Assault and Battery Attorney in Kennewick, Washington
Assault and battery are violent offenses that can lead to imprisonment, fines, and other serious penalties. It is imperative to take assault and battery charges seriously and hire an experienced attorney right away.
At Nicholas George Law Firm PLLC, the assault and battery attorney in Kennewick, Washington, is prepared to fight for your rights. With more than three decades of legal experience, Attorney Nicholas George can help you mount a strong defense against assault and battery charges to defend your future and freedom. With offices in Kennewick and Walla Walla, the law firm also serves clients in Spokane, Franklin County, and Benton County.
Assault and Battery Charges in Washington
Assault and battery are some of the most common types of violent crimes in the United States. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there were an estimated more than 1.2 million violent crimes nationwide in 2019 alone.
Many states recognize assault and battery as two separate criminal offenses, where assault typically involves the threat of harm, while battery entails the actual infliction of harm upon a victim. Washington, however, treats assault and battery as one offense. In other words, you can be charged with assault regardless of whether you threatened someone with physical harm or inflicted physical harm.
Types of Assault & Battery Charges in Washington
While Washington law classifies assault and battery under the same umbrella, assault charges are broken down into four types (degrees). The penalties for assault depend on the degree of the crime and the facts of each individual case:
First-degree assault. You can face first-degree assault charges if you (a) act with the intent to inflict great physical harm, (b) use a deadly weapon such as a firearm during the assault, (c) transmit human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to a vulnerable adult or minor, or (d) expose or administer a noxious substance such as poison. First-degree assault is a Class A felony.
Second-degree assault. You can face second-degree assault charges if you (a) intentionally assault a person, (b) recklessly inflict substantial physical harm, (c) intentionally cause substantial physical harm to an unborn child (e.g., inflicting injury upon a pregnant woman), (d) use a deadly weapon to assault a person, (e) suffocate or strangle another person, (f) strike another person with the intent to commit a felony, or (g) inflict physical harm in a manner equivalent to torture. Second-degree assault is a Class B felony. If there was sexual motivation in committing the crime, the charge can be elevated to a Class A felony.
Third-degree assault. You can face third-degree assault charges if you inflict physical harm upon another person while acting with criminal negligence. This classification also applies to offenses involving the assault of firefighters, law enforcement officers, judicial officers, public transportation workers, healthcare providers, and school transit operators. Third-degree assault is a Class C felony.
Fourth-degree assault. You can face fourth-degree assault charges for unwanted touching of another individual, such as (a) attempting to inflict harm upon another person, (b) intentionally striking/touching a person in an offensive manner, or (c) engaging in conduct that intentionally puts another person in reasonable apprehension of harm. It is the only type of assault that is not automatically charged as a felony in the state of Washington. While fourth-degree assault – also referred to as simple assault – is typically a gross misdemeanor, it can be elevated to a felony when the victim (a) is under the age of 14, (b) belongs to a protected class, or (c) suffers seriously bodily injury.
Regardless of the charge you are facing, you might want to consider hiring an attorney to help you with your case. At Nicholas George Law Firm PLLC, the assault and battery attorney in Kennewick, Washington, can help you mount an effective defense tailored to the circumstances of your case.
Penalties for assault vary depending on the degree of the crime. Possible penalties include:
Loss of a professional license
Loss of firearm rights
Mandatory anger management classes
In addition to these penalties, an assault conviction can take a toll on your hard-earned reputation and make it more challenging for you to find a job or housing in the future.
Each case is unique, which is why the available defense strategies vary depending on the circumstances of your case. However, some of the common defense options include:
Self-defense. Self-defense may be one of the most common defenses in assault and battery cases. By claiming self-defense, you acknowledge that the act took place but argue that you used physical force to defend yourself against an imminent threat of harm.
Defense of others. Washington law permits using a reasonable amount of physical force to prevent a person from attacking another.
Defense of property. If you can prove that you used a reasonable amount of physical force to defend your property, you may not be convicted of assault.
Alibi. If you have evidence, including witness statements, to prove that you were somewhere else at the time the assault was committed, you can avoid a conviction for assault.
Consent. In limited circumstances, consent may be used as a defense. However, this defense entails proving that the alleged victim voluntarily consented to the act for which you are facing assault charges.
Attorney Nicholas George can identify the available defense strategies after investigating the circumstances of your offense and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case.
Assault and Battery Attorney in Kennewick, Washington
Are you facing assault and battery charges in Kennewick, Washington? Do not let the charges adversely affect your life. The assault and battery attorney at Nicholas George Law Firm PLLC can assist you in determining the most effective defense strategy to protect your freedom and future. Reach out to Attorney Nicholas George to schedule a case evaluation. Call the office or complete the submission form below to get started.