Assault 3rd Degree (Assault 3) is a Class C felony. RCW 9A.36.031 It is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. There is a standard or presumptive sentencing range that is dependent upon the criminal history of the accused. There are also collateral consequences that would apply to both a DV related conviction and a felony conviction. There are several different ways in which a person could be charged for the crime of Assault 3, though most are not relevant in the arena of domestic violence. They are:
- Assaulting a police officer, transit operator, school bus driver, firefighter, nurse, physician, healthcare provider, judicial officer or the court employee or person in a courthouse during court proceedings
- With criminal negligence causes bodily harm with a weapon or instrument
- With criminal negligence causes bodily harm resulting in substantial pain and considerable suffering
The first category of Assault 3 offenses listed above is generally not involved in domestic situations. They involve what would normally be considered simple assaults but that is made more serious by the fact that they involve some kind of public figure who is on the job at the time of the assault. Assaults that occur in hospitals, courtrooms or buses or during interactions with the police and firefighters fall under these categories.
The felony charge of Assault Three with a domestic violence designation will be filed if there is a statutorily recognized domestic relationship and the person, through criminal negligence harms their partner with a weapon or “instrument” or causes substantial pain. Assault 3 is definitely not a common domestic violence charge. More often than not, the facts are not severe enough to warrant the felony charge or the severity is such that the State opts to file Assault 2 charges. There are, however, times when the alleged fact pattern fits squarely into the elements of Assault 3.
Assault Three is ranked as having a seriousness level III. With no history, a conviction would result in a jail sentence of 1-3 months. The greater the person’s criminal history, the larger his offender score which would result in a longer jail sentence. Upon release from jail, there would be a period of community custody/supervision with the expectation of participation in some form of a treatment program.
If you have any question regarding Assault Three charges, please contact the domestic violence lawyers at Milios Defense.