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Failure To Appear in Court (Bail Jump) and Jury Nullification

State of Washington v. Ryan Patrick Moore No. 69766-81

Ryan Moore was accused of possession of a stolen vehicle. After arraignment, the defendant failed to appear for court as ordered. The defendant was at his attorney's office during the missed court date. The court provides no explanation for what the defendant was doing at the attorney's office during the missed court date. Ultimately, the State dismissed the possession of a stolen vehicle charge, but went to trial on the bail jump charge. For a further discussion of bail jump see our article: Frequently Asked Questions About Bail Jump

At trial, the defendant was not allowed to testify that the underlying charge had been dismissed. Mr. Moore was found guilty at trial. With offender score of 9, Mr. Moore's sentencing range was 51-68 months. Mr. Moore was sentenced to 51 months. It appears that the trial court, and the Court of Appeals, were concerned about jury nullification. Jury nullification occurs in a trial when a jury acquits a defendant they believe to be guilty of the charges against them. This may occur when members of the jury disagree with the law the defendant has been charged with breaking, or believe that the law should not be applied in that particular case.

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ATC (Alternative to Confinement) Exclusion List for Pierce County, Washington

ATC is an alternative to confinement program. ATC is available for Pierce County Superior Court felony cases. You can read our article about ATC here

Some charges are not eligible for the ATC program. Some past convictions also prevent you from entering the program. It should be noted that ATC is only available for Pierce County Superior Court charges. ATC is only available for felony convictions. Unless you are also convicted of a felony, ATC is not available for DUI, Reckless Driving, 4th Degree Assault and Negligent 1st Degree.

Individuals currently charged with the following felony offenses are excluded from consideration for the ATC program:

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State v. David Aaron Soto, 30121-4-III: A Precedent Against Sentencing Enhancements for Unranked Felonies

This case presented a statutory construction issue of first impression: whether a sentencing court has authority to impose a firearm sentence enhancement on a defendant's sentence for conviction of an unranked felony. The Court concluded that RCW 9.94A.533, which provides for firearm and other sentence enhancements, applies only to ranked offenses. Or stated another way, you cannot add a sentencing enhancement to an unranked felonies.

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