offer legal advice during an initial free consultation. Our office location is 720 3rd Avenue Suite #2015 in Seattle, WA.