The First Time Felony Waiver. A Washington Criminal Defense Lawyer | Attorney’s Perspective.
When you are facing a felony charge for the first time, there are alternatives to a prison sentence if you are facing a felony conviction. A First Time Felony Waiver gives a judge the option of imposing a lighter sentence than it otherwise might have to by law. As reputable criminal defense attorneys | lawyers, we always consider the pros and cons of a First Time Felony Waiver with our clients and will craft plea bargains with this sentencing alternative in mind as well as the long term goal of vacating a felony conviction.
How do one qualify for a first time felony waiver?
In general, to qualify for a first time felony waiver, a client must:
- Never have been previously convicted of a felony anywhere in the United States;
- Never participated in a felony deferred prosecution program;
- Your conviction cannot be for any of the following felonies: Any felony defined under any law as a class A felony or an attempt to commit a class A felony; Criminal solicitation of or criminal conspiracy to commit a class A felony; Manslaughter in the first degree; Manslaughter in the second degree; Indecent liberties if committed by forcible compulsion; Kidnapping in the second degree; Arson in the second degree; Assault in the second degree; Assault of a child in the second degree; Extortion in the first degree; Robbery in the second degree; Drive-by shooting; any “sex offense as defined by RCW 9.94A.030; Manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance
classified in Schedule I or II that is a narcotic drug or flunitrazepam classified in Schedule IV; Manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to deliver a methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, and salts of its isomers as defined in RCW 69.50.206(d)(2); Selling for profit of any controlled substance or counterfeit substance classified in Schedule I, RCW 69.50.204, except leaves and flowering tops of marijuana; Felony driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug; or, Felony physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug.
What kinds of Sentences will a First Time Felony Waiver Produce?
If you qualify for a first time felony waiver, the court has the option of imposing a sentence up to 90 days in confinement (jail) and can give up to 6 months of community custody (what used to be called probation in the old days), or 12 months of community custody if some sort of treatment is ordered (drug treatment, alcohol treatment, mental health treatment etc.). The conditions put in place with community custody can vary and are only limited by the law (conditions of community custody) and what the judge thinks is appropriate after hearing arguments from the prosecuting attorney and your criminal defense lawyer. We have seen courts give no jail sentences with community service, light jail sentences with thousands of hours of community service and we have also seen judges refuse to apply the first time felony waiver based on a defendant’s behavior. If the crime you are sentenced on qualifies for a first time felony waiver, it is important that you and your criminal defense attorney | lawyer pay close attention to collecting and preparing information that will sway a judge in the right direction.
The criminal defense lawyers | attorneys in our office have handled an enormous number of complicated cases in the criminal arena over the course of our lengthy criminal law careers. We are a unique blend of courtroom experience, knowledge, skills and temperament. Our lawyers know criminal cases are rarely as simple as the police reports claim and our clients hire us because they want staunch and effective counsel who takes the time to make sure their rights are protected. Whether our role is as legal counsel, negotiator, or litigator, we have years of experience fighting and resolving cases with our clients’ best interests in mind.