There are four degrees of assault in the Washington criminal justice system. In most cases, an assault is a reckless action against a person that causes injury or death. The severity of the injury varies but could be as simple as a bruise or sprain.
What assault in the third degree means
Assault in the third degree occurs when someone inflicts severe injury to another person or causes him or her to die. A person commits actions that lead to “the death or bodily harm to another person while using a deadly weapon.” This weapon can be the use of one’s hands or body. This type of assault is often less deliberate and malicious than assault in the first or second degree. An example is shoving a person to the ground to get to the front of a line.
A felony conviction
Third-degree assault is a Class C felony in Washington. A criminal conviction could result in a $10,000 fine and a sentence of five years in prison. The length and severity of the sentence depend on the individual’s criminal history.
Many state laws are designed to curtail the repeating cycle of domestic violence. Convictions for domestic violence, which occurs between spouses, family members and live-in residents, may require the perpetrator to obey protective or antiharassment orders or attend anger management classes.
Your rights and responsibilities
Every violent or nonviolent crime is assigned a category based on its level of severity. Understand the definition of assault in the third degree if you’re facing a charge that is likely to lead to a conviction. Every suspect must understand the severity of a Class C felony and a third-degree crime.