Can a Washington State criminal court order participation in a crime related treatment program so as to lessen the risk of re-offense and/or to promote the basic fundamental concept of community safety? Recently, a Washington State criminal court found (pursuant to RCW 9.94A.703) that a court may require an offender to “[p]articipate in crime-related treatment or counseling services” or “in rehabilitative programs” that are reasonably related to the offense committed.
In the case the defendant challenged a court’s imposition of domestic violence treatment after a jury convicted him of domestic violence related charges – the defendant was convicted of second degree assault, unlawful imprisonment, and felony harassment of his former girlfriend. In light of the conviction, at sentencing, the prosecutor asked the trial court to require the defendant to complete domestic violence treatment. The defendant objected to the state’s request/ recommendation, and argued that the statute only authorized the court to require domestic violence treatment under certain delineated circumstances, of which his case did not meet. Over the defendant’s objection, the trial court found that it did, in fact, have the authority to require the onerous treatment and so ordered. The defendant appealed the trial court’s ruling. In August of this year, the appeals court sided with the trial court and found that RCW 9.94A.703(3) allows the court to order crime related treatment and/or rehabilitation programs as part of any term of community custody, and that such authority was neither limited or qualified in its scope.
If you (or a loved one) find yourself facing a DV related criminal charge, it is infinitely important to immediately contact and hire a Seattle domestic violence attorney. The Seattle domestic violence attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle domestic violence lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether cited for domestic violence related assault, malicious mischief, property destruction or some other crime, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys immediately at 206.441.0900.