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What constitutes fourth-degree assault in Washington state?

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Quick Answer

Fourth-degree assault in Washington state is an assault which is not a first-, second-, or third-degree assault, each of which is a more serious crime. Fourth-degree assault is a gross misdemeanor, according to the Washington State Legislature. It is punishable by the judgment of a court of up to 364 days in county jail and up to $5,000, according to Christine Beckwith, Attorney at Law.

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Third-degree assault is an attack that results in bodily harm to specified persons engaged in their official duties, according to Christine Beckwith, Attorney at Law. In this crime, bodily harm is injury that is neither permanent nor substantial. The specified persons include police officers and firefighters, but also bus drivers, transit workers, health care workers and members of the court. This crime is a Class C felony, punishable by jail time of up to five years.

Second-degree assault is an attack that results in substantial bodily harm. Substantial bodily harm is severe but not permanent. This crime is a Class B felony, punishable by a jail sentence of up to 10 years, according to Christine Beckwith, Attorney at Law.

First-degree assault is an attack upon a person with the intent and the results of producing great bodily harm, according to the Washington State Legislature. Great bodily harm entails permanent injury, disfigurement or impairment. The attack can include but is not limited to the use of a firearm or other deadly weapon. This crime is a Class A felony, which can be punished by a lengthy jail sentence, especially if done by a repeat offender, according to Christine Beckwith, Attorney at Law.

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