Lakewood, Tacoma, WA Assault Charges
On May 9th, 2018, a Lakewood man was charged with second degree assault for allegedly causing his 3 month old girl to have brain hemorrhages and several broken bones.
When you read that news headline, I’m sure many of you wondered what a second degree assault actually means and thought that there is only one universal assault charge. This is a misconception. There are actually many categories of assaults that range in their penalties.
There are 4 main types of assault charges:
1. Assault 1 is Class A Felony.
A person is guilty of assault 1 when with intent to inflict great bodily harm he or she: (a) Assaults another with a firearm or any deadly weapon or by any force or means likely to produce great bodily harm or death; or (b) Administers, exposes, or transmits to or causes to be taken by another, poison, HIV virus, or any other destructive or noxious substance; or (c) Assaults another and inflicts great bodily harm.
*For more information on what is classified as assault 1 search RCW 9A.36.011.
2. Assault 2 is typically a Class B Felony.
A person is guilty of assault 2 when he or she: Intentionally assaults another and thereby recklessly inflicts substantial bodily harm; or (b) Intentionally and unlawfully causes substantial bodily harm to an unborn quick child by intentionally and unlawfully inflicting any injury upon the mother of such child; or (c) Assaults another with a deadly weapon; or (d) With intent to inflict bodily harm, administers to or causes to be taken by another, poison or any other destructive or noxious substance; or (e) With intent to commit a felony, assaults another; or (f) Knowingly inflicts bodily harm which by design causes such pain or agony as to be the equivalent of that produced by torture; or (g) Assaults another by strangulation or suffocation.
*For more information on what is classified as Assault 2 search RCW 9a.36.021.
3. Assault 3 is a Class C Felony.
A person is guilty of Assault 3 in many of the following circumstances: assaulting a bus driver, transit operator, nurse, law enforcement officer, assaulting someone in a courtroom, etc.
*For more information on what is classified as Assault 3 search RCW 9a.36.031
4. Assault 4 is a Gross Misdemeanor
To convict the defendant of the crime of assault in the fourth degree, each of the following elements of the crime must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt:
(1) That on or about(date), the defendant assaulted(name of person), and
(2) That this act occurred in the [State of Washington] [City of ] [County of ].
*For more information on what is classified as assault 4 search WPIC 35.50.
Often times assault charges are accompanied by domestic violence tags. The term “domestic violence” does not necessarily mean that you were “domestically violent.” The term domestic violence is attached to a charge when the charge involves: a family or household member, spouse, registered domestic partner, roommates, people in a dating relationship, and the list goes on.
*For more information on what is classified as domestic violence search WPIC 2.27.
Felony versus Gross Misdemeanor
Felonies carry prison time, meaning a year or more in jail whereas Gross Misdemeanors carry a maximum of 364 days in jail and a $5000 fine.
So the next time that you hear the word “Assault” in the news, you’ll know that not all assaults are treated equal in the eyes of the law.
If you or someone you know has been charged with Assault in Tacoma, Lakewood, or anywhere in Western Washington, please contact Horwath Law right away.