In Washington State, there is no criminal offense of Domestic Violence. Rather, Domestic Violence is a tag that is put on other criminal offenses showing that there is a household or home relationship in between the celebrations included. Many jurisdictions will enforce a No Contact Order that forbids the accused in a Domestic Violence (” DV”) case from having contact with the supposed victim of the criminal activity. The order will frequently forbid contact with the victim’s kids, house and workplace too.

Household or Home Relationship

Inning accordance with RCW 10.99.020( 3), household or family members is specified as:

[S] spouses, previous partners, individuals who have a child in typical despite whether they have actually been wed or have actually cohabited at any time, adult individuals related by blood or marital relationship, adult individuals who are currently living together or who have actually lived together in the past, individuals sixteen years of age or older who are currently living together or who have actually lived together in the past and who have actually or have actually had a dating relationship, individuals sixteen years of age or older with whom an individual sixteen years of age or older has actually or has actually had a dating relationship, and individuals who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship, consisting of stepparents and stepchildren and grandparents and grandchildren.

As you can see, this meaning is incredibly broad. It is much more inclusive than exactly what the majority of people would anticipate it to be. The exact same holds true for the kinds of criminal offenses that are identified “Domestic Violence.” The majority of people just think about Assault when it concerns domestic violence, nevertheless, there are lots of other criminal activities that can bring the DV tag.

Obligatory Arrest

Inning accordance with RCW 10.31.100( 2)( c), an officer should make an arrest if The individual is sixteen years or older and within the preceding 4 hours has actually attacked a household or home member as specified in RCW 10.99.020 and the officer thinks:

( i) A felonious attack has actually taken place;

( ii) an attack has actually taken place which has actually led to physical injury to the victim, whether the injury is observable by the reacting officer or not; or.

( iii) that any physical action has actually happened which was planned to trigger another individual fairly to fear impending major physical injury or death. Physical injury indicates physical discomfort, disease, or a disability of physical condition. When the officer has likely cause to think that household or home members have actually attacked each other, the officer is not needed to jail both individuals. The officer will detain the individual whom the officer thinks to be the main physical assailant. In making this decision, the officer will make every sensible effort to think about:

( i) The intent to secure victims of domestic violence under RCW 10.99.010;

( ii) the relative level of injuries caused or severe risks developing worry of physical injury; and.

( iii) the history of domestic violence in between the individuals included.

If you get jailed for a criminal activity including domestic violence, a No Contact Order will knock into place practically right away.

No Contact Orders

There are 2 kinds of No Contact Orders in Washington State: Pre-Trial and Post Conviction. Both kinds of orders avoid the accused from having contact with the supposed victim. Neither type avoids the victim from attempting to have contact with the offender, given that just the accused goes to prison if the order is broken. Simply puts, the No Contact Orders restrict just the accused’s habits.


Pre-Trial Orders are released versus the offender (often called a Respondent) before she or he is found guilty of having actually done anything incorrectly. These orders can prevent contact in between the Respondent and the supposed victim of the criminal offense, the victim’s kids (even if they are the Respondent’s kids too), the victim’s workplace and the victim’s house (even if it’s the Respondent’s house too).

To puts it simply, these orders can require you far from your house and your kids before you have actually even been found guilty of a criminal activity. This holds true even if the victim states that absolutely nothing occurred or that whatever did happen was blown all out of percentage.

Pre-trial orders remain in place up until there is a resolution to the criminal case or up until a Judge raises it.


A No Contact Order released after conviction can bring the exact same kinds of constraints that a Pre-Trial order does. Post-Conviction Orders are normally great for a year, nevertheless, a Judge can extend that if she or he feels that the truths require it.

Civil Standby

Because a No Contact Order can prevent you from going to your very own house, the Courts will normally enable you one journey the home of getting clothing and a couple of personal products. You should be accompanied by a Law Enforcement Officer. This procedure is called a “Civil Standby.” You should get in touch with the police and schedule a time for the Civil Standby. Know, nevertheless, that this is a low concern action for many police, so the civil standby will just be done when they have the time to spare.

Breaching a No Contact Order

A willful infraction of a No Contact Order is a gross misdemeanor; which suggests that you can get up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine. Given that breaking a Domestic Violence No Contact Order is itself identified a criminal activity of domestic violence, your rights to own or have guns will be surrendered upon conviction – even if no weapon was used, had, discussed or in any other way used or considered. This holds true even where the underlying criminal case, which triggered the No Contact Order to be provided, is dismissed.

Remaining in a public place, even the courthouse, is not a defense to breaking the order. This implies that if an order is released versus you and you see the safeguarded individual at a supermarket then you should leave. Unintended contact might technically not break the order, but you might well need to go in front of a Judge to protect yourself. The tension included, you might have to invest more money in order to work with a lawyer.

Even if the victim welcomes the contact, the participant can deal with prison time if the order is broken. Exactly what I see frequently in my cases, is the following circumstance:

2 individuals have a relationship. Something occurs and the authorities are called. Because of everybody’s level of sensitivity to “Domestic Violence,” the authorities err on the side of charging somebody. A No Contact Order then knocks into place, preventing the 2 individuals from having contact with one another. It might likewise make one of them suddenly homeless – but that is a various concern. Individuals, being individuals, wish to work the issue out and the supposed victim contacts the offender and states something to the result of “I’m so sorry that of this is taking place. Get home and I’ll make it worth your while.” The issue, obviously, is that the accused takes the supposed victim up on the deal. Normally, legal issues increase for the offender quickly afterward as the pleased couple head out to commemorate their revived relationship just to pull a “sluggish and go” at a stop indication – or some other small traffic violation. They then get visited the cops. When the officer runs the residents’ info, up leaps the No Contact Order and the offender is detained then required to prison where he is now dealing with a surcharge.

Eliminating the Order

It is really tough to get rid of a Pre-Trial No Contact order once it remains in place. Even if the victim can be found in and affirms before the Judge that the order is not required, most Judges will leave the order in place.

One method is to have actually the offender assessed by a Domestic Violence Treatment Agency. If a therapist wants to inform the Judge that the offender would not posture a threat to the victim if the order is eliminated, then the Judge can remove the order. The Treatment Agency might wish to get the offender into classes before accepting make a suggestion to the Judge.

Another technique is to ask the Court to customize the No C0ontact Order to enable marital relationship therapy. Some Judges will need that contact just be enabled while keeping an eye on by a 3rd party from the treatment firm.

As soon as a No Contact Order has actually been customized to enable conditional contact, a Judge is most likely to eliminate the order later on, unless there is a brand-new issue.

Victim Rights

The majority of Prosecutors’ Offices have a Domestic Violence Advocate. It is this individual’s task to assist the victim of a domestic violence offense to understand exactly what services are readily available to them and assist keep them notified as the court procedure moves along.

I have actually seen various cases where the victim does not desire the No Contact Order to be in the result. Going through the victims promote individual can in some cases be useful.

The majority of courts have a type that the supposed victim can complete asking for that the Judge drop the No Contact Order. In my experience, most Judges will keep the order after the victim asks to have it dropped. Despite the fact that the order stays in place, having the victim ask for it to be gotten rid of is still important because it might work on a later effort to eliminate the order.

Weapon Rights

A conviction for a criminal activity identified Domestic Violence will trigger you to lose your right to own or have guns. This is a long-lasting restriction.


In one case I had, the hubby was jailed for a Domestic Violence charge when, throughout an argument, he tossed a bowl into their kitchen area sink, breaking it. The argument was overheard by a neighboring next-door neighbor who called the authorities. The cops showed up when they searched in the sink, they discovered the broken bowl and detained the spouse for domestic violence destructive mischief. There were no claims that the partner tossed the bowl at, or perhaps near, his better half. Given that Washington is a Community Property state, both the spouse and the other half had an ownership interest in the bowl, therefore by cracking his bowl, the spouse harmed residential or commercial property coming from another (i.e. his better half) and was for that reason responsible for Malicious Mischief. Without counsel, the spouse (who had no previous criminal history) pled guilty at arraignment. He was offered a one year No Contact Order which avoided him from going house for a year or having any contact with his other half.

Had the other half got in touch with a lawyer prior to pleading guilty, he might not have had a conviction at all. Even if there was a conviction, a lawyer might have assisted him to prevent such a long No Contact Order.