Washington State New Court Rule on Probation

Three people, man and woman detectives investigating a man prisoner in dark investigation room, shaking hand with lawyer. Concept for Probation Violation Defense.

New rules regarding the terms of probation for criminal defendants in Washington state went into effect on January 1, 2023. The new law, which made updates to Criminal Rule 7.6, will allow more people to be released from jail before their scheduled probation revocation hearings and requires that courts consider supervised release and bail as possibilities when setting the terms of probation. These changes will limit the disruption to the lives of people placed on probation.

What Is Probation in a Washington Criminal Case?

When a court places a defendant on probation, it means the court has suspended all or a portion of the defendant’s sentence in exchange for the defendant’s compliance with certain conditions. In most cases, a judge sets a jail term but will suspend it as long as the defendant complies with the terms set by the judge.

Common conditions of probation in Washington criminal cases include:

  • Reporting to the probation office in the jurisdiction where you live within a certain time frame of your release from custody.
  • Not leaving the jurisdiction without first receiving permission from your probation officer
  • Submitting to drug/alcohol testing at the discretion of your probation officer, including 24/7 alcohol monitoring.
  • Agreeing not to own, possess, or have access to a firearm, ammunition, destructive device, or dangerous weapon.
  • Obtain a chemical dependency or domestic violence evaluation and follow the recommended treatment program with monthly compliance reports submitted to the probation department.
  • Commit no new criminal law violations.
  • Have no contact with certain individuals and abide by any separate no-contact order.
  • Do not enter any bars, taverns, or lounges.
  • Do not possess or consume alcohol, cannabis, or non-prescribed drugs.
  • Attend certain classes. Sometimes what class you need to attend will be determined by the probation officer.

A probation violation is a serious offense. If you violate your probation, the judge will hold a hearing and listen to evidence to decide whether a violation occurred. If the judge finds you violated the terms of your probation, they can impose penalties such as jail time, fines, or revocation of probation.

Because the consequences of a probation violation can be quite severe, the Washington legislature changed Criminal Rule 7.6, which governs the terms of probation after a criminal conviction.

Changes to Washington’s Rules on Probation

The new law made significant changes to the state’s probation rule. Changes include:

  • Allowing courts to transfer probation from one jurisdiction to one nearer to where a probationer lives, works, or goes to school if the probationer requests the change and both courts agree.
  • Giving people placed on probation the right to be present at probation hearings where the prosecution seeks to detain the defendant
  • Permitting courts to allow defendants to appear at probation violation hearings remotely or through counsel.
  • Requiring that courts hold hearings on alleged probation violations within two weeks of placing a person under arrest, which will ensure that people who cannot post bail do not serve more time in jail than is appropriate for their violation.
  • A list of probationers’ rights in probation hearings, including the right to counsel and constitutional due process.

Contact the Campbell Law Firm for Probation Violation Defense

The penalties for a probation violation can be severe. If you are accused of violating the terms of your probation, having experienced legal counsel is crucial.

Washington criminal defense attorney Justin Campbell is regularly called upon to represent people in cases regarding alleged probation violations. He understands the local courts and will carefully analyze your situation to achieve a successful resolution.

Probate attorney Campbell has been representing criminal defendants in courts in Northwest Washington since 2009. He has developed strong relationships with area prosecutors and local judges. He understands the unique processes and procedures in courts throughout Northwest Washington and will fight for a successful result in your case.

To learn more, contact the Campbell Law Firm online or call us at (360) 588-4111 to schedule a free 90-minute consultation to discuss your case and how we can help.

Categories: Criminal Defense