I am a Domestic Violence Victim and have to attend bench trial and have never been to court any info will help.

Asked over 2 years ago - Enumclaw, WA

I live in Washington and my ex has been in jail sense Dec 23rd for assaulting me while pregnant with his unborn and my advocate said they may be looking at a 4th degree assault dv charges is this a gross misdemeanor ?

Aslo I have to attend bench trial and have not been to court before what should I expect ?
What will my role be at trail?
My evidence for trial is ...
I have a medical record from when he assaulted me before I was 18 years old with dr's notes stating he caused the bodily harm.
I have messages printed out off Facebook from 2 different gf's that i never spoke to before telling me their experience with the abuse.Also he is a convicted sex offender (felony)

Does this sound like a strong case against him?
would it help if I got witness writing a letter on my behalf ?

Additional information

I am 18 yrs old and on Dec 21st I was moving out of our house after me breaking up with my 25 yr old bf , I came back to get my last few things and he was there . He had a bottlle of alcohol and said "here drink up and also wanna smoke a bowl ( marijuana ) or wanna wrestle " I then said " what is wrong with you ? are you trying to cause me to have a miscarriage ?" then he said " took you awhile to figure that one out at this moment he was on my bed and I told him to " Get off " he did not listen so i tried pulling him off and he kicked me twice in the shin. We then got into an argument and I was standing in front for the door and he grabbed me by my throat and threw me to the ground ( let me remind you I am pregnant ) he then left. Two days later I began to bleed from my vaginal region so i thought i may be having a miscarry due to the incident on Dec 21st so I went to hospital then filed a police report against him.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Derek Michael Smith

    Contributor Level 16

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Assault 4 is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $5000 fine.

    If you have received a subpoena to appear in court you have to show up or risk the prosecutor issuing a material witness warrant for your arrest to compel your appearance. While this is quite rare, it could happen. What is more likely to happen is the prosecutor will either proceed without you based on other evidence or dismiss the case. Its hard to assess the likelyhood of either option without knowing the exact facts of the case.

    At trial, you will be asked by the prosecutor and his defense attorney questions about the trial.

    Your role is that of a witness. If he is convicted, you will allowed to speak prior to his being sentenced and tell the court what you wish regarding the defendant and sentence in this case.

    I have no idea whether the case is good or not since I know none of the facts of the case. You should talk to the prosecutor and the domestic violence victims advocate about the case to get their opinion about the case. They will also be able to tell you what will be able to help with the case.

    Good luck.

  2. James J White

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . This is tragic. I am so sorry to hear about your situation. As to what to expect at trial, just take your time and answer the questions that are asked of you. It isn't your job to put a case together. It's the prosecutor's job to put the case together. Tell the prosecutor what you have and then let them do their job. You'll want to give the medical records to the prosecutor (or victim's advocate) long before the trial because it may change the charge and if they want to get the records admitted they'll likely need a witness from the medical facility.
    At your service,

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