Washington State has an old law, the Civil Compromise of Misdemeanor Statute, RCW 10.22.010 et. seq., which authorizes criminal defendants to seek pretrial dismissal of certain minor (misdemeanor) charges where the victim suffers property damage / loss or minor bodily injury (e.g., Assault 4° (non-DV only), Malicious Mischief 3°, Theft 3°, Hit & Run, etc).
RCW 10.20.010 et. seq. authorizes district and municipal courts to dismiss certain misdemeanor charges before trial upon proof that the defendant has:
- Made full restitution ($ payment) to the crime victim;
- Obtained, and filed with the court, written verification from the victim stating that full “satisfaction” has been received from the defendant;
- Filed a pretrial motion (request) for dismissal as a civil compromise of misdemeanor; and
- Agreed to pay court costs (usually $150 - $250) within 30 days.
Washington judges generally favor and grant civil compromise dismissal motions. But they have full discretion whether or not to do so.
RCW 10.20.010 et. seq. does not permit dismissal of misdemeanor offenses that do not require a victim to suffer property damage / loss or minor bodily injury. (e.g., DUI, Reckless Driving, Driving with License Suspended, Possession of a Controlled Drug, etc). And five (5) specific misdemeanor offenses are completely excluded. RCW 10.22.010. These are as follows:
- Misdemeanor crimes committed by a public official while in the execution of official duties.
- Misdemeanor crimes committed while acting riotously;
- Misdemeanor crimes committed with intent to commit a felony crime;
- Misdemeanor crimes committed during domestic violence; and
- Gang related graffiti and tagging misdemeanor crimes.
A civil compromise of misdemeanor dismissal should almost always be sought by the Defense for a qualifying crime. But sadly, many Washington criminal defense lawyers are not fully aware of this powerful option in defending qualifying misdemeanor charges. Or mistakenly believe that it’s restricted to only a few misdemeanor offenses.
Call Lynnwood criminal defense lawyer Paul Hanson for more information on the civil compromise of misdemeanor defense option. Call 425-778-7339