Overview of Harassment Charges and Allegations in Everett, Lynnwood, Marysville and the Rest of Snohomish County, Washington, as well as Skagit County and King County

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Unlawful Harassment in Washington - 9A.46.020

In Washington, a person may be charged with Harassment when he or she, without lawful authority, allegedly threatens to cause bodily injury to the victim, cause physical damage to the property of the victim, or threatens to confine or restrain the victim, or threatens to do something else that will substantially harm the victim’s physical or mental health or safety. This can be done by words or conduct that places the victim in “reasonable fear” that the threat will be carried out.

Normal Harassment is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and $5000 in fines. The RCW also specifies incidents when harassment is a felony (punishable by more than a year in jail). These include situations where the defendant has previously been convicted of harassing the same alleged victim (or person in victim’s family), when harassment is in violation of a no-contact or no-harassment order, of if the defendant allegedly threatens to kill the threatened person. In these cases, the Felony Harassment is a Class C Felony. It is important to note that harassment does not have to be communicated directly to the victim; the victim can hear about it through a third party.

If the victim is a “household member,” harassment may carry the “domestic violence” tag. This can mean disqualification from certain types of jobs, loss of firearm rights, a no-contact order being issued, loss of parenting rights, and more severe jail time if convicted.

If you have, or someone you care about has, been charged (or may be charged) with a harassment crime, call Ashbach Law Offices, LLC today at (360) 659-4950 today for a free consultation. We are experienced in these matters, and will fight for you and your interests.

9A.46.020 Definition — Penalties.
  • (1) A person is guilty of harassment if: (a) Without lawful authority, the person knowingly threatens: (i) To cause bodily injury immediately or in the future to the person threatened or to any other person; or (ii) To cause physical damage to the property of a person other than the actor; or (iii) To subject the person threatened or any other person to physical confinement or restraint; or (iv) Maliciously to do any other act which is intended to substantially harm the person threatened or another with respect to his or her physical or mental health or safety; and (b) The person by words or conduct places the person threatened in reasonable fear that the threat will be carried out. "Words or conduct" includes, in addition to any other form of communication or conduct, the sending of an electronic communication.
  • (2)(a) Except as provided in (b) of this subsection, a person who harasses another is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. (b) A person who harasses another is guilty of a class C felony if either of the following applies: (i) The person has previously been convicted in this or any other state of any crime of harassment, as defined in RCW 9A.46.060, of the same victim or members of the victim's family or household or any person specifically named in a no-contact or no-harassment order; or (ii) the person harasses another person under subsection (1)(a)(i) of this section by threatening to kill the person threatened or any other person.
  • (3) The penalties provided in this section for harassment do not preclude the victim from seeking any other remedy otherwise available under law.


Ashbach Law Offices, LLC, aggressively represents clients throughout the Washington I-5 corridor, covering Skagit, Snohomish, King and Whatcom Counties. Regular courts of practice include, but are not limited to, Anacortes, Arlington, Bellevue, Bellingham, Blaine, Burlington, Edmonds, Everett, Issaquah, Lake Stevens Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe, Mount Vernon, Mountlake Terrance, Redmond, Seattle, Sedro Woolley and Shoreline.


Everett Municipal Court, Lynnwood Municipal Court, Monroe Municipal Court, Anacortes Municipal Court, Edmonds Municipal Court. View all courts we work with here: Courts We Work With.

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