In the past, assault and battery were two separate crimes. However, under today’s modern law, the term ‘battery’ is not used. For example, shooting somebody is considered assault. But even pointing a gun at somebody is a felony assault even though the trigger is never pulled.
Are Assault And Battery Offenses Always Charged at the Felony Level in Washington State?
No. In Washington, charges involving domestic violence are charged as assault in the fourth degree, which is a gross misdemeanor. The distinction between gross misdemeanors and felony level assaults depends on the amount of harm done and whether a weapon was used. The more harm that’s done, or if there is the presence of a deadly weapon, it will turn into a felony.
What Are the Potential Sentencing Guidelines for an Assault And Battery Conviction in Washington?
Understanding the standard sentence guidelines requires understanding indeterminate sentencing, something TV shows use, rather than determinate sentencing or standard sentence ranges, which Washington State has used since the 1980s.
For example, if you are convicted of an assault in the second degree, a Class B felony, the determinate sentence of the lawmakers has set your jail sentence range to be between 3 months and 9 months. That is if you have no criminal history. If you do, the length of the sentences increases for the same Class B felony, depending on the number of convictions you have. Prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges focus on your past criminal convictions when it comes to sentencing.
The good news is that Washington State’s laws are uniform. Thus, sentencing guidelines apply to the other 38 counties.
Can You Be Charged with Assault in Washington State If There Were No Injuries That Actually Resulted?
Yes. If you do something that someone else sees as a threat of imminent harm and that view is reasonable, you can be charged with an assault.
For more information on Assault & Battery Charges in Seattle, Washington, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (206) 340-0990 today.