Josh Copelin, a professional mixed martial arts fighter, was arrested in Colorado following an alleged domestic violence incident. According to the criminal complaint, Copelin - nicknamed “Cuddly Bear” by his fans - allegedly shoved and hit his wife multiple times following a disagreement about the care of their son. In addition to the domestic violence charges, child abuse charges were also filed against Copelin, as the incident allegedly occurred in his son's presence. Copelin, who is a member of the Professional Fighting League, was also charged with obstruction of telephone service for allegedly taking his wife's cell phone in order to prevent her from being able to call for help.
Child Abuse Charges And Domestic Violence In Washington
Similar to Josh Copelin's alleged case, an individual in Washington may be charged with child abuse in addition to domestic violence if their child was a witness to the violence. A child is considered to be a witness to domestic violence if the offense occurred within the sight or sound of the victim's or offender's minor children who are under the age of 18 years old.
A child witness to a domestic violence offense may be considered an aggravating circumstance for sentencing purposes and can involve a harsher punishment for an underlying domestic violence conviction.
Copelin would have been likely charged with a domestic violence crime if this incident happened in Washington because his alleged actions would meet the state's definition of domestic violence - physical harm, bodily injury, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, between family or household members.
Interference With Reporting
A person can be charged with the interference of reporting domestic violence in Washington if they take a victim's cell phone in an effort to prevent the victim from contacting the police. To be convicted of interference with reporting charges, a person must both “commit a domestic violence offense” and “prevent or attempt to prevent a victim from calling 911 or law enforcement or seeking medical assistance.”
If a person is convicted of an interference with reporting charge for taking an alleged domestic violence victim's cell phone, they may face a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of no more than $5,000.
Contact Defense Attorney Steve Karimi
Domestic violence charges are a serious crime. Additional charges of child abuse and interference with reporting can be considered aggravating circumstances in your sentencing if you're convicted of the underlying domestic violence charges, leading to jail time and expensive fines. If you have been charged with a domestic violence related crime in Washington, attorney Steve Karimi can help. As a former prosecutor and top-rated lawyer, Mr. Karimi knows how to fight to defend your rights against these charges. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today.