In April of this year our Supreme Court ruled that RCW 10.99.050 only authorizes a court of limited jurisdiction (a district or municipal court) to issue a DV no-contact order which lasts for the duration of a defendant’s suspended or deferred sentence. See, Washington v. Granath, Docket Number: 94892-5.
The issue arose out of a case involving two gross misdemeanor DV convictions in King County District Court. The defendant was convicted for cyber-stalking and violating a DV no-contact order; she sent her estranged husband e-mails in violation of the court’s no contact order. The order, however, did not have an entered expiration date, and so, by the terms of the pattern form order, it expired by default five years later (or so was the government’s position). The defendant completed her sentence prior to the aforementioned 5 year period, and thus moved the court to vacate the no-contact order on the basis that it ended when she was no longer subject to the underlying no-contact condition of the court’s original sentence. The Court of Appeals sided with the defendant and vacated the no-contact order holding that the district court lacked authority (pursuant to RCW 10.99.050) to enter a no-contact order exceeding the duration of the underlying sentence. The Washington Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeals and affirmed. It found that the no-contact order issued was not enforceable after the defendant completed her suspended sentence, and thus the district court should have granted her motion to vacate.
Whenever cited for a hit and run (or any crime for that matter), it is a smart idea to immediately hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Defense Attorney. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested or charged 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 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 you are cited with an infraction or arrested and/or charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.