Recent Stabbings in Downtown Seattle
by Lewis & Laws
Recent Stabbings in Downtown Seattle
Earlier this month, a man allegedly stabbed three men in downtown Seattle in what police called an “unprovoked, random attack.” The man then fled, stripping off his clothing along the way. Two of the victims of the stabbings were hospitalized, but were in stable condition, while a third was treated at the scene.
The suspect, a 29-year-old, was arrested a short distance away, his clothing found in a parked package-delivery truck. The victims were a 75-year-old man, a 77-year-old man, and a 55-year-old man. The oldest man was stabbed in the back, the 75-year-old was stabbed in the neck, and the youngest man was stabbed in the forearm.
Sentencing Enhancements for the Use of a Firearm in Commission of a Felony
Stabbing a person in the state of Washington is charged as Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Deadly weapons are distinguished from firearms, which are considered weapons from which a projectile or projectiles may be fired by an explosive, such as gunpowder. If you use a firearm in the commission of a felony, you will likely be subject to sentencing enhancements, on top of sentencing for the underlying felony assault charge.
What is Considered a Deadly Weapon?
The definition of the deadly weapon will depend somewhat on the circumstances under which the weapon is used, and whether the weapon is capable of causing death or substantial bodily harm. A deadly weapon can be any weapon, device, instrument, article, or substance, including a vehicle that is likely to produce or may easily and readily produce death. Just as if you had used a firearm, under Washington law you will be subject to sentencing enhancements for using a knife—or other weapon—in the commission of a crime.
Although your attorney may be able to target certain nuances in case law which will allow him or her to argue the application of sentencing enhancements, the likelihood of this is slim. Depending on the underlying criminal offense, the sentencing enhancement is six months for a Class C felony, one year for a Class B felony, and two years for a Class A felony.
Assault in the First Degree
Assault in the first degree occurs if a person assaults another with a firearm or other deadly weapon or uses enough force to result in serious bodily injury or death. Assault in the first degree can also be charged when a person administers, exposes, transmits to, or causes to be taken by another, poison, the HIV virus or any other noxious substance. Assault in the first degree is a class A felony and is also considered a “strike” offense.
If you have been charged in the state of Washington with assault with a deadly weapon, the government is required to prove the elements of the crime under the Washington State criminal statutes. There are certain defenses to the crime of assault, such as self-defense or defense of others. First-degree assault is punishable by up to life in prison, and fines as large as $50,000.
How a Seattle Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help If You Have Been Charged with First-Degree Assault
If you have been charged with a first-degree assault in the state of Washington, it is extremely important that you contact an experienced Seattle criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. Your Seattle criminal defense attorney will use his or her experience and knowledge to fight hard on your behalf to have the charges reduced—or dropped altogether. Your attorney will discuss the circumstances of your assault charges with you, offer a comprehensive evaluation, and then detail the best way to proceed for the best outcome.
Getting Help From Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys at Lewis & Laws, PLLC
If you are charged with a crime in Seattle, it is imperative that you contact an experienced Seattle criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible to ensure your rights and your future are protected. Assault is a very serious offense that could result in significant time in prison, as well as large fines. Without an attorney on your side, you may face a lifetime behind bars.
The experienced lawyers at Lewis & Laws, PLLC have successfully defended clients in Seattle, Bellevue, and Kirkland. Contact us today at 206.209.0608 or fill out our online contact form.