The Governor of South Carolina signed an Executive Order last week that resulted in the removal of the Mayor of a small South Carolina town. John Kay Hansen was dismissed from his position as Mayor of Ware Shoals, South Carolina by Executive Order after pleading guilty to third-degree domestic violence. In September 2016, Hansen shoved his then-wife against the wall and, in an attempt to stop her from calling the police, shoved her onto the bed where they struggled over her cell phone. On June 7th of this year, Hansen pleaded guilty to third-degree domestic violence.
What Does Domestic Violence Mean in Washington State?
In Washington, '“domestic violence” means:
- Physical harm, bodily injury, 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."
Importantly, family or household members are not just spouses. The definition also extends to former spouses, domestic partners and former domestic partners, people who have a child in common regardless of whether or not they were ever married or lived together, as well as the following:
- "Adult persons related by blood or marriage;
- Adult persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past;
- Persons sixteen years of age or older who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past and who have or have had a dating relationship;
- Persons sixteen years of age or older with whom a person sixteen years of age or older has or has had a dating relationship; and
- Persons who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship, including stepparents and stepchildren and grandparents and grandchildren."
Domestic violence charges can be added to many different criminal charges, including but not limited to assault, reckless endangerment, rape, and interference with the reporting of domestic violence as was the case with the former mayor in the account mentioned above.
The Penalties and Fighting Domestic Violence in Washington
Very serious consequences, such as jail time and steep fines, can accompany domestic violence charges. These charges usually amount to either a gross misdemeanor, which can carry up to a year of jail time and $5,000 in fines, or a felony, and depending on which class has the potential to land you in prison for life with up to $50,000 in fines.
A conviction of domestic violence can potentially have several other penalties including probation and mandated counseling. Domestic violence charges should never be taken lightly as they can be very tricky because they can arise in so many different circumstances and attach to several different crimes. Whether a misdemeanor or felony, the Law Offices of Steve Karimi can help you fight the charge! Steve Karimi has a proven track record of success. He is a former prosecutor and uses that legal insight to build strong defenses for his clients. If you have been arrested for domestic violence in the Seattle area, contact attorney Steve Karimi today.