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How easy is it to get a No Contact order in Washington State or DV case dropped?

Bremerton, WA |
Filed under: Domestic violence

My fiancee and I got into an argument 10 days ago. To keep a long story short with some relevant details I grew up being abused severally by a few different significant men in my life. During the argument I lost it emotionally and began crying uncontrolably. My fiancee was just trying to do the "hold me tight until I calmed down" hug but in that moment all I could see was the past abuse that played a significant role in my life. Him trying to hold me I saw as him hurting me and I called 911. He knows my history, and has always been very supportive of me. I didn't know that the courts would automatically put a no contact order on him, and I regret calling the cops and wasting their time. He has NEVER hurt me, and neither of us can afford an attorney. At a lost here.

We also have 2 young children together, and because of my history of abuse I feel like he's not only being punished but our children also. He is a good father and a great caring fiancee, and I just want to be able to fix a situation that completely got out of control due to my history. I have also talked to a DV advocate from the local YWCA and she said he needs to plea guilty, although he isn't guilty of anything. When I explained to her my frame of mind that night, she said she would contact the DA office and have someone call me but that hasn't happened. When I first contacted the YWCA and left a message (prior to actually speaking to her) I also contacted the DA office and they said in their email response they have brocheures and to contact the YWCA. It feels like I'm running in circles.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Well, my first impression is that whoever you talked to is not familiar with the domestic violence statute in Wa. state because Wa. state does not have DA's (district attorneys),s we have county Prosecutor's so there is no DA to contact. Secondly, the decision whether to drop a no contact order is not yours to make -- it is the Prosecutors and they will usually proceed over the objection of the victims given the nature of domestic violence. Your fiancee will be given the chance to have a public defender represent him and it should be left in his/her hands if you cannot afford a private attorney. If he is convicted, you need to rethink your relationship with him because as the mother of the children, your first obligation is to protect the children and to choose to live with someone who have been convicted of domestic violence puts your custody of the children in jeopardy. I refer to RCW 26.09.191 which states:

    b) The parent's residential time with the child shall be limited if it is found that the parent resides with a person who has engaged in any of the following conduct: (i) Physical, sexual, or a pattern of emotional abuse of a child; (ii) a history of acts of domestic violence as defined in RCW 26.50.010(1) or an assault or sexual assault that causes grievous bodily harm or the fear of such harm; or (iii) the person has been convicted as an adult or as a juvenile has been adjudicated of a sex offense under:

    The information is for general information purposes only. Nothing stated above should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.

  2. He will get a free public defender. You should hire a lawyer to address the court about lifting the no contact order. Have you spoken with a domestic advocate? Contact me directly for further assistance.

  3. The prosecuting attorney's office is the one with the prosecutorial discretion as to the criminal offense. If you make it clear that: 1) you want them to dismiss all pending actions; and if they don't, 2) your testimony is going to favor your fiancee, they probably will drop it. When your fiancee gets his defense attorney, indicate your willingness to cooperate with them in letting the court know what really happened.

    Meanwhile, look at the statutory elements of the offense he is charged with. What does it take to prove such charges? Are any of the necessary elements not true?

    If this answer is helpful or the best answer, please say so. Legal disclaimer: In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does it form an attorney-client relationship.

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