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What is the statute of limitations regarding domestic violence/assault in WA state, specifically Spokane, WA?

Seattle, WA |

What is the statute of limitations for charging someone with domestic violence/assault/abuse in WA State, specifically Spokane, WA?

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Attorney answers 1


Well... it depends on what the charge itself is. Under WA law, there is no stand alone domestic violence crime. Rather domestic violence is a tag which is added to some crimes to enhance penalties. For example, you could be charged with disorderly conduct-DV, which is a simple misdemeanor, the statute of limitations of which is 1 year. Or you could be charged with assault 4th degree-DV, which is a gross misdemeanor, and which carries a 2 year limitation. Or the charge could be assault 3rd degree-DV, a class C felony, or maybe assault 2nd degree-DV, a class B felony, both of which have 3 year limitation. Plus, if the person who is charged is out of state, all of the time they are away can be added to the statute of limitations. And finally, if the victim is a minor, then the statute can be tolled until the victim is 18 or in sex-related DV cases, until age 28. Confused yet? Yes, it's potentially complicated, so see a lawyer really soon.

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