Vancouver, WA Assault Lawyers
Tough representation for Washington defendants accused of assault crimes
Any criminal charge is frightening. If you are convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, you will likely be sentenced to jail – especially if force or violence is used. Convictions also means large fines and possible restitution for any medical bills. In addition, you may lose your voting rights. You will likely have difficulty obtaining a job or getting credit.
At Philbrook Law Office, PS, our Vancouver, WA assault defense lawyers fight aggressively for defendants from the moment they contact our office. We guide clients through each stage of the criminal process from the arrest and preliminary hearing through motion court and the jury trial. In many cases, we are able to obtain dismissals or a reduction of the criminal charges. We fight the prosecution by challenging every part of their case and fighting to show there’s a reasonable doubt about the charges or a justification for your conduct.
Assault crimes in Washington State
Washington State has multiple assault crimes on its books. Our team offers aggressive defense on behalf of clients facing:
- Assault in the first degree. Class A Felony. This offense requires intent to inflict great bodily harm. It also requires one of the following:
- Assault with a deadly weapon or firearm or force – which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm
- The transmission of HIV to a child or vulnerable adult
- Administering, exposing, transmitting, or causing someone to take poison or another noxious substance
- Assaulting someone and committing great bodily harm
- Assault in the second degree. Class B felony. This crime is similar to, but considered less severe, than an assault of the first degree. It includes:
- Intentionally assaulting someone and recklessly inflicting substantial bodily harm
- Intentionally causing substantial bodily harm to an “unborn quick child” through injury to the child’s mother
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Other statutory requirements such as knowingly inflicting pain or agony equivalent to that produced by torture
- Assault in the third degree. Class C felony. This offense includes:
- An assault based on an intent to avoid lawful process, a mandate of a court officer, or the lawful apprehension of the person charged
- Assaults of transit operators or drivers, their supervisors, mechanics, or security officers – while that person is doing his/her job
- Assaults of a school bus driver, the driver’s supervisors, and other school-bus related personnel – while that person is doing his/her job
- Assaults of firefighters and similar workers while doing their job
- Assaults of law enforcement personnel while doing their job
- Assaulting a peace officer with a projectile stun gun
- Assaults of doctors, nurses, or health care providers – while doing their job
- Assaults of judges, various court officials, jurors, and others – while doing their job or during court proceedings
- Assault in the fourth degree. Assaults that don’t qualify as assaults in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree are assaults in the 4th They are generally treated as gross misdemeanors. Assaults may rise to the level of felony C assaults in cases involving:
- Repetitive domestic violence
- Crimes of harassment
- Other statutory definitions
Other types of assault crimes include:
- Reckless endangerment
- Prompting a suicide attempt
- Drive-by shooting
- Hate crimes
- Assaults of children
- Interfering with the reporting of domestic violence
Defendants can also be charged with failing to summon assistance.
What are the penalties for assault charges?
The penalties for assault offenses vary depending on the degree of felony, or whether they are a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor:
- Class A felony. Up to 20 years in a state correctional institution and up to $50,000 in fines, or both.
- Class B felony. Up to 10 years confinement and up to $20,000 in fines, or both.
- Class C felony. Up to 5 years confinement and up to $10,000 in fines, or both.
- Gross misdemeanor. County jail time up to 364 days and/or a fine up to $5,000.
- Misdemeanor. County jail time up to 90 days and/or a fine up to $1,000.
Defending against assault charges in Washington State
The criminal defense attorneys of Philbrook Law Office understand what is at stake if you are convicted of assault. We understand that it’s more than fines and jail time: you could be stripped of some of your Constitutional rights, as well. We assert every legal and factual defense that applies to your case:
- The government failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Evidence of statements or physical evidence should be suppressed because the evidence was obtained in violation of your Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth Amendment rights.
- In defense of an assault on the defendant or someone about to be injured – or by certain officials in approved circumstances. Self-defense includes:
- Defense of one’s self
- Defense of another person
- Defense of property (with justification)
- The use of force was under duress (exceptions may apply)
- The elements of the offense haven’t been proven. Words such as “great bodily harm” and “deadly weapon” are very specific. A bruise, for example, generally isn’t considered great bodily harm.
In some cases, such as where two people consent to a fight, the charges may be dropped or reduced due to the consent.
What alternatives such as diversion programs are available?
In some cases, defendants who are convicted of an assault may be able to spend a good part of their sentence away from the jail or in better facilities. A few examples include:
- Work release programs. Here, the defendants are released during the day to do their jobs but return to prison during the night.
- Electronic home monitoring. Here, the defendant is confined to home except for work and for attendance at court approved programs.
- Community services. Some courts and judges may approve work for local governmental agencies and non-profits.
Protecting the rights of the accused in Washington and Oregon
Time is of the essence. If you are arrested for an assault crime, it’s critical that you speak with an experienced Vancouver defense lawyer as soon as possible. At Philbrook Law Office, we fight immediately to help you obtain bail or a release on your own recognizance. We advise you of your rights. Our lawyers fight to have evidence of statements or physical items suppressed. We represent you at the preliminary hearing where we can record the testimony of the witnesses against you. Our lawyers fight to obtain dismissals or to reduce the charges to less serious offenses. We’re ready to try your case before a jury.
To schedule a consultation at one of our offices in Vancouver or Battle Ground, WA, please call 360-695-3309 or fill out our contact form. The firm also represents clients from the greater Portland area and throughout Oregon.