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Washington Fourth Degree Assault Attorneys

Experienced WA State Criminal Defense Lawyers

Experienced Washington assault lawyers.

If you were recently arrested or are currently facing a charge of Washington Assault in the Fourth Degree, you need to know that it is typical for your arraignment Judge to issue a no-contact order or an anti-harassment order at your first court appearance.  If you want to try and contest no-contact order, it is important for you to have an experienced Washington assault attorney by your side at your arraignment.

Unfortunately, given the current political climate regarding assault cases, and especially cases involving an allegation of domestic violence, it can be difficult to convince a judge that a no-contact is inappropriate or unwarranted.  We have had some success on this front.  But it really depends on a number of variables, including what is alleged to have happened, in what court your case is pending, and which prosecutor and judge are handling your first court appearance.

If a no-contact order is entered, you must strictly abide by it.  Any alleged violation will significantly complicate your current charge and will likely result in a second criminal charge being filed. 

This means that you cannot have any further contact with the alleged victim – this includes physical contact, any form of communication, and often refraining from being in close proximity to the alleged victim.

An additional warning – If there is a no contact order instructing you not to have any contact with an individual and then the individual contacts you, you can still get into trouble for the violation. You are ultimately responsible for preventing contact.

For example: Boyfriend has been ordered to have no contact with ex-girlfriend.  The ex-girlfriend then initiates contact with the boyfriend asking to get back together.  The boyfriend can be charged with violating the no contact order despite the fact that the girlfriend initiated contact, wanted the contact, and future charges would be against the wishes of the ex-girlfriend.

An assault in the 4th Degree charge typically arises from three scenarios.

1. If you intended to inflict bodily harm upon another and you had the apparent present ability to do so.

2. If you intended to create reasonable apprehension & fear of bodily harm. The distinction between (2) and (1) is here you intend to create apprehension & fear. It does not matter that you did not actually intend to inflict harm or did not have the ability to actually cause the harm. There must, however, be some type of physical act coupled with the threat to create the reasonable apprehension.

3. If you intentionally touch another person in a way that is not legally consented to nor privileged and is either harmful or offensive, regardless of whether physical harm results.

RCW 9A.36.041
Assault in the fourth degree

(1) A person is guilty of assault in the fourth degree if, under circumstances not amounting to assault in the first, second, or third degree, or custodial assault, he or she assaults another.

(2) Assault in the fourth degree is a gross misdemeanor.
A gross misdemeanor is a crime punishable by up to 365 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.