For Washington State domestic violence crimes, courts will often require a "domestic violence" evaluation. Likewise, if your domestic violence related offense involve alcohol or drugs then you may need to get an alcohol or drug evaluation.
Any DV evaluation and recommendation you seek is confidential and we find it helpful to start this process early on in the case. If the fact that you were evaluated and are seeking counseling (or do not need counseling) becomes helpful in your case, we are able to point out that you proactively took this step before being required by the court.
Domestic Violence Violations:
It is sometimes appropriate in a domestic violence related case to talk with a professional about the appropriateness of domestic violence counseling. We will refer you to the appropriate professional to discuss these issues with and get a recommendation for counseling if appropriate.
Mental Health Evaluations:
In some cases, your domestic violence case may have stemmed from mental health issues. If you are dealing with depression, are bi-polar or have any other mental health issue, it may be important to get a mental health evaluation. Some of our clients have never sought treatment for mental health issues and we have helped them find an appropriate treatment provider. Other clients we have helped are in treatment and have needed help notifying their current provider of the charges faced, while at the same time protecting all their constitutional rights. We can help advise you on how to do this.
Alcohol or Drug Related Violations:
If you domestic violence case involves alcohol or drugs, we can also point you in the correct direction. We work with a variety of Washington State certified alcohol and drug treatment agencies to help guide you through the process. The agencies that we work with are all reputable and are interested in properly evaluating each individual. Some treatment agencies are known to give a “free” evaluation and then find you need thousands of dollars worth of treatment. The agencies we work with do not do this. Instead, they charge a reasonable fee for the time it takes them to do an evaluation. We find that this creates a more fair evaluation for it allows them to make a decision not based upon a financial incentive, but upon what is appropriate for the individual.
They will tell it to you straight – whether you have no significant problem with alcohol or drugs or if you have become dependent upon them - we believe that you will get the truth. No matter what, the evaluations that we have our clients do remain confidential and do not go to anyone other than us unless and until they are needed to be filed with the court.
The court is also required to keep the evaluations confidential. We have also found that most of our clients do not need to do alcohol or drug treatment outside of a one day class. However, for those that are in need of more comprehensive treatment many of them have thanked us in later years for the recommendations that we have made for their treatment providers. Ironically, more than one of our clients has said to us that being accused of the crime “was the best thing that could have happened to me.” Through the help of proper treatment they were able to change their life from one that was going down a destructive path to one full of hope and promise.
In the end, we think it is important to carefully evaluate treatment options. If you are fortunate enough not to need treatment, we will help you with that. If you do need treatment, we will help put you in touch with the right experts to turn things around.