There are many things to be dissatisfied with here in Washington: the red light cameras that they are beginning to place everywhere, the multitude of police officers combined with the increase in charges filed against people for even the simplest of things. Today I want to discuss one in particular though. This law reflects both my experience and that of a woman met at the court house recently.
What is this horrible Washington state law?
The law I’m referring to is the domestic violence law, and while I understand its need, I believe officers and government here are beginning to use it as nothing more then a way to finance themselves.
Why would I say that about this Washington state law?
When it comes to Washington and domestic violence cases, our civil rights are severely in jeopardy. When an officer is called to the scene of a domestic dispute, he is required under Washington state law to arrest some one.
Odds are the female is not the one to be arrested in any circumstance but the most blatant, and the requirements upon the court weigh far too heavily upon the families that they are meant to protect.
No contact order, Washington state law.
Washington State Law indicates that after arrest, a no contact order must immediately be filed by the DA and the spouse, or allegedly abused, have no say in whether charges are filed or not.
An unhappy spouse’s only recourse, under these laws, is to recant testimony, or argue the defendants case for them. During this time, while the case is ongoing, the defendants right to freedom of speech is taken away, by non other then the presiding government themselves. In this case the presiding government is the state. Self imposing this no contact order, is saying that the defendant does not have the right to speak freely in the presence of his/her spouse.
No contact order, Washington state law repercussions.
A no contact order can have severe repercussions in any relationship, but it can be far worse when there are children involved, or when a spouse is reliant upon the other spouse financially.
A no contact order means ‘No contact with the defendant at any time, through any means.’ no phone calls, no letters, and no third party messages basically it’s a restraining order with a fancy name. This order is imposed prior to being found guilty, which is also a constitutional violation, in that you are ‘Innocent until proven guilty, in a court of law, by a jury of your peers’.
This is at it’s very foundation a penalty imposed by the state upon the defendant, prior to being proven guilty, but more over it can cause the spouse or the children involved to suffer. A working man may be forced, under this law, to provide for two house holds rather then one.
Providing for even him/herself would become a task in itself, with so many court dates. Often times the first thing an attorney will do is move to extend the trial, for collecting evidence and testimony, but this is not the best option at all.
Extending the trial and waiving your right to a speedy trial, does nothing more then prolong the government imposed ‘no contact order’ and delay the spouses return to full time work. Whether you know some one who has suffered through this, or you are going through this now, something needs to be done about this. Even those of you out there, who have never had the misfortune of being presented with a case like this, could fall prey under these Washington laws.
Washington state law, consequences.
While a domestic violence issue is just a gross misdemeanor it can have serious consequences for all those involved. In the case of the women I met at the court house, she had been seen by two officers doing nothing more then horse playing with her husband, and these officers took it upon themselves to press charges. This kind of activity cannot, and should not be allowed to continue.
Washington state law, what can you do?
The solution starts with you. Do not accept a plea bargain. Do get a real attorney, and do your best to fight the case to the bitter or sweet end, and that means every case. Only once there is enough case law to back up the claims that these are constitutional violations, illegally imposed by the state, will this ever get corrected.
For those of you out there who have never had to live through this misfortune there is something you can do to. Contact Gregoire and tell her you don’t appreciate these laws that jeopardize your feelings of safety with your spouse in public. Make it known that this is not acceptable, and you may just regain a sense of security.
Under any other charge a plaintiff is given the opportunity to decide for his/herself whether they would like to press charges. If no charges are filed the defendant is released and may return to his/her everyday life with no penalties imposed by the government. This is the way it was meant to be and the fore fathers of this country wrote the constitution for a reason.
The David Brame case that started it all:
Washington local area listings on Google.