Domestic Violence Assault charges have dramatically increased in the years since the OJ Simpson case.

Washington state and Thurston County have taken a position that this is a crime that will be fully prosecuted by local law enforcement.  Thurston County and the City of Olympia have set up special courts for Domestic Violence Assault prosecutions.

State law now requires an arrest, within the first twelve hours, of any person alleged to have committed an act of Domestic Violence Assault.  This individual is given a ticket by the arresting officer and placed in jail.  This person is allowed to see a judge within one working day.  Persons arrested on a weekend will be in jail until Monday afternoon.  The judge then decides whether to set bail and the amount of bail.

Persons who are not located by the police during the first twelve hours are not subject to the mandatory arrests provisions of the statute.  Often a ticket will be issued to these individuals by mail from the prosecutor's office.

Our office STRONGLY recommends that if you have been charged with Domestic Violence Assault that you enter a plea of not guilty at your arraignment.  This preserves your right to have a review of your case by your attorney, a judge or a jury.

Many individuals, such as those employed as police officers or active duty military servicemen, can not afford a Domestic Violence Assault conviction since such crimes will prohibit them from the ownership or use of a firearm.

After a  plea of not guilty, your case will be set for a Pretrial.  This is a plea offer hearing in which the court finds out if we can resolve your case or if the matter needs to proceed to trial.  Most cases are resolved at the Pretrial.

Ken Valz and Skip Houser represent people charged with Domestic Violence Assault in our local courts.  A one half hour consultation can be arranged for the person who has been charged or a family member.  Call our office as quickly as possible to preserve your rights.