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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?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Best answer

    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.


  2. 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.

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