Criminal Law Library

 


Emily-Gause-Law-Criminal-Defense-25.jpg

Washington State Crimes

ASSault in the first degree

RCW 9A.36.011

(1) A person is guilty of assault in the first degree if he or she, with intent to inflict great bodily harm:

(a) Assaults another with a firearm or any deadly weapon or by any force or means likely to produce great bodily harm or death; or

(b) Administers, exposes, or transmits to or causes to be taken by another, poison, the human immunodeficiency virus, or any other destructive or noxious substance; or

(c) Assaults another and inflicts great bodily harm.

(2) Assault in the first degree is a class A felony.

Attorney’s Notes:

Assault in the First Degree is charged when someone assaults another with a weapon (firearm or other deadly weapon) OR inflicts “great bodily harm.”  

Great bodily harm is defined as bodily injury that created a probability of death, or caused significant serious permanent disfigurement, or significant permanent loss or impairment of any bodily part of organ.  RCW 9A.04.110(4)(c).  The term great bodily harm “encompasses the most serious injuries short of death; No injury can exceed this level of harm.” State v. Stubbs, 170 Wn.2d 117, 128, 240 P.3d 143, 148 (2010). The government must prove that a person had knowledge that his actions would cause great bodily harm.  State v. Harris, 164 Wn. App. 377, 263 P.3d 1276 (2011). 

Assault in the First Degree is a Class A felony, the most serious of the three classes of felonies.

An Assault in the First Degree charge is often accompanied with a deadly weapon or firearm enhancement, if a weapon is used.  A deadly weapon enhancement results in an additional 2 years of incarceration, while a firearm enhancement results in an additional 5 years of incarceration.  Enhancements are not eligible for “good time” reductions.

With no criminal history, an Assault in the First Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 93-123.  You can earn 10% good time in prison. 

With 9 criminal history points, an Assault in the First Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 240-318 months. 

If you or a loved one is charged with Assault in the First Degree, you need an experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable defense attorney.  Call Gause Law Offices today for a free consultation – 206-660-8775.


Assault in the second degree

RCW 9A.36.021

(1) A person is guilty of assault in the second degree if he or she, under circumstances not amounting to assault in the first degree:

(a) Intentionally assaults another and thereby recklessly inflicts substantial bodily harm; or

(b) Intentionally and unlawfully causes substantial bodily harm to an unborn quick child by intentionally and unlawfully inflicting any injury upon the mother of such child; or

(c) Assaults another with a deadly weapon; or

(d) With intent to inflict bodily harm, administers to or causes to be taken by another, poison or any other destructive or noxious substance; or

(e) With intent to commit a felony, assaults another; or

(f) Knowingly inflicts bodily harm which by design causes such pain or agony as to be the equivalent of that produced by torture; or

(g) Assaults another by strangulation or suffocation.

(2)(a) Except as provided in (b) of this subsection, assault in the second degree is a class B felony.

(b) Assault in the second degree with a finding of sexual motivation under is a class A felony.

Attorney’s Notes:

Substantial bodily harm is defined as “bodily injury that involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, or that causes a temporary by substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part of organ, or that causes a fracture of any bodily part.” 

Assault in the Second Degree is a Class B felony.

With no criminal history, an Assault in the Second Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 3-9.  You can earn 33% good time in prison. 

With 9 criminal history points, an Assault in the Second Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 63-84 months. 

An assault in the second degree is a strike offense.

If you or a loved one is charged with Assault in the Second Degree, you need an experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable defense attorney.  Call Gause Law Offices today for a free consultation – 206-660-8775.


Assault in the Third degree

RCW 9A.36.031

 (1) A person is guilty of assault in the third degree if he or she, under circumstances not amounting to assault in the first or second degree:

(a) With intent to prevent or resist the execution of any lawful process or mandate of any court officer or the lawful apprehension or detention of himself, herself, or another person, assaults another; or

(b) Assaults a person employed as a transit operator or driver, the immediate supervisor of a transit operator or driver, a mechanic, or a security officer, by a public or private transit company or a contracted transit service provider, while that person is performing his or her official duties at the time of the assault; or

(c) Assaults a school bus driver, the immediate supervisor of a driver, a mechanic, or a security officer, employed by a school district transportation service or a private company under contract for transportation services with a school district, while the person is performing his or her official duties at the time of the assault; or

(d) With criminal negligence, causes bodily harm to another person by means of a weapon or other instrument or thing likely to produce bodily harm; or

(e) Assaults a firefighter or other employee of a fire department, county fire marshal's office, county fire prevention bureau, or fire protection district who was performing his or her official duties at the time of the assault; or

(f) With criminal negligence, causes bodily harm accompanied by substantial pain that extends for a period sufficient to cause considerable suffering; or

(g) Assaults a law enforcement officer or other employee of a law enforcement agency who was performing his or her official duties at the time of the assault; or

(h) Assaults a peace officer with a projectile stun gun; or

(i) Assaults a nurse, physician, or health care provider who was performing his or her nursing or health care duties at the time of the assault.; or

(j) Assaults a judicial officer, court-related employee, county clerk, or county clerk's employee, while that person is performing his or her official duties at the time of the assault or as a result of that person's employment within the judicial system; or

(k) Assaults a person located in a courtroom, jury room, judge's chamber, or any waiting area or corridor immediately adjacent to a courtroom, jury room, or judge's chamber.

(2) Assault in the third degree is a class C felony.

Attorney’s Notes:

With no criminal history, an Assault in the Third Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 1-3.  You can earn 33% good time in prison. 

With 9 criminal history points, an Assault in the Second Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 51-60 months. 

If you or a loved one is charged with Assault in the Second Degree, you need an experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable defense attorney.  Call Gause Law Offices today for a free consultation – 206-660-8775.


Self defense law

            An accused has a right to have the court instruct the jury on his theory of the case, so long as the evidence is sufficient to support that theory. See State v. Williams, 132 Wn.2d 248, 259, 937 P.2d 1052 (1997).  In determining the sufficiency of evidence to support a proposed instruction, the trial court must consider the evidence and inferences therefrom in the light most favorable to the party requesting the instruction.  State v. Hanson, 59 Wn. App. 651, 656-57, 800 P.2d 1124 (1990). This threshold burden is low, but not nonexistent.  State v. Janes, 121 Wn.2d 220, 237, 850 P.2d 495 (1993).  Some evidence must support the statutory elements of imminent danger and reasonable apprehension of great bodily harm.  RCW 9A.16.050; Janes, 121 Wn.2d at 237.  Although it is essential that some evidence be admitted in the case as to self-defense, there is no need that there be the amount of evidence necessary to create a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors on that issue.  State v. McCullum, 98 Wn.2d 484, 488, 656 P.2d 1064 (1983).

            Once the defendant has met this threshold, the State has the burden of proving the absence of self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt.  State v. Acosta, 101 Wn.2d 612, 683 P.2d 1069 (1984). A person accused of assault is entitled to claim self-defense if the accused reasonably believed, in light of all the facts and circumstances known to him, that he or another was in danger.  See State v. Fisher, 23 Wn. App. 756, 759, 598 P.2d 742 (1979).  Reasonableness of the force used is a question of fact for the jury.  State v. Kirvin, 37 Wn. App. 452, 459, 682 P.2d 919 (1984).

            Four elements must exist in a self defense claim: (1) an appearance of danger; (2) danger that appears to be imminent; (3) use of a reasonable degree of force; and (4) that the defendant was not the primary aggressor. See WPIC 17.02.  An appearance of imminent danger is evaluated “from the standpoint of the reasonably prudent person, knowing all the defendant knows and seeing all the defendant sees.”  Janes, at 238.  This approach incorporates both subjective and objective components. The subjective component allows the court to view the defendant's acts from the defendant's perspective, considering the facts and circumstances known to the defendant.  Id.  The objective component requires the court to determine what a reasonably prudent person would have done when faced with the situation.  Id. 

            To justify the use of force in self-defense, the defendant must reasonably believe that danger is imminent.  Imminent means “ready to take place, near at hand.”  A threat does not need to be overt, nor does it need to immediately precede the act of self-defense.  Janes, at 241-42.  Whether the victim’s conduct constitutes a threat must be evaluated in light of the defendant’s perceptions.  Id.

            The primary aggressor is the person who provoked the conflict that led to the act of self-defense. Mere words alone are not sufficient to render someone a primary aggressor.  State v. Riley, 137 904, 910-13, 976 P.2d 624 (1999).   Further, an aggressor need not always remain as such; an aggressor can in good faith withdraw from the combat at such a time and in such a manner as to clearly indicate he is not long engaging in aggressive action.  If the aggressor does so, and the victim continues the provoking conduct, the former aggressor regains the right of self-defense.  State v. Craig, 82 Wn.2d 777, 783 514 P.2d 151, 155 (1973).

            A person may also use force to defend a third party to the same extent that the person can defend against himself.  State v. Penn, 89 Wn.2d 63, 586 P.2d 797 (1977).  The necessity for the use of force is judged from the viewpoint of the defendant, not that of the third party.  Id.  It does not matter if the third party later turns out to have been the aggressor.  Id. 


robbery in the first degree

RCW 9A.56.200

 (1) A person is guilty of robbery in the first degree if:

(a) In the commission of a robbery or of immediate flight therefrom, he or she:

(i) Is armed with a deadly weapon; or

(ii) Displays what appears to be a firearm or other deadly weapon; or

(iii) Inflicts bodily injury; or

(b) He or she commits a robbery within and against a financial institution as defined in RCW 7.88.010 or 35.38.060.

(2) Robbery in the first degree is a class A felony.

A “financial institution” means a bank, trust company, mutual savings bank, savings and loan association, or credit union authorized by federal or state law to accept deposits in this state. RCW 7.88.010.

A “deadly weapon” is any weapon, device, instrument, substance, or article including a vehicle which under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used, or threatened to be used, is readily capable of causing death or substantial bodily harm.

Substantial bodily harm means bodily injury that involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, or that causes a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part or organ, or that causes a fracture of any bodily part.  WPIC 2.03.01.

Attorney’s Notes:

Robbery in the First Degree means taking property from another with use of force or threat or force, and using a weapon OR inflicting bodily injury OR taking money from a bank. 

Robbery in the First Degree is a Class A felony, the most serious of the three classes of felonies.

A Robbery in the First Degree charge is often accompanied with a deadly weapon or firearm enhancement, if a weapon is used.  A deadly weapon enhancement results in an additional 2 years of incarceration, while a firearm enhancement results in an additional 5 years of incarceration.  Enhancements are not eligible for “good time” reductions.

With no criminal history, a Robbery in the First Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 31-41 months.  You can earn 33% good time in prison. 

With 9 criminal history points, a Robbery in the First Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 129-171 months. 

If you or a loved one is charged with Robbery in the First Degree, you need an experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable defense attorney.  Call Gause Law Offices today for a free consultation – 206-660-8775.


robbery in the second degree

RCW 9A.56.210

(1) A person is guilty of robbery in the second degree if he or she commits robbery.

(2) Robbery in the second degree is a class B felony.

A person commits the crime of robbery when he or she unlawfully and with intent to commit theft thereof takes personal property from the person or in the presence of another against that person's will by the use or threatened use of immediate force, violence, or fear of injury to that person or to that person's property.  A threat to use immediate force or violence may be either expressed or implied.   The force or fear must be used to obtain or retain possession of the property or to prevent or overcome resistance to the taking, in either of which case the degree of force is immaterial.

Attorney’s Notes:

Robbery in the First Degree means taking property from another with use of force or threat of force, without causing any injury OR weapons. 

Sometimes people are charged with this crime for what we call a “shoplift and shove.”  The amount of force used can be very slight, and it can still constitute a Robbery in the Second Degree. 

Robbery in the Second Degree is a Class B felony.

With no criminal history, a Robbery in the Second Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 3-9 months. 

With 9 criminal history points, a Robbery in the Second Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 63-84 months.  You can earn 33% good time in prison. 

If you or a loved one is charged with Robbery in the Second Degree, you need an experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable defense attorney.  Call Gause Law Offices PLLC today for a free consultation – 206-660-8775.


murder in the first degree

RCW 9A.32.030

(1) A person is guilty of murder in the first degree when:

(a) With a premeditated intent to cause the death of another person, he or she causes the death of such person or of a third person; or

(b) Under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life, he or she engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to any person, and thereby causes the death of a person; or

(c) He or she commits or attempts to commit the crime of either (1) robbery in the first or second degree, (2) rape in the first or second degree, (3) burglary in the first degree, (4) arson in the first or second degree, or (5) kidnapping in the first or second degree, and in the course of or in furtherance of such crime or in immediate flight therefrom, he or she, or another participant, causes the death of a person other than one of the participants: Except that in any prosecution under this subdivision (1)(c) in which the defendant was not the only participant in the underlying crime, if established by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence, it is a defense that the defendant:

(i) Did not commit the homicidal act or in any way solicit, request, command, importune, cause, or aid the commission thereof; and

(ii) Was not armed with a deadly weapon, or any instrument, article, or substance readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury; and

(iii) Had no reasonable grounds to believe that any other participant was armed with such a weapon, instrument, article, or substance; and

(iv) Had no reasonable grounds to believe that any other participant intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious physical injury.

(2) Murder in the first degree is a class A felony.

WPIC 26.01.01 Premeditated—Definition

Premeditated means thought over beforehand. When a person, after any deliberation, forms an intent to take human life, the killing may follow immediately after the formation of the settled purpose and it will still be premeditated. Premeditation must involve more than a moment in point of time. The law requires some time, however long or short, in which a design to kill is deliberately formed.

WPIC 26.05 Murder—First Degree—Indifference To Human Life—Definition

A person commits the crime of murder in the first degree when, under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life, he or she engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to any person and thereby causes the death of a person.

If you or a loved one is charged with Murder in the First Degree, you need an experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable defense attorney.  Call Gause Law Offices PLLC today for a free consultation – 206-660-8775.


murder in the second degree

RCW 9A.32.050

(1) A person is guilty of murder in the second degree when:

(a) With intent to cause the death of another person but without premeditation, he or she causes the death of such person or of a third person; or

(b) He or she commits or attempts to commit any felony, including assault, and, in the course of and in furtherance of such crime or in immediate flight therefrom, he or she, or another participant, causes the death of a person other than one of the participants; except that in any prosecution under this subdivision (1)(b) in which the defendant was not the only participant in the underlying crime, if established by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence, it is a defense that the defendant:

(i) Did not commit the homicidal act or in any way solicit, request, command, importune, cause, or aid the commission thereof; and

(ii) Was not armed with a deadly weapon, or any instrument, article, or substance readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury; and

(iii) Had no reasonable grounds to believe that any other participant was armed with such a weapon, instrument, article, or substance; and

(iv) Had no reasonable grounds to believe that any other participant intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious physical injury.

(2) Murder in the second degree is a class A felony.

Attorney’s Notes:

Murder in the Second Degree is a Class A felony.  It is considered a serious, violent offense. 

With no criminal history, a Murder in the Second Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 123-220 months. 

With 9 criminal history points, a Murder in the Second Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 298-397 months.  You can earn 10% good time in prison. 

If you or a loved one is charged with Murder in the Second Degree, you need an experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable defense attorney.  Call Gause Law Offices PLLC today for a free consultation – 206-660-8775.


manslaughter in the first degree

RCW 9A.32.060

 (1) A person is guilty of manslaughter in the first degree when:

(a) He or she recklessly causes the death of another person; or

(b) He or she intentionally and unlawfully kills an unborn quick child by inflicting any injury upon the mother of such child.

(2) Manslaughter in the first degree is a class A felony.

Criminal Recklessness:  A person is reckless or acts recklessly when he or she knows of and disregards a substantial risk that a wrongful act may occur and this disregard is a gross deviation from conduct that a reasonable person would exercise in the same situation.  WPIC 10.03 Recklessness—Definition


manslaughter in the second degree

RCW 9A.32.070

 (1) A person is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree when, with criminal negligence, he or she causes the death of another person.

(2) Manslaughter in the second degree is a class B felony.

Criminal Negligence:   A person is criminally negligent or acts with criminal negligence when he or she fails to be aware of a substantial risk that a wrongful act may occur and this failure constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise in the same situation.  WPIC 10.04 Criminal Negligence—Definition

 Attorney’s Notes:

The difference between manslaughter in the first degree and manslaughter in the second degree is whether a person acted recklessly or negligently. 

Manslaughter in the First Degree is a Class A felony and is considered a serious, violent offense.  With no criminal history, the standard sentencing range is 78-102 months.  With 9 criminal history points, a manslaughter in the first degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range results in 210-280 months.  You can only earn 10% good time in prison because this is a serious, violent offense.

Manslaughter in the Second Degree is a Class B felony and is considered a violent offense.  With no criminal history, a Manslaughter in the Second Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 21-27 months.   With 9 criminal history points, a Manslaughter in the Second Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 108-120 months.  You can earn 33% good time in prison. 

If you or a loved one is charged with Manslaughter in the Second Degree, you need an experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable defense attorney.  Call Gause Law Offices PLLC today for a free consultation – 206-660-8775.


rape

Rape in the First Degree

RCW 9A.44.040

 (1) A person is guilty of rape in the first degree when such person engages in sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion where the perpetrator or an accessory:

(a) Uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon or what appears to be a deadly weapon; or

(b) Kidnaps the victim; or

(c) Inflicts serious physical injury, including but not limited to physical injury which renders the victim unconscious; or

(d) Feloniously enters into the building or vehicle where the victim is situated.

(2) Rape in the first degree is a class A felony.


Rape in the Second Degree

RCW 9A.44.050

 (1) A person is guilty of rape in the second degree when, under circumstances not constituting rape in the first degree, the person engages in sexual intercourse with another person:

(a) By forcible compulsion;

(b) When the victim is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated;

(c) When the victim is a person with a developmental disability and the perpetrator is a person who is not married to the victim and who:

(i) Has supervisory authority over the victim; or

(ii) Was providing transportation, within the course of his or her employment, to the victim at  the time of the offense;

(d) When the perpetrator is a health care provider, the victim is a client or patient, and the sexual intercourse occurs during a treatment session, consultation, interview, or examination. It is an affirmative defense that the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the client or patient consented to the sexual intercourse with the knowledge that the sexual intercourse was not for the purpose of treatment;

(e) When the victim is a resident of a facility for persons with a mental disorder or chemical dependency and the perpetrator is a person who is not married to the victim and has supervisory authority over the victim; or

(f) When the victim is a frail elder or vulnerable adult and the perpetrator is a person who is not married to the victim and who:

(i) Has a significant relationship with the victim; or

(ii) Was providing transportation, within the course of his or her employment, to the victim at the time of the offense.

(2) Rape in the second degree is a class A felony.


Rape in the Third Degree

RCW 9A.44.060

 (1) A person is guilty of rape in the third degree when, under circumstances not constituting rape in the first or second degrees, such person engages in sexual intercourse with another person:

(a) Where the victim did not consent as defined in RCW 9A.44.010(7), to sexual intercourse with the perpetrator and such lack of consent was clearly expressed by the victim's words or conduct, or

(b) Where there is threat of substantial unlawful harm to property rights of the victim.

(2) Rape in the third degree is a class C felony.

Attorney’s Notes:

Forcible Compulsion is defined as physical force that overcomes resistance, or a threat, express or implied, that places a person in fear of death or physical injury to oneself or another person or in fear of being kidnapped or that another person will be kidnapped.  WPIC 45.03 Forcible Compulsion—Definition

Consent:   In 2014, the Washington Supreme Court overturned twenty-five years of precedent in prosecuting rape charges. The Supreme Court held that due process precludes requiring a defendant, accused of second degree rape, to prove the defense of consent by a preponderance of the evidence since the second degree rape statute imposes the burden of proving forcible compulsion on the State. State v. W.R., 181 Wn.2d 757, 336 P.3d 1134 (2014). The court reasoned that the concepts of non-consent and forcible compulsion intertwine such that the State must also show the absence of consent in order to prove forcible compulsion. Thus, a jury in a second-degree rape case must be instructed that the State carries the burden to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged victim did not consent.

Rape in the First Degree is a Class A felony and is considered a serious, violent sex offense.  With no criminal history, the standard sentencing range is 93-123 months.  With 9 criminal history points, a rape in the first degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range results in 240-318 months.  You can only earn 10% good time in prison because this is a serious, violent offense.   Further, you must register as a sex offender for life. 

Rape in the Second Degree is a Class A felony and is considered a violent sex offense.  With no criminal history, a Rape in the Second Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 78-102 months.   With 9 criminal history points, a Rape in the Second Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 210-280 months.  You can earn 33% good time in prison.  Further, you must register as a sex offender for life. 

Rape in the Third Degree is a Class C felony and is considered a nonviolent sex offense.  With no criminal history, a Rape in the Third Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 6-12 months.   With 9 criminal history points, a Rape in the Third Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 60 months.  You can earn 33% good time in prison.  Further, you must register as a sex offender for 10 years. 

If you or a loved one is charged with Rape, you need an experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable defense attorney.  Call Gause Law Offices PLLC today for a free consultation – 206-660-8775.


child molestation

Child Molestation in the First Degree(0-12 years old)

RCW 9A.44.083

 (1) A person is guilty of child molestation in the first degree when the person has, or knowingly causes another person under the age of eighteen to have, sexual contact with another who is less than twelve years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least thirty-six months older than the victim.

(2) Child molestation in the first degree is a class A felony.

Child Molestation in the Second Degree(12-14 years old)

RCW 9A.44.086

 (1) A person is guilty of child molestation in the second degree when the person has, or knowingly causes another person under the age of eighteen to have, sexual contact with another who is at least twelve years old but less than fourteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least thirty-six months older than the victim.

(2) Child molestation in the second degree is a class B felony.

Child Molestation in the Third Degree   (14-16 years old)

RCW 9A.44.089

 (1) A person is guilty of child molestation in the third degree when the person has, or knowingly causes another person under the age of eighteen to have, sexual contact with another who is at least fourteen years old but less than sixteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least forty-eight months older than the victim.

(2) Child molestation in the third degree is a class C felony.

Attorney’s Notes:

The degree of child molestation depends on how old the alleged victim was at the time of the sexual contact.   First degree is charged if an alleged victim is under 12 years old.  Second degree is charged if an alleged victim is under 12-14 years old.  Third degree is charged if an alleged victim is under 14-16 years old.

“Sexual Contact” is defined as any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person done for the purpose of gratifying sexual desires of either party.  WPIC 45.07 Sexual Contact—Definition

First Degree Child Molestation:  is a Class A felony and is considered a violent sex offense.  With no criminal history, the standard sentencing range is 51-68 months.  With 9 criminal history points, a conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 149-198 months.  You can earn 33% good time in prison.   Further, you must register as a sex offender for life. 

Second Degree Child Molestation:  is a Class B felony and is considered a nonviolent sex offense.  With no criminal history, the standard sentencing range is 15-20 months.  With 9 criminal history points, a conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 87-116 months.  You can earn 33% good time in prison.   Further, you must register as a sex offender for 15 years. 

Third Degree Child Molestation:  is a Class C felony and is considered a nonviolent sex offense.  With no criminal history, the standard sentencing range is 6-12 months.  With 9 criminal history points, a conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 60 months.  You can earn 33% good time in prison.   Further, you must register as a sex offender for 10 years. 

Many, many people are wrongfully accused of sexual misconduct with a child when they are absolutely innocent.  Unfortunately, children are often used as pawns in child custody disputes, and are easily influenced by things they see and hear relating to sex.  It is so important to hire an attorney who believes in your innocence and will tirelessly fight for you.

If you or a loved one is charged with Child Molestation, you need an experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable defense attorney.  Call Gause Law Offices PLLC today for a free consultation – 206-660-8775.

 


rape of a child

Rape of a Child in the First Degree(0-12 years old)

RCW 9A.44.073

 (1) A person is guilty of rape of a child in the first degree when the person has sexual intercourse with another who is less than twelve years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least twenty-four months older than the victim.

(2) Rape of a child in the first degree is a class A felony.

Rape of a Child in the Second Degree(12-14 years old)

RCW 9A.44.076

 (1) A person is guilty of rape of a child in the second degree when the person has sexual intercourse with another who is at least twelve years old but less than fourteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least thirty-six months older than the victim.

(2) Rape of a child in the second degree is a class A felony.

Rape of a Child in the Third Degree   (14-16 years old)

RCW 9A.44.079

 (1) A person is guilty of rape of a child in the third degree when the person has sexual intercourse with another who is at least fourteen years old but less than sixteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least forty-eight months older than the victim.

(2) Rape of a child in the third degree is a class C felony.

 Attorney’s Notes:

The degree of rape of a child depends on how old the alleged victim was at the time of the sexual intercourse.   First degree is charged if an alleged victim is under 12 years old.  Second degree is charged if an alleged victim is under 12-14 years old.  Third degree is charged if an alleged victim is under 14-16 years old.

“Sexual intercourse” means that the sexual organ of the male entered and penetrated the sexual organ of the female and occurs upon any penetration, however slight

OR

any penetration of the vagina or anus however slight, by an object, including a body part, when committed on one person by another, whether such persons are of the same or opposite sex

OR

any act of sexual contact between persons involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another whether such persons are of the same or opposite sex.

WPIC 45.01 Sexual Intercourse—Definition

First Degree Rape of a Child:  is a Class A felony and is considered a violent sex offense.  With no criminal history, the standard sentencing range is 93-123 months.  With 9 criminal history points, a conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 240-318 months.  You can earn 33% good time in prison.   Further, you must register as a sex offender for life. 

Second Degree Rape of a Child:  is a Class A felony and is considered a violent sex offense.  With no criminal history, the standard sentencing range is 78-102 months.  With 9 criminal history points, a conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 210-280 months.  You can earn 33% good time in prison.   Further, you must register as a sex offender for life. 

Third Degree Rape of a Child:  is a Class C felony and is considered a nonviolent sex offense.  With no criminal history, the standard sentencing range is 12-14 months.  With 9 criminal history points, a conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 60 months.  You can earn 33% good time in prison.   Further, you must register as a sex offender for 10 years. 

Many, many people are wrongfully accused of sexual misconduct with a child when they are absolutely innocent.  Unfortunately, children are often used as pawns in child custody disputes, and are easily influenced by things they see and hear relating to sex.  It is so important to hire an attorney who believes in your innocence and will tirelessly fight for you.

If you or a loved one is accused with Rape of a Child, you need an experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable defense attorney.  Call Gause Law Offices PLLC today for a free consultation – 206-660-8775.


burglary in the first degree

RCW 9A.52.020

 (1) A person is guilty of burglary in the first degree if, with intent to commit a crime against a person or property therein, he or she enters or remains unlawfully in a building and if, in entering or while in the building or in immediate flight therefrom, the actor or another participant in the crime (a) is armed with a deadly weapon, or (b) assaults any person.

(2) Burglary in the first degree is a class A felony.


residential burglary

RCW 9A.52.025

(1) A person is guilty of residential burglary if, with intent to commit a crime against a person or property therein, the person enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling other than a vehicle.

(2) Residential burglary is a class B felony. In establishing sentencing guidelines and disposition standards, residential burglary is to be considered a more serious offense than second degree burglary.


burglary in the second degree

RCW 9A.52.030

 (1) A person is guilty of burglary in the second degree if, with intent to commit a crime against a person or property therein, he or she enters or remains unlawfully in a building other than a vehicle or a dwelling.

(2) Burglary in the second degree is a class B felony.

 “Remain unlawfully” =   A person enters or remains unlawfully in premises when he or she is not licensed, invited, or otherwise privileged to so enter or remain.
“Enter” premises = The term enter includes the entrance of the person, or the insertion of any part of the person's body, or any instrument or weapon held in the person's hand and used or intended to threaten or intimidate another person or to detach or remove property.  WPIC 65.03 Enter—Definition
“Vehicle” =
“Premises” = The term premises includes any building, dwelling, or any real property.  WPIC 65.01 Premises—Definition

 

If you or a loved one is charged with Burglary, you need an experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable defense attorney.  Call Gause Law Offices PLLC today for a free consultation – 206-660-8775.


promoting prostitution in the first degree

Promoting Prostitution in the First Degree

RCW 9A.88.070

 (1) A person is guilty of promoting prostitution in the first degree if he or she knowingly advances prostitution:

(a) By compelling a person by threat or force to engage in prostitution or profits from prostitution which results from such threat or force; or

(b) By compelling a person with a mental incapacity or developmental disability that renders the person incapable of consent to engage in prostitution or profits from prostitution that results from such compulsion.

(2) Promoting prostitution in the first degree is a class B felony.

Promoting Prostitution in the Second Degree

RCW 9A.88.080

 (1) A person is guilty of promoting prostitution in the second degree if he or she knowingly:

(a) Profits from prostitution; or

(b) Advances prostitution.

(2) Promoting prostitution in the second degree is a class C felony.

A person “advances prostitution” if, acting other than as a prostitute or as a customer thereof, he or she causes or aids a person to commit or engage in prostitution, procures or solicits customers for prostitution, provides persons or premises for prostitution purposes, operates or assists in the operation of a house of prostitution or a prostitution enterprise, or engages in any other conduct designed to institute, aid, or facilitate an act or enterprise of prostitution.  RCW 9A.88.060.

A person “profits from prostitution” if, acting other than as a prostitute receiving compensation for personally rendered prostitution services, he or she accepts or receives money or other property pursuant to an agreement or understanding with any person whereby he or she participates or is to participate in the proceeds of prostitution activity.  RCW 9A.88.060.

 

Attorney’s Notes:

Promoting Prostitution the First Degree requires threats or force or taking advantage of someone with a developmental disability.  Promoting Prostitution the First Degree is a Class B felony and considered a nonviolent offense.  With no criminal history, a Promoting Prostitution the First Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 21-27 months.  You can earn 33% good time in prison.  With 9 criminal history points, a Promoting Prostitution the First Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 108-120 months. 

Promoting Prostitution the Second Degree is a Class C felony and considered a nonviolent offense.  With no criminal history, a Promoting Prostitution the Second Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 1-3 months.  With 9 criminal history points, a Promoting Prostitution the Second Degree conviction results in a standard sentencing range of 51-60 months. 

If you or a loved one is charged with Promoting Prostitution, you need an experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable defense attorney.  Call Gause Law Offices today for a free consultation – 206-660-8775.


theft

Theft in the First Degree   ($5,000 and up)

 (1) A person is guilty of theft in the first degree if he or she commits theft of:

(a) Property or services which exceed(s) five thousand dollars in value, other than a firearm;

(b) Property of any value, other than a firearm or a motor vehicle, taken from the person of another;

(c) A search and rescue dog, as defined in RCW 9.91.175, while the search and rescue dog is on duty; or

(d) Commercial metal property, nonferrous metal property, or private metal property, as those terms are defined in RCW 19.290.010, and the costs of the damage to the owner's property exceed five thousand dollars in value.

(2) Theft in the first degree is a class B felony.

 

Theft in the Second Degree  ($750-5,000)

 (1) A person is guilty of theft in the second degree if he or she commits theft of:

(a) Property or services which exceed(s) seven hundred fifty dollars in value but does not exceed five thousand dollars in value, other than a firearm or a motor vehicle;

(b) A public record, writing, or instrument kept, filed, or deposited according to law with or in the keeping of any public office or public servant;

(c) Commercial metal property, nonferrous metal property, or private metal property, as those terms are defined in RCW 19.290.010, and the costs of the damage to the owner's property exceed seven hundred fifty dollars but does not exceed five thousand dollars in value; or

(d) An access device.

(2) Theft in the second degree is a class C felony.

 

Theft in the Third Degree  ($0-$750)

(1) A person is guilty of theft in the third degree if he or she commits theft of property or services which (a) does not exceed seven hundred fifty dollars in value, or (b) includes ten or more merchandise pallets, or ten or more beverage crates, or a combination of ten or more merchandise pallets and beverage crates.

(2) Theft in the third degree is a gross misdemeanor.


kidnapping in the first degree

RCW 9A.40.020

(1) A person is guilty of kidnapping in the first degree if he or she intentionally abducts another person with intent:

(a) To hold him or her for ransom or reward, or as a shield or hostage; or

(b) To facilitate commission of any felony or flight thereafter; or

(c) To inflict bodily injury on him or her; or

(d) To inflict extreme mental distress on him, her, or a third person; or

(e) To interfere with the performance of any governmental function.

(2) Kidnapping in the first degree is a class A felony.


kidnapping in the second degree

RCW 9A.40.030

(1) A person is guilty of kidnapping in the second degree if he or she intentionally abducts another person under circumstances not amounting to kidnapping in the first degree.

(2) In any prosecution for kidnapping in the second degree, it is a defense if established by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence that (a) the abduction does not include the use of or intent to use or threat to use deadly force, and (b) the actor is a relative of the person abducted, and (c) the actor's sole intent is to assume custody of that person. Nothing contained in this paragraph shall constitute a defense to a prosecution for, or preclude a conviction of, any other crime.

(3)(a) Except as provided in (b) of this subsection, kidnapping in the second degree is a class B felony.

(b) Kidnapping in the second degree with a finding of sexual motivation is a class A felony.


Possession with intent to distribute / Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act (VUCSA)

Drug offenses in Washington are sentenced under RCW 9.94A.517.  This sentencing grid helps judges determine the correct amount of prison time to impose.

 

 

Offender Score

Offender Score

Offender Score

 Level

0 to 2

3 to 5

6 to 9 or more

I

0 to 6 months

6+ to 12 months

12+ to 24 months

II

12+ to 20 months

20+ to 60 months

60+ to 120 months

III

51 to 68 months

68+ to 100 months

100+ to 120 months

 

This grid depends on two factors:

Seriousness Level of the crime:  All drug crimes are listed under RCW 9.94A.518 with a seriousness code based on their severity.

Offender Score:  Any offender score is based on your criminal history.  You should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to calculate your offender score, as many factors determine such score including the type of prior conviction and how much time has passed since such conviction. 

The seriousness levels for drug crimes in Washington appear below:

Level I:

·    Forged Prescription

·    Manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to deliver marijuana

·    Possession of a controlled substance

·    Unlawful Use of Building for Drug Purposes

Level II: 

·    Create, deliver, or possess a counterfeit controlled substance

·    Deliver or possess with intent to deliver methamphetamine

·    Maintaining a Dwelling or Place for Controlled Substances

·    Manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to deliver narcotics from Schedule I or II

·    Manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to deliver narcotics from Schedule III, IV, or V or non-narcotics from Schedule I-V

·    Manufacture, distribute, or possess with intent to distribute an imitation controlled substance

Level III:

·       Any felony offense under chapter 69.50 RCW with a deadly weapon

·       Controlled Substance Homicide

·       Delivery of imitation or real drug by person 18 or over to person under 18

·       Manufacture of methamphetamine

·       Possession of certain chemicals with intent to manufacture methamphetamine

·       Selling for profit (controlled or counterfeit) any controlled substance

Common drugs by schedule

Schedule I:  opiates, flunitrazepam, MDMA (ecstasy or molly), heroin, oxycodone and more here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.50.204

Schedule II:  oxycodone, morphine, hydrocodone, methamphetamine, cocaine, poppy and more here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.50.206

Schedule III:  benzphetamine, ketamine, anabolic steroids, and more here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.50.208

Schedule IV:  alprazolam, delorazepam, and more here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.50.210

Schedule V:  small amounts of codeine and opium, lacosamide, pregabalin, and more here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.50.212

Attorney’s notes:

VUCSA is the term to describe drug offenses in Washington State.  VUCSA stands for Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substance Act.  It includes Some defendants in felony VUCSA cases may qualify for a first time offender waiver, drug court, or some other form of punishment that may avoid jail time altogether.  It is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the different options for someone charged with this crime.

If you or a loved one is charged with a drug offense, you need an experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable defense attorney.  Call Gause Law Offices PLLC today for a free consultation – 206-660-8775.


weapon enhancements

Firearm Enhancement

A firearm enhancement may be added to any felony crime under RCW 9.94A.510(3) when a person, or an accomplice, is armed with a firearm during commission of the crime. 

A firearm enhancement will add 5 years to any class A felony. 

A firearm enhancement will add 3 years to any class B felony.

A firearm enhancement will add 18 months to any class C felony.

Deadly Weapon Enhancement

A deadly weapon enhancement may be added to any felony crime under RCW 9.94A.510(3) when a person, or an accomplice, is armed with a firearm during commission of the crime. 

A deadly weapon enhancement will add 2 years to any class A felony. 

A deadly weapon enhancement will add 1 year to any class B felony.

A deadly weapon enhancement will add 6 months to any class C felony.

A deadly weapon is an instrument that has the capacity to inflict death and from the manner in which it is used is likely to produce death.  Id. 

 A knife with a blade less more than three inches long is a deadly weapon.  WPIC 2.07.01.   Whether a knife having a blade less than three inches is a deadly weapon is a question of fact for the jury.  Id. 

Ordinary household objects can be classified as a deadly weapon if they are used in a manner which is likely to cause death.  See State v. Shilling, 77 Wn. App. 754 (1995) (bar glass can be a deadly weapon); State v. Barragan, 102 Wn. App. 754 (2000) (pencil can be a deadly weapon).   However, unless the item was used in a manner likely to produce death, it cannot legally be classified as a deadly weapon.  State v. Peterson, 138 Wn. App. 477 (2007) (a three-inch knife is not a deadly weapon if used to remove a stereo from a car in a car prowl case where the defendant had not used the weapon in a manner that would readily produce death); State v. Skenadore, 99 Wn. App. 494 (2000) (a homemade spear made from rolled paper, dental floss, and a golf pencil shoved through a prison door was not a deadly weapon); State v. Valdobinos, 122 Wn.2d 270 (1993) (unloaded rifle under defendant’s bed in defendant’s home not a deadly weapon in drug case where drugs found in the home).

Attorney’s Notes:

A firearm or deadly weapon enhancement must be served consecutively to any sentence for the underlying crime.  A weapon enhancement is ineligible for any “good time” credit and is referred to sometimes as “flat time.”  This means you must serve, day for day, the entire weapon enhancement period.  Prosecutors often will tack on weapon enhancements to pressure people to accept plea deals instead of going to trial. 

The government must show a nexus between the weapon and the crime.  used or displayed the black lighter in the course of the robbery, the State has the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt to show that she was “armed” at the time of the offense and that there is a nexus between the crime, the defendant, and the weapon.  This nexus is necessary because without it, “courts risk punishing a defendant under the deadly weapon enhancement for having a weapon or object unrelated to the crime.” State v. Willis, 153 Wn.2d 366, 372 (2005).

 

If you or a loved one is charged with a weapon enhancement, you need an experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable defense attorney.  Call Gause Law Offices PLLC today for a free consultation – 206-660-8775


federal crimes

18 U.S.C. 924(c) - Possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking activity

18 U.S.C. § 924(c) in pertinent part, provides: . . . any person who, during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. . . for which the person may be prosecuted in a court of the United States, uses or carries a firearm, shall, or who in furtherance of any such crime, possesses a firearm, shall, in addition to the punishment provided for such crime of violence… (i) be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 5 years; (ii) if the firearm is brandished, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 7 years; and 2 (iii) if the firearm is discharged, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 10 years.

            This means that if the Government alleges that you possessed a firearm to further your drug trafficking or selling, you may be subject to harsh mandatory minimum sentences of five, seven, or ten years.  It is very common for the Government to charge a 924(c) anytime that they find a gun in any proximity to drugs, especially if the gun and drugs are located together in the same car or room.

 

Related Case Law:

In Bailey v. United States, the United States Supreme Court established two ways in which the Government may prove that a firearm was used in furtherance of a drug crime: the “use” argument and the “carry” argument (this Motion does not consider the “carry” argument in as the Government has not alleged that Mr. Palacios-Rodriguez ever carried a firearm). Bailey v. United States, 516 U.S. 137, 145-146, 116 S.Ct. 501, 133 L.Ed.2d 472 (1995), superseded by statute as stated in Abbott v. United States, 131 S.Ct. 18, 178 L.Ed.2d 348 (2010). The “use” argument requires that the Government show “active employment” of the firearm in the offense, either by “brandishing, displaying, bartering, striking with, and, most obviously, firing or attempting to fire a firearm.” Bailey, 516 U.S. at 148. Mere possession is insufficient to support a conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A): “[a] defendant cannot be charged under § 924(c)(1) merely for storing a weapon near drugs or drug proceeds.” Bailey, at 516. 

The Government must prove that a person was in possession of a firearm for the purpose of furthering a drug trafficking crime. To “further” means “to help forward ... promote [or] advance.” MERRIAM-WEBSTER'S THIRD NEW INTERNATIONAL DICTIONARY (2002). As used in § 924(c), the House Judiciary Committee intended that “[t]he government must clearly show that a firearm was possessed to advance or promote the commission of the underlying offense.” H.R.Rep. No. 105-344 (1997), 1997 WL 668339, at *12 (“House Report”).  United States v. Krouse, 370 F.3d 965, 967 (9th Cir. 2004). The government does not establish that a firearm was possessed in furtherance of drug trafficking merely by relying on the proposition that drug dealers generally use guns to protect themselves and their drugs, such that any time a gun is possessed by a drug dealer it is possessed in furtherance of his drug offenses; instead, government must establish the existence of a specific nexus between the charged firearm and the federal drug trafficking crime. United States v. Chavez, 549 F.3d 119 (2008).

Evidence that a defendant merely possessed a firearm at a drug trafficking crime scene, without proof that the weapon furthered an independent drug trafficking offense, is insufficient to support a conviction under § 924(c). United States v. Krouse, 370 F.3d 965, 967 (9th Cir. 2004).   See United States v. Lawrence, 308 F.3d 623, 629-31 (6th Cir.2002) (distinguishing firearms possessed “in furtherance of” drug trafficking from another unused firearm discovered at the same crime scene); United States v. Wahl, 290 F.3d 370, 375 (D.C.Cir.2002) (“[T]he mere presence of a firearm at the scene of drug trafficking is insufficient to support a conviction under section 924(c)(1).”); United States v. Ceballos-Torres, 218 F.3d 409, 414-15 (5th Cir.2000) (same); House Report at *12 (“The mere presence of a firearm in an area where a criminal act occurs is not a sufficient basis for imposing this particular mandatory sentence.”).

In United States v. Rios, evidence was insufficient to demonstrate a nexus between a sawed-off shotgun found in the defendant's residence and the defendant's participation in a conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, as required support conviction for possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crime. 449 F.3d 1009 (9th Cir. 2006).  This was despite the fact that the government expert testified that such shotguns were commonly used in drug trafficking crimes, a drug price list used for the conspiracy was found in the residence, and over $2000 in cash was found on defendant's person.  The Court held that there was no showing that drug deals occurred in the residence, the gun was unloaded and not readily accessible.