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Washington State criminal no-contact orders

Accusations of domestic violence are extremely difficult for any defendant to face. Contrary to popular belief, both men and women may face charges of spousal abuse in Washington State; allegations do not discriminate based on gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and so on. In short, many different types of local Spokane residents may be accused of domestic violence.

In some cases, the courts may issue a criminal no-contact order. These may be issued concurrent with a civil protection order or they may be issued before or after the civil order. It may surprise some to learn that criminal no-contact orders can also be issued after an arrest or a charge. The order may expire at arraignment; it can also expire within 72 hours if charges are not filed. At arraignment, the court may issue a new no-contact order or it may extend the existing order.

A Washington State criminal no-contact order expires if charges are dismissed or if the defendant is acquitted. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help someone facing domestic violence charges. An experienced defense lawyer understands the best possible tactics for pursuing dismissed charges, acquittals or favorable plea deals.

If a defendant is found guilty and receives a domestic violence conviction, a no-contact order may also be issued at this point, post-conviction. The order's expiration date will likely be either the termination of the sentence or, in some cases, the elimination of that condition of a sentence.

Domestic violence allegations are very serious and can impact a person for life. It's important that defendants know their rights in such a situation. Pursuing solid legal advice can make a huge difference in the life of a defendant and in the result of their case.

Source: Washington Courts, "Domestic Violence Information," accessed Aug. 29, 2015

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