A man in California was arrested recently after several women at an upscale restaurant saw him slip a drug into his date's glass while she was away from the dinner table. He was charged with one felony count each of administering a drug and assault with the intent to commit a sex crime.
In Washington State, there are four degrees of assault in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), ranging from misdemeanor to felony. Penalties range from probation to more than 10 years in jail and a $50,000 fine depending on the severity of the assault for which a defendant is found guilty.
Types of assault defined in the Revised Code of Washington include:
Assault in the first degree (RCW 9A.36.011) which is a Class A felony. It is punishable by up to life imprisonment and $50,000 in fines. A person is guilty of assault in the first degree if he or she, with intent to inflict great bodily harm:
- Assaults another person with a firearm or any deadly weapon or by any force or means likely to produce great bodily harm or death.
- Administers, exposes or transmits to or causes to be taken by another, poison, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or any other destructive or noxious substance.
- Assaults another and inflicts great bodily harm.
Assault in the second degree (RCW 9A.36.021) is a Class B felony unless there is a finding of sexual motivation. Then it increases to a Class A felony. A Class B felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines. A person is guilty of assault in the second degree if he or she:
- Recklessly inflicts substantial bodily harm by strangulation or suffocation; poison or any other destructive or noxious substance; torture; or with a deadly weapon.
- Intentionally caused harm to an unborn child by inflicting injury on the mother.
- Assaulted someone while attempting to commit another felony.
Assault in the third degree (RCW 9A.36.031) is a class C felony. It is punishable by up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines. A person is guilty of assault in the third degree if he or she:
- Committed an assault in an effort to avoid arrest or to impede a court order.
- Negligently caused bodily harm to someone with a weapon or accompanied by substantial pain that extends for a period sufficient to cause considerable suffering.
- Assaults a person employed as a school bus driver, transit operator or driver, the immediate supervisor, a mechanic, or a security officer; a firefighter or employee of the fire department, county fire marshal's office, county fire prevention bureau or fire protection district; a law enforcement officer or other employee of a law enforcement agency; a nurse, physician or healthcare provider; a judicial officer, court-related employee, county clerk, or county clerk's employee; or a person located in a courtroom, jury room, judge's chamber or any waiting area or corridor immediately adjacent to a courtroom, jury room or judge's chamber.
Assault in the fourth degree (RCW 9A.36.041) is a gross misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is more than 90 days and less than one year in jail and fines up to $5,000. A person is guilty of assault in the fourth degree if, under circumstances not amounting to assault in the first, second, or third degree, or custodial assault, he or she assaults another.
Any criminal conviction can result in a jail sentence. Every defendant has the right to the best representation in court. If you have been arrested, call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.