Criminal Harassment Charges DV
Washington law makes it a crime to knowingly threaten to harm another person with bodily injury or to threaten to damage his or her property. Doing so constitutes a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5000 fine. Harassment can also be charged as a class C felony if the person makes a threat to kill another person or has previously been convicted of Harassment against the same individual before. Harassment is often charged as a domestic violence crime when it arises in a domestic dispute. Such criminal charges are often very hard to prove at trial because the alleged criminal conduct is evidenced only by one person’s word against another. This can be increasingly difficult to prove at trial when alleged under a domestic violence scenario because the alleged victim may have a motive to lie. Sometimes, the alleged victim is equally culpable in the domestic dispute and may be covering up his or her own criminal conduct. Sometimes the parties have a strained relationship to begin with and the person may be fabricating the allegations out of vindictiveness. A third common reason why a domestic violence harassment charge might be difficult to prove is because the alleged victim recants his or her story because they don’t want to get the other person into legal trouble. For these reasons, you might have a strong case for trial if charged with criminal harassment charges in a domestic violence setting. Domestic violence lawyer Roger Priest offers a free consultation, so call today to see how we can help.
DV Harassment in Washington
The criminal charge of Harassment, unlike many other misdemeanor charges, requires submission of a DNA sample if you are convicted. Your DNA sample will then be added to a crime investigation database. There it can be cross-referenced against DNA collected in future criminal investigations (or cold cases). The cost of this DNA collection will be added to your criminal fines and fees.