A person has a fundamental right to parent his or her own natural children. When a court places a sentencing condition on a person that limits those fundamental rights, it must consider whether there are reasonable alternatives that will further the state’s interest. If there are no reasonable alternatives, the court must narrowly tailor the condition. Washington domestic violence attorneys handling these cases must understand the family law implications of any sentencing conditions imposed by the court. This issue recently arose in a case before the Washington Court of Appeals.
The couple had three children together. In 2015, there were no-contact orders in place keeping the husband from contacting the wife of the six-year-old daughter. Sheriff’s deputies believed the husband was at the wife’s residence. They did not receive a response when they first knocked on the door, but the wife ultimately answered and let them in.
One of the deputies found a locked door and heard noises from inside the room. He forced the door open and found men’s clothing and shoes. The window was open, but the deputies had observed it to be closed when they walked around the house before entering.