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If you or someone you know has been convicted of a felony in Washington state, you might be wondering about the next steps. Will you be able to return home until your sentencing hearing, or are you obligated to stay in jail until then? The answers depend on various factors, including the nature of the felony, the court’s discretion, and Washington’s legal framework, RCW 10.64.025(1).

RCW 10.64.025 is a specific section of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) that governs the detention of defendants who have been found guilty of felonies and are awaiting sentencing. This law is part of Chapter 10.64, which comprehensively covers the procedures related to sentencing and judgment in criminal cases.

RCW 10.64.025(1) outlines the general rule for detaining defendants following felony convictions. It states:

A defendant who has been found guilty of a felony and is awaiting sentencing shall be detained unless the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is not likely to flee or to pose a danger to the safety of any other person or the community if released. Any bail bond that was posted on behalf of a defendant shall, upon the defendant’s conviction, be exonerated.

In practical terms, this means that if you have been found guilty of a felony, you will be taken into custody and held in jail until your sentencing hearing, unless the court determines otherwise based on clear and convincing evidence. Clear and convincing evidence represents a high standard of proof, requiring more certainty than a mere preponderance of evidence (the “more likely than not” standard) but less than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard required for criminal convictions. It implies that the evidence must be both highly probable and persuasive.

The court is granted the discretion to release you pending sentencing if it finds clear and convincing evidence that you are not likely to abscond or pose a danger to anyone or the community. In making this determination, the court may weigh various factors, including your criminal history, ties to the community, family situation, employment status, physical and mental health, history of substance abuse, compliance with prior court orders, and any other relevant circumstances.

If you were previously out on bail before your trial, be prepared to forfeit your bail money and be taken into custody once you are found guilty. This is because any bail bond posted on your behalf will be exonerated, effectively discharging or canceling it. While this means the bail bond company or individual who posted bail on your behalf will receive a refund, you will not.

In summary, RCW 10.64.025(1) plays a pivotal role in Washington State’s legal framework by determining the fate of individuals convicted of felonies as they await their sentencing hearing. Understanding the intricacies of this law can help individuals and their loved ones navigate the process more effectively and ensure they are prepared for what comes next.

You can find RCW 10.64.025 here:

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About Blanford Law:

We are no-nonsense, relentless, fair, and honest. We are great listeners instead of fast talkers, that is just who we are. More than 20 years ago, Ken began practicing law with a deeply-seeded belief that every person has the right to the best legal representation available. He built his law firm on that belief. Another belief that he strongly adheres to is his fundamental belief that clients deserve respect, with no assumptions or preconceived notions.  If you or someone you know is accused of a crime or injured as a result of the negligence of another, please have them call us at 253-720-9304 or email us