Domestic violence charges may be files as MISDEMEANOR or a FELONY. How the prosecutor files the criminal charges is based on The seriousness of the case. Severe injuries (including cuts and broken bones) will almost always be charged as a felony. No injury or slight injury cases will generally be filed as a misdemeanor. Both prior acts of reported domestic violence and the criminal history of the accused may also influence how the case is filed.
Can the Victim Drop Charges
In Washington, you can be arrested and prosecuted for domestic violence EVEN IF THE VICTIM DOES NOT WANT YOU ARRESTED. In some cases, especially with spousal abuse, it is very difficult to have a case dismissed even if the victim does not wish to proceed. The prosecutor can proceed with the criminal case even if the alleged victim decides they do not want to proceed. The prosecutor is the only one who can drop charges because the victim is merely a witness in a government prosecution. Penalties for domestic violence are severe and can have life altering consequences. A conviction can lead to jail or prison time, loss of firearm rights, protection orders.