Charges Involving Another Person

  • Assault

  • Domestic Violence (DV)

  • Reckless Endangerment

  • Disorderly Conduct

  • Harassment

  • Protective Order Violation


Washington law divides assault charges into four degrees (though there can be enhancements or slight variations):

  • Fourth-degree assault: This is the most common assault charge and is often called “simple assault.” In order to be convicted of 4th degree assault, you must unlawfully and intentionally touch someone (even if the touching is not harmful, but is offensive) or make them think you are going to intentionally touch them. Fourth-degree assault is a gross misdemeanor, and the maximum punishment is up to 364 days in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. If the assault is against someone you have lived with, are living with, or familial in nature, a domestic violence can be added, which, if convicted, would result in ineligibility to possess a firearm for life.
  • Third-degree assault: 3rd degree assault involves an assault against a law enforcement officer, transit officer, firefighter, or official such as a judicial officer. 3rd Degree assault is a class C felony and is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. A felony conviction will also make you ineligible to possess a firearm in Washington.
  • Second-degree assault: 2nd Degree Assault involves an assault that inflicts substantial bodily harm upon another or where a deadly weapon is used. 2nd Degree Assault is usually a Class B felony and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 fine. However, if there is a sexual motivation involved, then the charge may be increased to a Class A felony, which has higher jail time and fines. Additionally, if a weapon is used, the crime may prevent travel to Canada.
  • First-degree assault: 1st Degree Assault involves an assault with intent or actual infliction of great bodily harm, uses a deadly weapon. 1st Degree Assault is a class A felony, and you might be facing up to life in prison and a fine of $50,000 if convicted.

Domestic Violence

Under Washington law, the legislature is concerned with crimes that involve domestic violence. Domestic violence means that a crime that is committed by one family or household member against another family or household member. A family or household member includes current of former spouse, current or former domestic partner, persons who have a child in common (regardless if they have been married or lived together in past), persons related by blood or marriage, persons residing together, persons in a current or former dating relationship, or persons biologically or legally related (including parents, step-parents, and grandparents).

The type of crimes where domestic violence can be involved include, but not limited to:

  • Assault (any degree);

  • Drive-by shooting;

  • Reckless endangerment

  • Coercion;

  • Burglary (1st or 2nd degree);

  • Criminal trespass (1st or 2nd degree);

  • Malicious mischief (1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree);

  • Kidnapping;

  • Unlawful imprisonment;

  • Harassment;

  • Violation of a no contact order.

While crimes involving domestic violence do not specifically add enhanced charges or punishments, judges have great flexibility in sentencing individuals where domestic violence is involved. However, there is an additional fine that is charged.

Finally, convictions of a crime involving domestic violence that would not normally result in a loss of the right to own or possess a firearm (like a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor), will result in the revocation of your right to own and possess a firearm.

Don’t risk losing your rights or risk undesirable consequences. Speak with a layer about charges involving domestic violence so you can make informed decisions about how to proceed.

Reckless Endangerment

Under Washington law, in order to be convicted of Reckless Endangerment, a person must act recklessly and the reckless conduct created a substantial risk of death or serious injury. Reckless Endangerment is a gross misdemeanor (maximum 364 days in jail and $5,000 fine).

Reckless Endangerment requires a close look at the facts and compare those facts to the normal course and action of a reasonable person would exercise in the same situation.

Disorderly Conduct

Under Washington law, in order to be convicted of Disorderly Conduct, a person must use abusive language with the intent to create a risk of assault, or intentional disrupt an assembly or lawful meeting, or intentionally obstruct a vehicle or pedestrian traffic. Disorderly Conduct is a misdemeanor (maximum 90 days in jail and $1,000 fine).


Under Washington law, in order to be convicted of Harassment, a person intentionally threatens to: (1) immediately cause harm to the person threatened; threatens to cause physical damage to the threatened person’s property; or threaten confinement of the person; or to do any act that would substantially harm the threatened person; and (2) the threatened person reasonably believes the threat will be carried out.

Normally, harassment is a gross misdemeanor (maximum of 364 days in jail and $5,000 fine); however, in the some situations harassment is a Class C felony. For example:

  • If the defendant was previously convicted under certain crimes against the same person or a member of that person’s family; or

  • If the threats were made towards a person that is protected by a no contact order from the person making threats.

Protective Order Violation

Under Washington law, there are several types of protective orders that serve to protect an individual from certain conduct from another person. Protective Orders are extremely important and failure to follow a protective order can result in criminal charges, jail time, and fines. There are several types of protective orders. Below is a list of some of the protective orders:

  • Domestic Violence Protection Order;

  • No Contact or Restraining Order;

  • Vulnerable Adult Protection Order;

  • Sexual Assault Protection Order;

  • Anti-Harassment Order; and

  • Stalking Protection Order.

In order to be convicted of violating a protective order, there must be a valid protective order in place and in effect, the restricted person knows about the protective order, and the restricted person violates the terms of the protective order (typically by contacting the protected person). Violating a protective order is normally a gross misdemeanor (maximum of 364 days in jail and $5,000 in fines). However, if the restricted person has 2 prior no contact order violation convictions, then the penalty for a 3rd violation is a Class C Felony (maximum 5 years in jail and $10,000 in fines).

What Can You Loose From A Criminal Conviction

If you are convicted of a crime, you can suffer several consequences. Below is a list of just a few ways a conviction can negatively affect you:

Harm to your Reputation | Time in prison or jail | Large Fines | Loss of your right to carry or possess a firearm | Loss of your right to vote | Your assets can be seized | Permanent criminal record; and Immigration consequences.