The general principles involved in the defense of most domestic violence charges in the State of Washington can be applied regardless of the court in which the case was filed. There are, however, many differences some subtle and some substantial, in the manner in which DV cases are processed by the different courts. This section contains specific information about some of the busier courts in western Washington and the Puget Sound area. Knowing the idiosyncrasies of the judges, prosecutors, victim advocates as well as the general court procedure ahead of time will help you prepare in advance for what is to occur.
The court in which a case is filed is dependent upon the location of the incident, the seriousness of the allegation, and the police agency that investigated the charge or performed the arrest. All felony charges will be filed in the superior court of the county where the incident occurred. Non-felonies that were investigated by city police will be filed in the municipal court of that jurisdiction. Non-felonies that were investigated by a county sheriff or Washington State Patrolman will be filed into the appropriate district court of that jurisdiction. Finally, some cities and counties have treatment courts known as mental health courts for charges that stem from mental illness.
If your case was filed into one of the courts listed on this page, follow that link to find out more about the particular processes of that court. If your court is not listed, feel free to call us. We would be glad to share the information that we have gathered over the years.