Last week, a woman was killed when she was stabbed in the neck in an act of domestic violence at the Seattle Center food court by a man she'd had a relationship with. According to documents related to the case, the couple had an “off and on” relationship and shared a five-year-old son. Within the last month, the 28-year old mother had filed a protective order against him. Police say a bystander held the suspect at bay until they arrived and arrested him. According to the Washington State Coalition on Domestic Violence, there have 892 domestic violence-related homicides since 1997. Between 1997 and current numbers in 2018, including the attack last week, 229 out of the 892 homicides have occurred in King County.
Domestic Violence Laws in Washington
In Washington, domestic violence is “legally defined as,
- Physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, between family or household members;
- Sexual assault of one family or household member by another; or
- Stalking of one family or household member by another family or household member.”
Had the woman in the scenario above survived, it is likely that her attacker would have faced charges of Domestic Violence Assault in the First Degree. Assault in the first degree is the most serious category of assault charges. A person is guilty of assault in the first degree if they commit any of the following offenses with “intent to inflict great bodily harm:”
- Assaulting another person with a deadly weapon, firearm or any item that is likely to inflict injury or death. Under this definition, almost any object can be considered a weapon including some of the following examples:
- Billy club;
- Metal knuckles;
- Any knife having a blade longer than three inches;
- Any razor with an unguarded blade;
- Any metal pipe or bar used or intended to be used as a club; or
- Any explosive among many other items that may be used as a deadly weapon.
- If a person uses poison to harm another intentionally. This includes poison, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or a destructive or noxious substance.
- If a person causes serious injury by assaulting another person in any way.
Assault in the first degree is a class A felony. Class A felonies carry some of the most severe penalties. A conviction of domestic violence assault in the first degree can carry a sentence of life in prison with up to $50,000 in fines. In addition, felony convictions, especially violent felony convictions, often attach a bad stigma to you and they often make it difficult for offenders to find jobs, get accepted into some schools, and you may even have difficulty getting approved for loans.
Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi
Domestic violence defense attorney Steve Karimi is a former prosecutor who now uses his insight and knowledge into prosecutorial legal strategies to fight for the rights of those accused. Mr. Karimi understands the confusion and impact a domestic violence charge can have on all parties involved and he stops at nothing to build your strongest defense. If you or a loved one has been arrested for any domestic violence charge in the Seattle area, contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today.