Each level of domestic violence crime in Washington State carries a different range of penalties. These penalties are set by the legislature and codified in the Revised Code of Washington. Below you will find a brief explanation of the penalties associated with each level of crime.
This is the lowest level of crime and includes all crimes punishable for a period of up to 90 days jail. It also carries a range of fines from $0-$1000.
Gross Misdemeanors are crimes punishable from 0-364 days in jail and carry a fine of $0-$5000.
Felonies are crimes punishable by over 1 year in jail. Felonies in Washington State are broken down into 3 categories of seriousness, A Class, B Class and C Class Felonies. They are punishable as noted below:
Class A: Up to life in prison and up to a $50,000 fine.
Class B: Up to 10 years in prison and up to a $20,000 fine.
Class C: Up to 5 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
These are the maximum penalties that each class felony can carry, but in practice, a judge is bound by a range of jail time that they are allowed to sentence a defendant to in each case.
This range is calculated using the Sentencing Reform Act Guidelines and provides a complicated formula which contemplates the seriousness level of a crime with the defendant’s criminal history. There are often “enhancements” that prosecutor’s add to this sentencing range to make the exposure even greater.
These include deadly weapon and firearm enhancements. It is very important to consult with a competent attorney when facing a Washington State felony charge to determine your sentencing range.
Loss of Right to Bear Arms
Nearly all convictions for crimes with a DV tag attached to them will trigger a permanant loss of a defendant’s right to possess firearms. This may be restored at a State level but will be permanently prohibited by the Federal Government.
Domestic Violence Batterer’s Treatment (DVBT)
Many DV convictions will also require the mandatory enrolment and completion in a State certified Domestic Violence Batterer’s Treatment class which is a 12-month treatment program that focuses on anger managment and relationship therapy.
If you are not a US citizen, convictions for many Washington State Domestic Violence crimes will trigger negative consequences to your immigration status and may cause denial of readmittance, deportation or even create a bar to citizenship. It is very important to consult with a knowledgeable immigration attorney as to how the outcome of the criminal case could affect your immigration status.