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What are the consequences of domestic violence charges?

When a couple in Washington has a heated argument, it is often a he-said-she-said situation. However, this does not mean that a person cannot be charged with criminal domestic violence.

Per the Revised Code of Washington section 10.99.040, the court is not allowed to dismiss domestic violence criminal charges just because a civil action based on the same incident is being pursued at the same time. In addition, it is not necessary for the alleged victim to prove that either they or the accused is pursuing a divorce before a person can be charged with domestic violence.

In addition, because there is sometimes the belief that those who commit domestic violence will continue to do so in the future, once a person charged with domestic violence is released from police custody and is awaiting either their arraignment or trial, the court may order that the accused have no contact with the alleged victim. The accused may not be allowed to phone the alleged victim. The accused may also be ordered to keep a certain distance away from the alleged victim or stay away from certain locations where the victim might be.

Moreover, if there is probable cause to do so, a no-contact order may be issued or extended even if the accused does not attend their arraignment. The court may also order that the accused be electronically monitored as a condition if released from police custody while their domestic violence case is pending. However, if the accused is acquitted of the domestic violence charges against them, this will put an end to any no-contact orders against them.

It is important not to underestimate domestic violence charges. As this shows, when a no-contact order is issued, domestic violence charges can negatively impact the accused's day-to-day life even if the accused is released from police custody. Those who have been charged with domestic violence should seek the help they need to understand the charges against them so they can develop a solid criminal defense strategy.

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