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State v. Raines

August 12, 1996

STATE OF WASHINGTON, RESPONDENT,
v.
DAVID RAINES, APPELLANT.



Appeal from Superior Court of King County. Docket No: 91-1-06163-3. Date filed: January 26, 1995. Judge signing: Hon. Anthony P. Wartnik.

Modified and Ordered Published September 9, 1996,

PER CURIAM. David Raines appeals the order modifying his sentence and ordering him to serve 240 days in jail based on six violations of community placement. Five of those violations were for violating the condition to "obey all laws." The State correctly concedes the court exceeded its statutory authority by imposing this condition and therefore erred by punishing Raines for it. Regarding the sixth violation, the conditions of community placement did not include a prohibition against alcohol consumption. Thus, the court erred by punishing Raines for that violation.

Finally, the court exceeded its statutory authority by extending the one-year term of community placement.

We accelerate review under RAP 18.12 and reverse and vacate the modified judgment and sentence.

Violations of conditions of community placement David Raines pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of cocaine.

The concurrent standard range sentences included a one-year term of community placement, which included the condition to "obey all laws."

Several weeks before the one-year term lapsed, a hearing took place to determine whether Raines had violated the sentence conditions by failing to participate in treatment and to perform community service hours. The court found that Raines had not completed treatment, but that the failure was not willful. Noting that community placement was nearly over, the court asked whether it had authority to extend the term. Defense counsel questioned the court's authority to do so. But the prosecutor assured the court it could because Raines had violated the conditions. The court extended community placement for another year and ordered Raines to follow through with the treatment recommended.

Several months later, a review hearing took place. The court found that Raines had completed all but 8 hours of community service and gave him another 30 days to complete it. Apparently Raines did because the hours were never at issue again. The court ordered Raines to enter and complete treatment.

On January 26, 1995, a final hearing took place on allegations that Raines had failed to complete treatment, had consumed alcohol, and had committed five new law violations. The law violations involved assault against his girlfriend and violation of a no-contact order. The court found Raines had committed six violations-five for failure to obey all laws and one for consuming alcohol. The court made no finding regarding Raines' completion of treatment. The court modified the sentence and imposed six consecutive jail terms for a total of 240 days.

The appeal is not moot Raines has served the entire modified sentence and the extended term of community placement ended in March 1995. Thus, the State argues that the appeal is moot. Marriage of T., 68 Wash. App. 329, 336, 842 P.2d 1010 (1993)(appeal is moot if court cannot provide effective relief and the issue is purely academic). We disagree.

If the modified sentence remains intact, it could affect future sentencing decisions should Raines reoffend. When faced with this order finding Raines in violation for six separate conditions, a future sentencing court could impose additional demanding conditions of community placement. Likewise, the modified sentence could sway a future sentencing court to impose the high end of the standard range. Finally, the modified sentence potentially affects Raines' offender score. Under the Sentencing Reform Act, prior offenses "wash out" if the defendant is conviction-free for specified periods following the "last date of release." RCW 9.94A.360(2). By invalidating the modified sentence, the last date of release would be adjusted by over two years, back to Raines' initial release in March 1993, rather than August 1995 when he was released from the 240-day jail sentence. While we recognize that Raines has not been conviction free-at least one of the assaults here resulted in a conviction-the potential impact on his future offender score remains. For these reasons, a successful appeal provides Raines effective relief.

Condition to "obey all laws"

Under former RCW 9.94A.120(8)(a), the court was required to impose community placement. Here, in addition to the mandatory statutory conditions, the court further ordered Raines to "obey all laws."

Raines argues the court exceeded its statutory authority by ordering him to obey all laws. Because the court did not have authority to impose the condition in the first place, Raines argues the court ...


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