In May, the singer Trey Songz turned himself in to the Los Angeles Police Department to deny allegations of domestic violence assault. A woman named Andrea Buera alleged that the singer had “called her names, choked her, and repeatedly punched her in the face.” She stated that the attack took place at a party in Los Angeles and that when she tried to call the police, the singer stole her cell phone and threw it off of a cliff. The case was rejected by the Los Angeles City and District Attorneys in May and Ms. Buera is now suing for medical expenses alleging that her eye was swollen shut and that she suffered bruises and scratches to her jaw, shoulder, neck, and legs.
Domestic Violence in Washington State
What is domestic violence in Washington state? “Domestic violence means:
- 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.”
A family or household member includes children, spouses, former spouses, and even those who are in a dating relationship with one another. Domestic violence charges can be added to many other crimes and the penalty can range from a gross misdemeanor to a Class A felony. In the case of Trey Songz and Angela Buera, Buera alleges that Songz threw her phone off of a cliff. Whether he tossed the phone before or after he allegedly attacked her may not matter in Washington, especially if they were also in or had ever been in a dating relationship. In Washington, when a domestic violence incident occurs, legislators “want to make sure that the victims are able to get the help they need without fear of further abuse.” Therefore, attempting to prevent or actually preventing a victim from seeking help is a crime and a person can be charged with an interfering with reporting offense in Washington. Specifically, a person can be guilty of interfering with reporting of domestic violence if the person
- Commits a crime of domestic violence, as defined above; and
- “Prevents or attempts to prevent the victim of or a witness to that domestic violence crime from calling a 911 emergency communication system, obtaining medical assistance, or making a report to any law enforcement official.”
Call the Law Offices of Steve Karimi
If you have been charged with interfering with reporting of domestic violence in Washington then by the very nature of the written law, you have also been accused of committing the crime of domestic violence. There may be serious consequences and steep penalties for both of these crimes and you need to contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today.
Steve Karimi has worked as a prosecutor in the Seattle area which allowed him to gain valuable insight into the criminal justice system and he now uses to fight for the justice of those accused.