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LegalEagle1, Criminal Lawyer
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I was charged with Assault 4. I was having a verbal disagreement

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I was charged with Assault 4. I was having a verbal disagreement with my boyfriend, asked to be let out of the car. He did not stop so I could safely exit the car (it is mine, he was driving) and I hit the dashboard with my wrist out of frustration and I crumpled up the cigarettes that I purchased. He did not like that, and tried to take my cell phone from my possession so there was a small struggle to keep the $300 phone in my own hands. Someone in a different car followed us and told the police I struck him in the arm. When pulled over, they claimed he had marks on his arm from the alleged assault. He sent me 5 photos of his arm while I Was being held on Assault 4 DV and none of them show any signs of a mark (just his sad & tearstained face). There is a no contact order which I have been following. I also have 5 photos of my hands/wrists showing no bruising except where I hit the dashboard that I took immediately after being released about 18 hours later. I took 5 additional photos a few days later to show no bruising appeared after a day or two. What can I do to help my case? I did not hit him, I didn't threaten him in any way, I Asked to be let out before the situation got to that point and my phone case is even all messed up from him trying to take the phone from me but I want to be able to continue our relationship so I do not want the NCO to remain!
I live in WA state and I'm not sure if it's relevant but my dad passed away 5 months ago..
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. I would like to assist you with you question today.

Unfortunately what your type of situation is becoming a common occurrence.

Assault is defined as an intentional touching, striking, cutting or shooting of another person, with unlawful force, that is harmful or offensive regardless of whether any physical injury is done to the person. A touching, striking, cutting or shooting is offensive if the touching, striking, cutting or shooting would offend an ordinary person who is not unduly sensitive.

An assault can also be an act, with unlawful force, done with 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. It is not necessary that bodily injury be inflicted.

An assault can also an act, with unlawful force, 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.

An act is not an assault, if it is done with the consent of the person alleged to be assaulted.

Under RCW 9A.16.020, .050, Washington State law that the use of force against another individual in certain circumstances is allowed if specific conditions are present. The law provides that non-deadly force may be used in the following circumstances:

1. By a person about to be injured by another, or

2. By a person aiding the party about to be injured; or

3. By a person in order to prevent or attempt to prevent an offense against his own person; or

4. By a person in order to prevent an offense against a trespass or other malicious interference with property lawfully in his/her possession.

The use of force for self defense must always appear to be the only reasonable choice that the defender has in light of the circumstances as they appear to that individual at the time of the assault, and can never be more than is necessary. Use of deadly force requires a more stringent test than what is laid out above.

So you have the following defenses available to you to fight the charge.

1) It did not happen, you did not strike him in the arm (or anywhere else). Hopefully your boyfriend will confirm that you did hit him.

2) The only reason you did struggle with him was self defense. You were trying to prevent the unlawful taking of your cellphone.

As far as the protective order is concerned, I would suggest at the next court proceeding you have your lawyer ask the court to dissolve the protective order. If your boyfriend is present in court and advises the court that he is not afraid of you harming him and that he does not want the order to remain in effect there is a good chance the court will dissolve the order.

I strongly suggest that he retain an experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with your court to represent you. In far to many cases unrepresented defendants appear in court and unknowingly make statements to the court that do not help but rather harm their cases.

I hope that I have answered your question. Please let me know if you have more questions or need more information.

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