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Arrested for DV Assault 4 & spent a night & day in Jail,then released before seeing Judge due to Judge finding no probable cause

Renton, WA |

I was recently arrested for Domestic Violence Assault 4 by City of Renton Police/Sheriff and victims reported by them is my husband. I was taken to Jail. After spending the night and a day I was released before seeing the Judge with the Judge signing the release orders due to not finding a probable cause for an arrest. Also, I was told by officer at the Jail when I was asked that this means all charges against you are dropped after Judge reviewed the case and report of arrest submitted .

I have no prior convictions as such and never been arrested before.

Now I just received court of clerk letter to appear before the same Judge in Court for this violation of DV Assault 4? I am confused as I thought the Judge has already reviewed and didnot find probable cause, why do I need to go court?

Attorney Answers 2


A judicial officer has to make a probable cause finding in order to impose conditions (such as bail) of release. That is not the same as the case being dismissed since the materials submitted to a judicial officer for a probable cause determination is not necessarily all of the evidence in the case. The court, furthermore, should allow both parties to argue whether there is a prima facie case rather than dismiss a case on their own motion. Sometimes the information in front of a judge for a probable cause determination is missing some relevant fact that would result in a probable cause finding.

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Thank you for your follow up feedback response. So does this mean that the Officer at the Jail at the time of release can tell me what he told me "Judge with the name printed and signed by the Judge, whom I have to appear infront of now" has reviewed the documents submitted; when in reality as you have stated it is the Judicial Officer that reviewed and made the determination of no probable cause for arrest and case is dismissed??? Sorry but I am extremely confused about the entirety of the situation.

Michael F. Morgan

Michael F. Morgan


I suspect the officer was mistaken and was offering an opinion based on his or her understanding of the system. It may be the case will ultimately be dismissed but it also may be the probable cause affidavit the judge reviewed was missing the required information. Email transmissions to clients of this office presumably contain confidential and privileged material for the sole use of the intended recipient. The use, distribution, transmittal or re-transmittal by any unintended recipient of any communication is prohibited without our express approval in writing or by email. If you are not the intended recipient please contact the sender and delete all copies. Law Office of Michael Morgan, L.L.C. Bank of America Plaza 800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 4100 Seattle, WA 98104 cell: 253-350-9083 ph: 206-447-1303 fax: 253-517-9270 -------- Original Message -------- Subject: Someone has commented on your answer


A determination of whether there is probable cause must be made in order to hold you in jail. If there is no affidavit of probable cause filed or the affidavit is insufficent, you must be released. An affidavit of probable cause can later be filed involving the same incident/charge or any problems in the affidavit can be corrected. You need to go to court or you will risk having a warrant issue for your arrest. Retain an attorney or request a public defender if you cannot afford an attorney. Your attorney can review the probable cause affidavit and determine whether it is now sufficient or not and can make objections or arguments as need be.

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Thank you for your follow up feedback on this matter. Should you advice me in retaining a Criminal Defense Attorney prior to the upcoming first court appearance ?

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