Assault is defined as an attempted battery or causing the intentional creation of a reasonable apprehension of harm. Washington State has four separate charges regarding criminal assault, and the least serious charge is assault in the fourth degree.

How is Assault in the Fourth Degree Defined in Washington State?

Fourth degree assault is a lesser, but complex, charge. It simply includes any types of assaults that do not rise to the level of assault in the first, second, and third degree.

What is Assault in the First Degree?

This charge occurs when a person intentionally causes great bodily harm or death to a victim using a firearm or deadly weapon. It also includes when the defendant administers, exposes, or transmits poison, HIV, or any other toxic substances to the victim.

What is Assault in the Second Degree?

Second degree assault includes numerous acts, such as strangling someone, hurting an unborn child, and administering poison to cause harm. But all of the acts require that the defendant acted with the intent to assault and recklessly inflicts substantial bodily harm.

What is Assault in the Third Degree?

Third degree assault generally applies to situations where the defendant assaults a public officer, such as a law enforcement officer, a bus driver, a nurse, judicial employee, or firefighter. The assault must occur while the public officer is fulfilling their duties, such as keeping the peace or driving a school bus.

What is the Charge for Fourth Degree Assault?

In Washington State, fourth degree assault is charged as a gross misdemeanor.

What is the Punishment for Assault in the Fourth Degree in Washington State?

A defendant convicted of fourth degree assault can face up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with My Assault in the Fourth Degree Charge?

Yes. An assault conviction can have severe consequences. If you have legal questions or need legal representation to prove your innocence, contact a Washington criminal lawyer immediately.