This weekend, several new gun laws went into effect in Washington and two of them concern domestic violence situations. But first, before we look into these two new laws, remember that in Washington, state law mandates that police officers have to make an arrest if they believe there is probable cause to determine who was the aggressor in an act of domestic violence and the act happened within the last four hours. So if you find yourself in a domestic violence situation that is serious enough for the police to attend to, you could find yourself handcuffed and headed to jail if the police wrongly believe that you committed a crime. The law does allow for both parties involved to potentially be arrested, but this rarely happens.
The first new gun law, HB 1225, allows the police to seize and remove any firearms or ammunition that were used or allegedly used in a domestic violence arrest, and these firearms will be held by law enforcement until a hearing is held. The police will also ask the alleged victims if there are other guns in the house or if the person being arrested has access to other guns.
The second new law, HB 1786, deals with what happens after a domestic violence arrest and hearing. After a domestic violence arrest, a judge can order a protective order to be put in place to protect the victim from any further violence, harassment, or stalking. A judge could also order that the alleged offender turns in their firearms to the police, but there was no way to enforce this part of the protective order. Now, HB 1786 requires that alleged offenders have to turn in their firearms as soon as the police arrive to notify them of the protective order. Opponents of this law worry that it infringes on due process rights.
Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Seattle, Washington
A former prosecutor, Steve Karimi now defends those accused of crimes in the Seattle area. If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence allegations and you're worried about losing your access to your firearms, contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 today for a free consultation.
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