In a Washington felony violation of a no-contact order case, the prosecution must prove the existence of the no-contact order and the defendant’s knowledge of it. For a variety of reasons, the defense may not want the jury to see the no-contact order. A recent issue in Washington has been whether a defendant can keep a no-contact order out of evidence by stipulating to its existence and his or her knowledge of it. The Washington Supreme Court recently addressed this issue.
A court entered a domestic violence no-contact order prohibiting the defendant from contacting his girlfriend after he was convicted of a domestic violence offense. Finding the defendant was a “credible threat to [her] physical safety,” the court ordered the defendant not to come within 1000 feet of her residence.
Nevertheless, the couple lived together. According to the Washington Supreme Court’s opinion, a neighbor witnessed them having a verbal altercation outside their home. The girlfriend told the neighbor the defendant had hit her and asked them to call 911. The girlfriend told law enforcement the defendant struck her head and face repeatedly and law enforcement observed bruising and other injuries.