Seattle Assault and Battery
by Lewis & Laws
Seattle Assault and Battery
In late November, Q14 Fox reported on a brutal, random attack in Seattle. Cameras caught the attack, which occurred around 9:00 a.m. on Third and James Street in front of the King County Courthouse. The surveillance video showed a man walking down the street, then suddenly attacking another man—a defense attorney headed to work at the Courthouse. Sergeant Ryan Abbott of the King County Sheriff’s Office stated: “he punched him for no reason at all.” A Metro bus driver got off the bus, offering aid to the victim, then the attacker assaulted both the bus driver and the defense attorney.
The attacker chased the two victims into the street, hitting the first victim with enough force to knock him to the ground, then assaulted the bus driver, knocking him to the ground as well. A marshal at the King County Courthouse came to the aid of the two victims, believing their lives were in danger. The attacker was subsequently arrested, charged with two charges of assault. He had multiple charges on his record, including an assault charge from October, and a warrant for his arrest. The victims were both expected to recover fully.
Assault and Battery Charges in Seattle
Battery is offensive or harmful touching, while an assault occurs when someone attempts to commit battery, using threats. While some states treat assault and battery as a single crime, in Washington, an assault charge covers both the threat of force, as well as the actual use of force, subjecting you to assault charges, even in cases where battery occurred.
First-degree assault occurs when the attacker has the intent to inflict great bodily harm on another person, and assaults with a firearm or other deadly weapon, by any force likely to cause great bodily harm or death, or when a person exposes or transmits the HIV virus or other destructive substance to another person. First-degree assault is a Class A felony, punishable by fines as large as $50,000, and from 93-123 months in prison.
Second-degree assault occurs when an assault is accompanied with the intent to inflict significant bodily harm, or when a person intentionally causes significant bodily harm to an unborn child by injuring the mother. Second-degree assault can include striking with a deadly weapon with the intent to commit a felony, strangulation or suffocation, exposing or transmitting another person to poison, the HIV virus, or another destructive substance, or inflicts any type of bodily harm which could reasonably be considered torturous. Second-degree assault is a Class B felony, with potential punishments of 3 - 12 months in prison and up to $20,000 in fines.
Third-degree assault occurs when a person causes bodily harm through criminal negligence or assaults a firefighter, law enforcement officer, bus driver, judicial officer or court employee, or a nurse, physician, or another healthcare provider. Penalties for third-degree assault include 1 - 43 months in jail, and fines as large as $10,000.
In the state of Washington, assault in the fourth degree—also known as simple assault—is a misdemeanor. Simple assault occurs when one person hits, touches, attempts to injure, or intentionally places another person in fear of injury by a physical act. A felony will be charged when substantial or serious bodily harm occurs, or when the victim is a child under the age of 13, as well as other protected employees.
Getting Legal Help for Your Charges of Assault and Battery
A conviction for simple assault or first, second, or third-degree assault is very serious and can alter your life for many years to come. It is important that you speak to an experienced Washington criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible after being charged with assault in Seattle. An attorney can explain the legal process to you, prepare the strongest defense possible, and work to have your charges reduced or dismissed. 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.