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Navigating the legal landscape can be challenging, especially when it comes to understanding specific statutes like RCW 9.98.010. This law plays a crucial role in the Washington state legal system, specifically addressing the disposition of untried indictments, informations, or complaints against individuals already incarcerated. In this blog, we’ll break down the complexities of RCW 9.98.010, providing a clear, reader-friendly explanation of what it entails and its implications.

What is RCW 9.98.010?

RCW 9.98.010 is a statute in Washington state law that outlines the procedures for dealing with untried indictments, informations, or complaints when a person is already serving a prison term. This law ensures that individuals in custody are not left in legal limbo regarding other charges they may face.

Key Provisions of the Statute

1. 120-Day Rule for Trial

Under RCW 9.98.010, if a person in custody has pending charges, they must be brought to trial within 120 days after requesting a final disposition. This request must be made in writing to both the prosecuting attorney and the court where the charges are pending.

2. Exclusions from the 120-Day Period

Certain time periods are excluded from this 120-day timeframe, including:

  • Arraignment, pretrial, trial, and sentencing for unrelated charges.
  • Competency proceedings.
  • Detention in a federal facility under non-state conditions.

3. Responsibilities of the Superintendent

The superintendent or their designee must inform relevant authorities about the inmate’s location and availability for trial. They also need to provide certificates containing various details about the inmate’s incarceration.

4. Right to Continuance

The court can grant continuances for good cause, ensuring fair treatment of the incarcerated individual.

5. Procedure for Requesting Disposition

The inmate’s request for final disposition must be accompanied by a certificate from the superintendent, detailing their incarceration status. This request and certificate are then forwarded to the appropriate legal authorities.

6. Inmate Notification

Inmates must be informed about any pending charges and their rights regarding these charges.

7. Effect of Escape

If an inmate escapes after making a request for final disposition, that request becomes void.

Implications and Importance

RCW 9.98.010 is significant because it ensures that individuals who are already incarcerated are not forgotten in the system regarding other charges. This statute provides a clear process for inmates to address pending charges and ensures that their rights to a timely trial are upheld. It also helps the legal system efficiently manage cases, preventing unnecessary delays and ensuring justice is served in a timely manner.

Understanding RCW 9.98.010 is crucial for anyone involved in the legal system in Washington State, whether as a legal professional, inmate, or family member of someone in custody. By outlining clear procedures and rights, this statute plays a vital role in maintaining the integrity and efficiency of the state’s legal processes.

In conclusion, RCW 9.98.010 is a vital component of Washington state law, providing a clear and fair process for handling untried indictments, informations, or complaints against incarcerated individuals. By understanding this statute, we can better navigate the complexities of the legal system and ensure the rights of those in custody are protected.

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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