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Assault

In Washington State, there are many different types of assault (general, child, custodial, etc.) as well as degrees of assault (First, Second, Third, and Fourth). Each may have its own enhancement to make the crime more serious, such as a deadly weapon enhancement or the “domestic violence” label. However, there are three general theories of how an assault can be committed in our State. They are:
  • 1) An intentional touching/striking/cutting/shooting of another person with unlawful force that is harmful or offensive; or
  • 2) An act done with the intent to inflict bodily injury upon another, tending but failing to accomplish it and accompanied with the apparent present ability to inflict the bodily injury if not prevented (actual injury is not necessary); or
  • 3) An act done with the intent to create in another apprehension and fear of bodily injury, and which in fact creates in another a reasonable apprehension and imminent fear of bodily injury even though the actor did not actually intend to inflict bodily injury.
Assault in the First Degree is a Class A Felony; even with no prior criminal history, conviction has a standard sentencing range of 93-123 month is prison. Under RCW 9A.36.011, A person is guilty of assault in the first degree if he or she, with intent to inflict great bodily harm:
  • (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, the human immunodeficiency virus as defined in chapter 70.24 RCW, or any other destructive or noxious substance; or
  • (c) Assaults another and inflicts great bodily harm.
Assault in the Second Degree is a Class B Felony; with no prior criminal history, conviction has a standard sentencing range of 3-9 month is prison.
Under RCW 9A.36.021, a person is guilty of assault in the second degree if he or she, under circumstances not amounting to assault in the first degree:
  • (1)  A person is guilty of assault in the second degree if he or she, under circumstances not amounting to assault in the first degree:
          
    • (a)  Intentionally assaults another and thereby recklessly inflicts substantial bodily harm; or
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    • (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
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    • (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.
  •    (2) (a)  Except as provided in (b) of this subsection, assault in the second degree is a class B felony.
    •     
    • (b)  Assault in the second degree with a finding of sexual motivation under RCW 9.94A.835 or 13.40.135 is a class A felony.
Assault in the Third Degree is a Class C Felony; With no prior offenses, a person convicted of this crime faces a standard sentencing range of 1-3 months.
Under RCW 9A.36.031, A person is guilty of assault in the third degree if he or she, under circumstances not amounting to assault in the first or second degree:
        
  • (a)  With intent to prevent or resist the execution of any lawful process or mandate of any court officer or the lawful apprehension or detention of himself or another person, assaults another; or
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  • (b)  Assaults a person employed as a transit operator or driver, the immediate supervisor of a transit operator or driver, a mechanic, or a security officer, by a public or private transit company or a contracted transit service provider, while that person is performing his or her official duties at the time of the assault; or
  •     
  • (c)  Assaults a school bus driver, the immediate supervisor of a driver, a mechanic, or a security officer, employed by a school district transportation service or a private company under contract for transportation services with a school district, while the person is performing his or her official duties at the time of the assault; or
  •     
  • (d)  With criminal negligence, causes bodily harm to another person by means of a weapon or other instrument or thing likely to produce bodily harm; or
  •     
  • (e)  Assaults a firefighter or other employee of a fire department, county fire marshal's office, county fire prevention bureau, or fire protection district who was performing his or her official duties at the time of the assault; or
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  • (f)  With criminal negligence, causes bodily harm accompanied by substantial pain that extends for a period sufficient to cause considerable suffering; or
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  • (g)  Assaults a law enforcement officer or other employee of a law enforcement agency who was performing his or her official duties at the time of the assault; or
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  • (h)  Assaults a peace officer with a projectile stun gun; or
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  • (i)  Assaults a nurse, physician, or health care provider who was performing his or her nursing or health care duties at the time of the assault. For purposes of this subsection: "Nurse" means a person licensed under chapter 18.79 RCW; "physician" means a person licensed under chapter 18.57 or 18.71 RCW; and "health care provider" means a person certified under chapter 18.71 or 18.73 RCW who performs emergency medical services or a person regulated under Title 18 RCW and employed by, or contracting with, a hospital licensed under chapter 70.41 RCW.
  •     
  • (2)  Assault in the third degree is a class C felony.
Fourth Degree Assault is probably the most common assault committed and/or charged. It is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5000 fine. It often comes with the “domestic violence” tag, which means (among other things) loss of firearm rights upon conviction. Four Degree Assault is a “catch-all” assault, encompassing all assaults not specifically defined in First through Third Degrees.
Under RCW 9A.36.041, a person is guilty of assault in the fourth degree if, under circumstances not amounting to assault in the first, second, or third degree, or custodial assault, he or she assaults another.
Ashbach Law Offices, LLC has successful experience representing those charged with Assault in all degrees, including assaults with deadly weapons. Ashbach Law Offices has established a strong reputation in particular with domestic violence assaults.
If you, or someone you care about, has been charged (or may be) with Assault in King County, Skagit County, Snohomish County, or Whatcom County, call Ashbach Law Offices, LLC today at (360) 659-4950 for a free, no-pressure case evaluation.
With a reputation in the legal community as aggressive, effective and successful criminal defense attorneys, we are here to help you through your difficult times.
Ashbach Law Offices, LLC represents clients charged with criminal offenses in Northwest Washington Courts, including King County, Skagit County, Snohomish County and Whatcom County, as well as other counties on a case-by-case basis. These counties include courts in and for the following cities: Anacortes, Arlington, Auburn, Bellevue, Blaine, Bothell, Burlington, Edmonds, Everett, Issaquah, Kirkland, Lake Stevens, Lynden, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Mukilteo, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Monroe, Redmond, Sea-Tac, Seattle, Sedro Woolley, Shoreline, Snohomish, and Tukwila, Washington.
The Ashbach Law Offices, LLC represents clients charged focused on DUI – Driving Under the Influence, Reckless Driving, Negligent Driving, Driving with a Suspended License, Hit and Run, Assault, Domestic Violence, Drug Possession (including marijuana), and Paraphernalia Possession, Malicious Mischief, Public Disturbances like Disorderly Conduct, Theft, No-Contact Orders, Harassment, Probation Violation Hearings, as well as speeding tickets.