Though not “penalties” per se, the conditions imposed upon the defendant by the court at the outset of the case will certainly seem punitive. In virtually every domestic violence (DV) case in Washington, the accused can expect that the judge will set the following conditions to be followed while the case is pending:
- appear at all future court dates
- commit no criminal law violations
- have no contact with the alleged victim
- possess or consume no alcohol or non-prescribed drugs
- possess no weapons
- posting of bail depending on criminal history and nature of allegation
Of all of the possible conditions that could be imposed, it is the order prohibiting contact that can feel the most punitive; and not just to the defendant. Very often the alleged victim desires to have contact, for a variety of legitimate reasons, that the court will still deny. Victims who feel a no contact order has been put in place against their wishes should review our domestic violence victim advocate section. The specifics of a no contact order are reviewed in our Washington No Contact Order Section. Suffice to say, the imposition of a no contact order not only can have the effect of denying adults the right of consensual contact, it can impair their ability to parent their children, cause them to be removed from their home and limit their ability to move freely.
The prohibition against the possession of guns or weapons is another common condition. For many, this condition will have no impact. For others it can cause great concern. Those who have gun collections, hunt for sport, or are required to carry a weapon are the most impacted. If these are concerns for you, contact a Washington Domestic Violence Lawyer.
Violations of these pretrial conditions may cause the court to revoke bail or a personal recognizance release (PR) or may even constitute a criminal law violation in and of itself. It is essential that you have a plan in place to prepare for these conditions should they be imposed as well as to prevent them from being imposed in the first place. For assistance in helping to prevent the imposition of harmful and inconvenient pretrial conditions in a Washington DV case, contact one of the domestic violence lawyers at Milios Defense.