Assault is generally defined as an attempted battery on a person, which is the unauthorized application of force against or the offensive touching of a victim. In Washington State, assault in the fourth degree is defined as any type of assault that does not rise to the level of first, second, or third degree assault. In Washington, a person accused of domestic violence can also be charged with assault in the fourth degree.

What is Misdemeanor Domestic Violence?

Misdemeanor domestic violence occurs when someone threatens to or actually commits violence against another person. The person must be a family member (e.g. current spouse, former spouse, child, partner) or member of the same household (e.g. roommate).

What is Assault in the Fourth Degree Domestic Violence in Washington State?

Fourth degree assault is an attempted battery that causes contact that would be offensive to a reasonable, ordinary person. The attempted battery must have been made against a family member or member of the same household.

Does the Victim Have to be Injured for Me to be Charged with Fourth Degree Domestic Violence Assault?

No. In order to be charged with fourth degree domestic violence assault, the victim does not need to have an actual injury. If the police arrive and the victim claims they faced unwanted touching from the defendant, then the defendant can be arrested.

Is DV Assault in the Fourth Degree a Misdemeanor Charge?

Fourth degree domestic violence assault is charged as a gross misdemeanor. A gross misdemeanor is the most severe of all the misdemeanor charges. The crime indicates that the defendant showed a total disregard for human life with their conduct, so the charge should reflect the severity of the crime.

What the Punishment for this Crime?

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

Are there Any Other Consequences of Being Convicted of Assault in the Fourth Degree with Domestic Violence Charge?

Yes. The defendant will lose the right to possess a firearm and may have to follow a no-contact order.

Should I Contact a Lawyer for Help with My Domestic Violence Assault Charge?

Yes, to learn more about your criminal charge and fight it, contact a Washington family lawyer.