Washington Assault Laws

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Being charged with an assault in Washington is a life changing event. You may be unsure of what is going to happen and frightened at the prospect of potentially serious consequences, including assault penalites that could include jail time. We understand that fear and are here to help.

Assault is a serious offense and one that requires an attorney with serious criminal defense experience and knowledge. We have been defending assault cases for years and know what you are up against. We know the players in the Washington criminal courts and want to be on your side when it is time to go to trial.

Whether you were acting in self defense, got into a bar fight, or your actions were misinterpreted by the police, we want to know. We understand everyone makes mistakes and want to help you show the court your side.

Assault Laws & Penalties

Assault is divided into several categories depending on the circumstances of the offense.

First Degree Assault

You may be charged with and found guilty if first degree assault if you assault someone with a firearm or other deadly weapon in a way likely to cause great bodily harm or death and you do so with the intent to cause such harm as well.

This offense is a class A felony seriousness level XII. This means for a first time offender with no criminal record, the potential sentence is 93-123 months in prison and fines of up to $50,000. This is no doubt a very serious offense.

RCW 9A.36.011

Second Degree Assault

Second degree assault is defined in Washington statutes as doing one of the following:

  • Intentionally assaulting someone and inflicting substantial bodily harm
  • Causing bodily harm to an unborn child by intentionally and unlawfully inflicting any injury on the mother
  • Assaulting with a deadly weapon
  • Administering poison with the intent to inflict bodily harm
  • Assault while attempting to commit a felony
  • Torturing by knowingly inflicting harm causing pain or agony
  • Assaulting by strangulation

Assault in the 2nd degree is a Class B felony and is ranked at seriousness level IV. This means that someone with no criminal history will face a potential sentence of 3-12 months in prison and fines of up to $20,000.

RCW 9A.36.021

Third Degree Assault

Assault in the 3rd degree is committed when you:

  • Commit assault in an effort to impede a lawful order of the court or in avoidance of being taken into custody.
  • Assault a driver of public transportation or a school bus
  • With criminal negligence (as opposed to intent) cause bodily harm to another with a weapon
  • Assault a firefighter or police officer
  • Assault a nurse, physician, or health provider

Third degree assault is a Class C felony and a seriousness level III offense. For someone with a clean criminal record this could mean 1-3 months in prison and fines of up to $10,000. However, if you have multiple convictions on your record this sentence could be as much as 43 months in prison.

RCW 9A.36.031

Fourth Degree Assault

Fourth degree assault simply consists of any assault that would not be serious enough to fit into 1st through 3rd degree assault. This offense is a gross misdemeanor and is punishable by more than 90 days in jail.

An offense like this would typically be resolved through probation if you have no criminal record.

RCW 9A.36.041

Get a Free Case Evaluation and Legal Defense Consultation on Washington Assault Charges

Assault is a serious offense, and the potential risk of serving months in prison can be very frightening. With a skilled defense attorney at your side, you can feel more secure that you will get the best results possible on your day in court. Call for a consultation on your Washington assault case today.

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