Assault 4th Degree (Assault 4), is a gross misdemeanor. RCW 9A.36.041 It is punishable by a maximum of 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. There are no minimum jail or fine penalties. Like all other crimes of DV, a conviction for Assault 4 will carry certain mandatory consequences that would include treatment and a loss of other certain civil liberties. See Mandatory DV Consequences. Some municipal jurisdictions refer to Assault in the Fourth Degree as “Simple Assault” or just “Assault”. All of these designations simply mean that the charge is a gross misdemeanor that will be prosecuted in either a district or municipal court.
Mandatory arrest and detainment for DV assault
Most Assault DV charges are initiated by an arrest made after the allegation is relayed to a police officer. Under Washington law, if an officer responding to a domestic violence allegation reasonably believe that an assault occurred that led to any kind of injury, he is required to make an arrest. Further, once a person is in custody for suspicion of domestic violence assault, he or she must remain in custody, without bail, until there is an appearance before a judge or magistrate. That can take up to 24-48 hours, not including weekends or holidays.
Assault Four DV – Initial Concerns
More than most criminal cases in Washington, a charge of domestic violence assault carries with it a number of potential pretrial conditions that range from merely inconvenient to possibly devastating. If you are facing a charge of Assault 4 – DV, be sure to familiarize yourself with the court processes involved in domestic violence cases. You’ll want to know:
what happens at a DV arraignment (if you weren’t initially taken into custody)
- how to handle the potential imposition of a no-contact order
- obtaining a civil standby
- Steps to take on your own behalf, DV Self Help Guide
Finally, if you have not been charged yet and believe that there could either be an allegation of strangulation or suffocation, serious injury or you have domestic violence-related criminal history, contact an attorney immediately. You could be looking at more serious felony charges.
It is probably fair to say that DV assault four charges are treated more seriously and more harshly than any other gross misdemeanor allegation. From the deployment of victim’s advocates to the creation of special domestic violence courts and prosecuting divisions, the state spends a lot of resources handling these kinds of cases. If you may be or have bee, charged with Assault Four-DV there is much to know and prepare for. Contact the attorneys at Milios Defense for more information and to set up a consultation.