Could You Be Charged with Assault in Washington if No Injury Resulted?

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Jan 22

Lewis & Laws

Could You Be Charged with Assault in Washington if No Injury Resulted?

by Lewis & Laws

Could You Be Charged with Assault in Washington if No Injury Resulted?

Most people assume they could not be charged with the serious crime of assault when no physical injury occurred when in fact, in the state of Washington, an individual can be charged with assault when any unwanted or offensive physical contact occurs.

This unwanted or offensive contact does not necessarily have to cause an injury. In some situations where the "victim" does not choose to press charges, the prosecution may do so on their own.

An individual convicted of assault in the state of Washington could face jail or prison time, expensive fines, the loss of their current job, or difficulty obtaining employment in the future.

There are definite "degrees" of assault in the state of Washington, including the following:

Fourth Degree Assault

Simple assault, or Assault in the 4th Degree, is the most commonly charged assault crime in the state of Washington. Simple assault is considered a gross misdemeanor, and a conviction can result in up to 364 days in jail, and a fine as large as $5,000. There is no mandatory minimum sentencing for this crime unless it is designated as a domestic violence crime and any level of unwanted touching can rise to the level of simple assault.

Simple assault charges are almost always based on the assertion of the "victim" but in many cases, people may be wrongly accused of simple assault. Marks or bruises on the alleged victim could be used as evidence of the simple assault, although such marks or bruises could be the result of an unrelated event. An experienced Washington assault attorney may choose to show you acted in self-defense or in defense of another person to discredit statements made by the alleged victim. 

Second Degree Assault

Assault in the Second Degree can be charged when the intentional assault of another person which recklessly inflicts substantial bodily harm occurs. Assault in the Second Degree can also occur when a deadly weapon is used, poison is administered to another person, or when assault another person occurs via strangulation or suffocation.

Second Degree Assault is considered a Class B felony, and, if convicted, you could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine as large as $20,000. Those found guilty of Second Degree Assault in the state of Washington will face a minimum of three months in jail, and the crime is considered a violent strike offense. If a weapon was used in the assault, enhanced penalties could apply. 

First Degree Assault

Assault in the First Degree may be charged when a firearm or deadly weapon is used in such a manner that it is likely to produce death or great bodily harm. Assault in the First Degree can also be charged when you administer, expose or transmit poison, the human immunodeficiency virus or any other destructive or noxious substance which could result in severe injury or death.

Assault in the First Degree is considered a Class A felony, and, if convicted, you could face a maximum fine of $50,000 and a maximum sentence of life in prison. 

Assault Charge But No Injury

Assault in the first and second degrees will usually involve actual injury to another person; however, you could be charged with simple assault (Assault in the Fourth Degree) even if you inflicted no actual injury. If the alleged victim reasonably believed you might have inflicted serious injury, you could find yourself serving jail time and dealing with the long-term consequences of a criminal record.

Employment Consequences of Assault

Even though simple assault is a gross misdemeanor rather than a felony, potential employers can see that you have an assault conviction on your criminal record and may be reluctant to hire you, no matter how well-qualified you are. If you have been charged with a Seattle assault—of any degree—it is extremely important that you contact an experienced Seattle assault attorney as quickly as possible.  

Are you Facing Charges of Assault? Contact the Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers at Lewis & Laws, PLLC. 

If you have been arrested and charged with an assault crime in Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Everett, or anywhere in the state of Washington, the consequences could be severe. Contacting an experienced Seattle criminal defense lawyer is the key to fighting these serious charges.

Let the experienced criminal defense lawyers at Lewis & Laws, PLLC fight aggressively for you and your future. Our lawyers have successfully defended clients in Seattle, Bellevue, and Kirkland. Contact us today at 206.209.0608 or fill out our online contact form to get more information or to get a free case review.

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