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How Washington domestic violence law affects criminal cases?

Every individual in Spokane, Washington, has their own point of view and interpretation of why events happen, and this is particularly true when dealing with an alleged domestic violence incidence. Sometimes, a simple argument may be is misjudged and escalated to a domestic violence accusation. Disagreements and arguments may be part of most personal relationships. However, a simple fight can be easily be misinterpreted as spousal abuse or domestic assault if physical violence is present.

Domestic violence is defined as a violent act committed by a household member or any intimate partner against another. A domestic violence accusation, whether true or false, can damage a person's reputation and future because domestic violence is considered a serious crime against society in Washington. The state provides maximum protection for victims of abuse by pursuing vigorous enforcement of existing laws and pursing more legislation to help protect victims of domestic abuse. The state's domestic violence statutes stress that individuals involved in domestic violence should be punished regardless of whether the victim and the accused are married, living together or just in a relationship.

When a person is arrested for a domestic violence offense, the defendant appears before the court. After that, a no-contact order is enacted against the defendant to protect the victims from further abuse. An order of protection is a far-reaching consequence of being charged with domestic abuse because it can limit access to family members and others involved. Potential penalties can be magnified after the court conducts a review of the defendant's history and the facts related to the incident.

Any previous conviction, court orders or arrests may be taken into account, impacting the potential outcome of the domestic violence case, as well as the degree of penalties assessed. Nonetheless, a defendant's rights and interests can be protected by countering any accusations with a vigorous legal defense.

Source: WA.gov, "Domestic Violence-Official Response," accessed on Jan. 13, 2014

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