Skip to main content

What is the process for someone who is charged with assault 4th degree in Washington State?

Olympia, WA |

One night my father got violent after a few alcoholic drinks. While trying to restrain him, he left marks on me. The police arrested him that night and he is now being charged with assault 4. He has no prior records that I know of. The no contact order is now an adverse no contact order. He doesnt recall anything and swore off drinking. I believe it was an alcoholic blackout and a one time event. His trial date is coming up and I'm wondering what will happen next. He cant tell me any of the details because I'm the "victim". I dont want to see my father go to jail. Is there anything that I can do? Are there any steps that can be taken so he doesnt go to jail? Just in general, what will happen next?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 2


Your best bet to influence the course of this case is to talk to the prosecutor handling it. The state takes over a case once it is charged. Only the prosecutor can make the choice as to whether dismiss the charges. If your father is convicted, the prosecutor will make a sentencing recommendation that may or may not include jail. I've seen many cases where the victim talking to the prosecutor influenced the outcome.

Talking to your father's attorney can be a way to give him or her useful information that can be brought to the prosecutor to influence a dismissal or reduced sentence recommendation. I've also had plenty of cases where information that I received from the victim was crucial in negotiating a plea or defending the allegations.

Be polite and assertive. Tell them what you want and why. The attorneys will usually respond well.

Answers to questions are for general purposes only. They are not legal advice and do not establish an attorney-client relationship.


See my AVVO Legal Guide on Domestic Violence Overview. His attorney might be willing to talk with you as a potential witness for him. If you want more detailed legal advice, it would be best to schedule a paid brief (one hour) consultation with a DV attorney.

This AVVO Answer is provided for general educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you agree and understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the attorney responding, and no attorney-client confidentiality. The law changes frequently, and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information provided in this Answer is general in nature and may not apply to the factual circumstances described in your question. The applicable law and the appropriate answer may be different in the State or States where the relevant facts occurred. For a definitive answer you should seek legal advice from an attorney who (1) is licensed to practice in the state which has jurisdiction; (2) has experience in the area of law you are asking about, and (3) has been retained as your attorney for representation or consultation. Your question and the attorney’s answer may be used for promotional or educational purposes



Thank you. I would do a paid brief consultation because I'm a broke college student. I figured looking online for answers and doing my own research is the best I can do.



Sorry, I meant *but, not because. I spoke with his lawyer once to get the adverse contact. But he doesnt really want me to speak with the lawyer anymore because he was told that we cant discuss anything about what happened.

Criminal defense topics

Recommended articles about Criminal defense

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer