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Washington First Degree Assault Attorneys
Assault in the first degree
(1) A person is guilty of assault in the first degree if he or she, with intent to inflict great bodily harm:
(a) Assaults another with a firearm or any deadly weapon or by any force or means likely to produce great bodily harm or death; or
(b) Administers, exposes, or transmits to or causes to be taken by another, poison, the human immunodeficiency virus as defined in chapter 70.24 RCW, or any other destructive or noxious substance; or
(c) Assaults another and inflicts great bodily harm.
(2) Assault in the first degree is a class A felony.
If you are being charged with Assault 1° - The Prosecution must prove you (1) intended to inflict great bodily harm and (2) assaulted the alleged victim with a deadly weapon or with means likely to produce great bodily harm or death.
Under a literal interpretation of RCW 9A.36.011, a person is guilty of Washington assault in the first degree if he or she, with the intent to inflict great bodily harm, assaults another with a firearm, administers poison to another, or assaults another person and causes great bodily harm. The mens rea or mental element for this crime is the "intent to inflict great bodily harm".
A person acts with intent when he acts with the objective or purpose to accomplish a result constituting a crime. RCW 9A.08.010-(1)(a).
"Evidence of intent . . . is to be gathered from all of the circumstances of the case, including not only the manner and act of inflicting the wound, but also the nature of the prior relationship and any previous threats." State v. Woo Won Choi, 55 Wn. App. 895, 906, 781 P.2d 505 (1989), review denied, 114 Wn.2d 1002 (1990). See also State v. Shelton, 71 Wn.2d 838, 431 P.2d 201 (1967).
The term "great bodily harm" is defined as "bodily injury which creates a probability of death, or which causes significant serious permanent disfigurement, or which causes a significant permanent loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part or organ". RCW 9A.04.110(4)(c).
Assault in the first degree requires a specific intent; but it does not, under all circumstances, require that the specific intent match a specific victim.
Assault in the first degree requires a specific intent; but it does not, under all circumstances, require that the specific intent match a specific victim. Consequently, once the intent to inflict great bodily harm is established, usually by proving that the defendant intended to inflict great bodily harm on a specific person, the mens rea is transferred under RCW 9A.36.011 to any unintended victim.
If there was no intent but instead simply criminal negligence, then the crime would fall under Assault 3° subsection (d).
First Degree Washington Assault Examples:
Example: You intentionally expose someone to HIV.
"Great bodily harm" means bodily injury which creates a probability of death, or which causes significant serious permanent disfigurement, or which causes a significant permanent loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part or organ;
Example: Intentionally stab someone with a knife.
"Deadly weapon" means any explosive or loaded or unloaded firearm, and shall include any other weapon, device, instrument, article, or substance, including a "vehicle" as defined in this section, which, under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used, or threatened to be used, is readily capable of causing death or substantial bodily harm;