Facing Assault Charges in Washington State: What to Expect

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Sep 24

Baker, Lewis, Schwisow & Laws

Facing Assault Charges in Washington State: What to Expect

by Baker, Lewis, Schwisow & Laws

Facing Assault Charges in Washington State: What to Expect

Determine whether you should speak with a WA assault attorney.

Have you been charged with assault in Washington State? Assault is a serious offense that could lead to various penalties. Assault is defined as unwanted physical harm, but you could be convicted of assault even if you haven’t had physical contact with someone. These are some examples of assault:

  • Intentionally applying force to a person, such as by hitting, pushing, or choking them
  • Attempting to apply force to a person, whether or not physical contact is actually made
  • Threatening to apply force to a person, leading them to believe that they are in danger

The prosecution must prove that there was a deliberate action or intention to use force against someone in order for a defendant to be charged with assault. The following are different types of assault charges in Washington State:

First Degree Assault

First degree assault is a Class A felony charge. A person is guilty of first degree assault if he or she, with intent to inflict great bodily harm, assaults another person with a firearm or other deadly weapon. First degree assault is punishable by up to life in prison and fines of up to $50,000.

Second Degree Assault

Second degree assault is a Class B felony charge. The following acts could result in a second degree assault charge:

  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Assault while attempting to commit a felony
  • Assault by strangulation
  • Intentionally assaulting another and inflicting substantial bodily harm
  • Intentionally assaulting and unlawfully causing substantial bodily harm to an unborn child by inflicting injury upon the mother of the child
  • Administering poison with the intent to inflict bodily harm

A second degree assault charge could result in 10 years in prison and fines of up to $20,000.

Third Degree Assault

Third degree assault is a Class C felony that is committed when someone does any of the following:

  • Assaults a firefighter or police officer
  • Assaults a nurse, physician, or other healthcare provider
  • Commits assault in an effort to avoid being taken into custody or impede the execution of any lawful process
  • Assaults a person employed as a transit operator or driver
  • Negligently causes bodily harm to another person using a weapon

A third degree assault charge could lead to up to five years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

Fourth Degree Assault

Fourth degree assault is the least serious of all assault charges. Any assault that isn’t serious enough to be classified as third degree assault or higher is classified as fourth degree assault. No injury needs to occur.

Fourth degree assault is a gross misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 365 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. In most cases, however, fourth degree assault charges result in probation rather than jail time. 

Call for a Consultation on Your Washington Assault Case Today

Assault charges are treated very seriously in Washington State. If you have been charged with assault or believe that you may be, don’t hesitate to contact a WA assault attorney. The team at Baker, Lewis, Schwisow & Laws, PLLC consists of skilled and experienced defense attorneys who can advise you regarding your case and provide you with effective legal representation. We’re compassionate advocates for our clients who can help protect your rights, ensure your access to a fair trial, and aggressively fight on your behalf. Call 206.209.0608 or fill out our online contact form for a free case review. 



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