When a Washington court agrees to release you while your criminal trial is pending, you are subject to a set of pretrial conditions. These conditions are not suggestions; they are laws. Violation of pretrial release conditions could land you in serious legal trouble.
In this post, the trusted criminal defense team at Will & Will looks at the punishments for violating conditions of release and how a lawyer can help. For help with your case, reach out to our firm.
What Is Pretrial Release?
In Washington State, pretrial release occurs when you are charged with a crime but released from jail before your trial. You may have been released on bail or on your own personal recognizance and not required to post bail. Still, you will be given a set of pretrial release conditions that you must follow. Some factors considered in deciding if you are eligible for release and what conditions to impose include the following:
- The type of crime you are charged with.
- If there is an alleged victim, who that person is in relation to you.
- Your criminal history, including whether you have ever violated pretrial conditions or failed to appear in the past.
- The risk you allegedly pose to the community.
- Whether you are considered a flight risk.
A few common conditions of release:
- You may not commit another crime (this includes being arrested and doesn’t just apply to convictions).
- You may not leave the state without permission.
- You may not use drugs or alcohol.
- You may not own or possess firearms or other dangerous/deadly weapons.
- You may not contact the victim of your alleged crime.
- You may have to abide by a curfew.
- You may have to be on electronic home monitoring.
- You may not be permitted to visit certain websites.
Violation of pretrial release conditions like those listed above can make your legal situation much worse. Below, we explore what happens if you violate some of these conditions.
Committing a New Offense
If you commit another crime while on pretrial release, you could face two main consequences:
- You could be returned to custody.
- You could face criminal penalties for the new offense.
In addition, the commission on a new offense can worsen the potential outcome of the currently charged offense.
This is the same as the conditions of release on bail. You can easily double your trouble if you commit a new offense.
Failure to Show Up for Court
Courts expect you to show up when you have a hearing or trial. When they grant you pretrial release, they demand it.
Failure to show up for court could mean that a warrant is issued for your arrest. It could put an end to your pretrial release freedom. This particular violation of pretrial release conditions (and similar violations) could tell a judge that you are also not a good candidate for probation.
Drug or Alcohol Use
If abstaining from drugs or alcohol is a condition of your pretrial release, it’s important that you truly abstain. You may even be subject to random drug and alcohol testing, so there’s no real way to hide this violation.
This condition is usually tied to crimes involving drug or alcohol use, such as a DUI. Not only could a violation mean you go back to jail before your trial, but it could also weaken any argument you make to show that you will not repeat your initial offense
Have You Violated Your Pretrial Release Conditions? Call Will & Will
If you are accused of violating the conditions of your pretrial release, you need to speak with a lawyer. You may also want to consider changing your legal representation.
At Will & Will, we have more than 35 years of combined experience. We use that experience to help people like you. Whether it’s fighting for you in court or filing a motion to modify conditions of release, we’ve got your back.
To speak with a trusted lawyer about a violation of pretrial release conditions, call Will & Will at 206-209-5585 or contact us online today.