In 2001, changes to Washington law added flexibility to the sentencing for certain sex crimes. Prior to that, judges determined the prison terms. Now judges determine the minimum sentence, the law specifies the maximum sentence and the Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board determines the actual sentence. Since that means a sex crime conviction could effectively result in a life sentence, if you face charges for a sex crime you need support from a Seattle sexual assault defense lawyer.
Conviction on sex crime allegations in Washington State can result in serious consequences. The maximum sentence depends on the type of sex offense. Class B felonies have a maximum sentence of 10 years. A maximum sentence of life in prison applies to Class A felony sex crimes including:
• Rape in the first degree
• Rape in the second degree
• Rape of a child in the first degree
• Child molestation in the first degree
• Indecent liberties with forcible compulsion
• Murder in the first degree with sexual motivation
• Murder in the second degree with sexual motivation
• Homicide by abuse with sexual motivation
• Kidnapping in the first degree with sexual motivation
• Kidnapping in the second degree with sexual motivation
• Assault in the first degree with sexual motivation
• Assault in the second degree with sexual motivation
• Assault of a child in the first degree with sexual motivation
• Burglary in the first degree with sexual motivation
After completing the minimum sentence, the Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board then controls the remainder of sentencing by considering release every five years. The Board, which consists of five members appointed by the Governor, releases the offender if they believe he or she poses no likely risk of committing another sex crime. Otherwise, the sentence continues until the next review. If the offender has refused treatment, had multiple victims or denies committing the offense, the Board denies release.
If you face charges for a Class A felony sex offense with an indeterminate sentence that could become a life sentence, the attorneys at Newton & Hall, Attorneys at Law, PLLC can help you.