An assault conviction of any degree can brand you as a violent person for a long time and can be one of the most difficult offenses to overcome. When the public sees an assault charge they immediately think of aggressive, violent acts. But an assault can be something relatively minor such as a shove at a sporting event, to something extremely serious such as shooting another person. Whatever the conduct, if your criminal history includes an assault charge you may face significant challenges in the future. Michele is experienced in defending all types of assault charges and is familiar with the extensive lists of defenses available to successfully defend these difficult cases.
The Domestic Violence statute can be applied to family members (either through blood or marriage), people involved in a current or past dating relationship, people who have a child in common, even roommates. If you or a family member is arrested for a Domestic Violence offense, contact an attorney immediately. Having an attorney at your first court appearance can change the course of you entire case. Michele has represented hundreds of clients charged with Domestic Violence throughout Western Washington and knows the system. She has had excellent success with non-conviction resolutions, reduction of charges, and dismissal of charges. Domestic Violence charges can also include Malicious Mischief, Harassment, or Child Abuse. Click here for additional information on Domestic Violence.
Self-Defense and Defense of Others
Self Defense and Defense of Others can be at issue in virtually any case that alleges any form of assault. Were you afraid for yourself or someone else at the time you used force? Was the force no greater than reasonably necessary to defense against the perceived assault? If so, a defense of Self-Defense or Defense of Others may be possible and result in the dismissal or reduction or charges. Creating a successful defense requires an attorney who knows the law and how to work with experts who may be necessary to explain that the force was reasonable. Michele has successfully defended many cases involving these defenses.
Assault cases may also arise from instances where a person has consented to the activity that results in harm. Examples of this include sports activities or an agreement to engage in conduct that could result in physical harm, such as a mutual fight. Consent may become an issue if someone initially agrees to the contact, is injured, and then alleges they never consented in the first place. Presenting this defense requires a thorough investigation to prove the consent occurred.
Washington has strict laws regarding disciplining a child. These laws are aggressively enforced and investigated both by law enforcement and Child Protective Services. Child abuse investigations arise in cases of accidentally causing harm to a child, untruthful allegations, or when someone uses more force than necessary to discipline a child. Michele understands all of these circumstances and has helped families work through these difficult cases without breaking a family apart. For more information on child abuse investigations and their consequences visit our child protective services page.
Shaken Baby Syndrome
Some of the saddest cases that occur are those that involve excessive use of force on a small child. Commonly known as “shaken baby syndrome” these cases involve an individual, usually a parent or caregiver, who uses force to quiet or discipline a child. Sometimes, the individual does not even know the child has been harmed. Sometimes there is another cause of the injury, such as a birth defect. In some cases, the parent or caregiver suffers from a mental illness or other difficulty that causes them to not realize the severity of their actions. These difficult cases require compassion and careful analysis to determine what defenses are available. Michele has experience working with individuals charged with shaken baby offenses and the experts that are absolutely critical to presenting a successful defense.