Mandatory arrest laws in Washington State have created many situations where police office arrive at the scene maybe they are faced with a victim that is emotional, maybe they see defensive wounds such as scratches on the perpetrator and the police make the wrong call and they arrest the victim. Then the victim has to answer to the domestic violence allegations. The law has recognized the situation and just as of July of 2020 has changed the vacate statue to give victims of domestic violence a lot more leeway and flexibility in terms of vacating the convictions that were essentially weaponized against them as another tool by their abuser.
So, how this works is that the court has relaxed the process for vacating, that means taking away the conviction, on cases where the defendant is a victim of domestic violence. It’s something that you work on with your attorney, generally including declarations describing the situation anything supportive along those lines and then it gets sent to the prosecutor for review and goes from there. This is a really positive trend in essentially trying to recognize that the domestic violence rules could have gone a little too far sometimes with the mandatory arrests and the consequences of that.