A family-based battle of words can rise to the point of physical conflict quickly. The emotionally-charged chaos can become physical, and the energy and concerns swiftly get out of hand. Washington lawmakers established a Revised Code of laws that are meant to assure anyone in a domestic violence situation can get the help they need from services without being terrified they will receive further abuse. A person who interferes when another person attempts to call 911 or other law enforcement is putting themselves at risk for additional charges.
The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) section 9A.36.150 states the rules for what defines this kind of charges for this interference.
- If someone commits a domestic violence criminal offense.
- If that person acts to prevent the victim or attempts to prevent the victim from calling the police or seeking medical assistance.
What Kinds of Acts Are Interference?
The reaction to a hurt or frightened victim is often when a potential interference of reporting situation begins. The reactive activities can be anything from grabbing a victim's arm to stop them from making a phone call, to hiding their cell phone, to threatening them. An integral message in these situations is “attempts to prevent.” This means the alleged actor does not even have to succeed in preventing the report. They can be charged for interference simply by attempting to stop the victim from calling.
The charge of interfering in a report of domestic violence is classified as a gross misdemeanor. If convicted, a person can be jailed for up to 364 days or fined up to $5,000, or both. Whenever a family member grabs someone's phone when they think that person is going to report a fight, that person could face these charges on top of any other charges of domestic violence. What results is at the will of the judge who will weigh the offender's criminal history, as well as the case facts.
Domestic Violence Seattle Attorneys Can Help Fight Your Charges
If you are charged with domestic violence and interference in reporting, you need an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable of Washington laws and courts. Sometimes, the activity that leads to the charges is a crime, but not a domestic violence crime. We can help review all the case facts. If it is not possible to prove that domestic violence occurred, then neither will the interference charge be provable. Former prosecutor Steve Karimi has helped prosecute domestic violence cases and is skilled at preparing a strong defense, as well as disproving a weak prosecution. Call our office today to learn how we can help preserve your constitutional rights and vigorously fight your charges. Your future depends on the outcome of your case. Any of these charges are serious with difficult and expensive penalties. Time is not on your side.