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Crimes of Physical & Emotional Harm

Assault, Harassment, Threats and other Charges Involving Physical or Emotional Harm

Being charged with a crime is a serious matter, and having a criminal assault, harassment or other serious conviction on your record can impact future employment, education, and career opportunities. While there are many types of crimes against others, the most frequently charged crime against another is an assault charge. 

Types of Assault Charges in Washington

Assault, whether charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, can carry significant penalties if you are convicted. Understanding Washington State legislation and case law will be critical to building an effective defense. Because assault is considered a violent offense, it may count as a “strike” under the Persistent Offenders Act, which incorporates a “three strikes you're out” policy for violent crimes.

In Washington State, there are four levels of assault charges:

  • Assault in the first degree: Class A felony RCW 9A.36.011
  • Assault in the second degree: Class B felony  RCW 9A.36.021
  • Assault in the third degree: Class C felony RCW 9A.36.031
  • Assault in the fourth degree: Gross misdemeanor RCW 9A.36.041

The level of the charge will dictate the penalties imposed if you are convicted. One of the best ways to avoid these penalties is to have a competent criminal defense attorney on your side who can make sure you are afforded every protection the criminal justice system and Constitution have to offer.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.