SHB 1791

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

C 389 L 09

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Clarifying certain community custody and drug offender sentencing alternative sentencing provisions.

Sponsors: House Committee on Human Services (originally sponsored by Representatives Dickerson, O'Brien, Hurst, Green, Dammeier, Morrell, Orwall, Walsh and Wood; by request of Department of Corrections).

House Committee on Human Services

Senate Committee on Human Services & Corrections


Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative.

If a defendant is charged with an offense under the Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act (VUCSA) or any other felony and the court finds that the offender has a chemical dependency that contributed to the crime, the offender may be eligible for and move the court for a Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative (DOSA), if the following criteria are met:

The court must consider four factors in its determination of whether a DOSA is appropriate for the offender:

If the court imposes a DOSA instead of the sentence range, the sentence consists of either a prison-based alternative or a residential chemical dependency treatment-based alternative. If the offender is sentenced to a prison-based alternative, he or she must spend a period of total confinement in a state facility equal to one-half the midpoint of the standard range, or 12 months, whichever is greater. For example, if the standard sentence range is 13 - 17 months, the midpoint of the standard range would be 15 months. One-half of the midpoint would be 7.5 months. Under a prison-based DOSA, the offender would be required to serve 12 months in total confinement. The offender would be placed on community custody for the "remainder of the midpoint."


Community Custody for Prison-Based DOSA.

The length of an offender's term of community custody is clarified. Upon completion of a term of one-half of the midpoint or 12 months (whichever is greater) in total confinement, the offender must serve one-half of the midpoint of the standard range as a term of community custody.

To assist the court in determining whether it should impose community-based or prison-based treatment, the court may order the Department of Corrections (DOC) to complete a risk assessment or a chemical dependency screening report or both.

Residential Chemical Dependency Treatment-Based Alternative.

If the court is considering imposing a sentence under the residential chemical dependency treatment-based alternative, the court may order an examination of the offender by the DOC. If the court imposes a sentence under this provision, then the treatment provider will be required to send the treatment plan to the court within 30 days of the offender's arrival at the residential chemical dependency treatment program.

Community Custody for Exceptional Sentence for Unranked Offenses.

A term of community custody is established for an unranked felony offense for which there has not been an established standard sentence range, and for which the court has imposed a sentence that exceeds 12 months based upon a finding that such an exceptional sentence is justified pursuant to special allegations that have been pled and proven.

Votes on Final Passage:







(Senate amended)




(House concurred)


August 1, 2009

May 7, 2009 (Section 2)