In Washington State, a person will be charged with Interfering with the Reporting of Domestic Violence after committing a domestic violence crime and preventing or attempting to prevent the alleged victim or a witness from any of the following:
- Calling 911
- Making a police report
- Receiving medical assistance
A necessary element of this crime is that an act of domestic violence must have occurred prior to the alleged reporting interference.
Can I go to jail for DV Interfering?
Yes, a simple accusation can be life changing if not properly handled by a skilled domestic violence attorney. Your outcome will depend on the quality of your legal representation, the facts of your case, and your criminal history (if any).
In WA State, interfering with the reporting of DV is a gross misdemeanor, which means that there is a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail and a $5000 fine. An arrest will likely result in the issuance of a No Contact Order while the case is pending, which can be extremely disruptive to normal life. Additionally, probation, electronic home monitoring, and treatment for substance abuse are commonly ordered by the court after a conviction.
If convicted, will I lose my gun rights?
Certain domestic violence convictions in Washington State can result in the loss of firearm rights, but interfering with the reporting of domestic violence is not one of them. However, if the underlying domestic violence charge that was being reported is violent in nature, your gun rights could be lost.
Will a conviction affect my ability to get a job, housing, or travel?
Unfortunately, it often will. Click here to read about the non-criminal consequences of DV.
What is the best way to avoid a conviction?
There are two cases involved. The underlying domestic violence case and the interfering with DV case. If you win the underlying DV case, you also win the interfering with the reporting of DV case. If the underlying DV case is not won, the interfering case can still be won and defended separately.
It is a good idea to avoid speaking with the alleged victim, law enforcement, and really anybody else about what happened. A criminal defense attorney can carefully tell your side of the story.
At Beckwith DV Law, we have a proven track record for defending all charges that relate to domestic violence. We fight charges in Puget Sound courts that include Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Tacoma, and Olympia, WA.
Call us today for a free consultation.