Appeal from Walla Walla Superior Court. Docket No: 12-1-00415-1. Judgment or order under review. Date filed: 04/18/2013. Judge signing: Honorable Michael Sherman Mitchell.
Charlotte D. Bergen, pro se.
Susan M. Gasch (of Gasch Law Office ), for appellant.
James L. Nagle, Prosecuting Attorney, and Teresa J. Chen, Deputy, for respondent.
Authored by Robert E. Lawrence-Berrey. Concurring: Kevin M. Korsmo, Stephen M. Brown.
[186 Wn.App. 23] Lawrence-Berrey, J.
¶ 1 Charlotte Delene Bergen pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, [186 Wn.App. 24] methamphetamine, in exchange for receiving a reduced sentence under DOSA, the drug
offender sentencing alternative, RCW 9.94A.660. She appeals her sentence and contends that the sentencing court exceeded its authority when it ordered her to remain incarcerated until a space opened in a residential treatment facility. Ms. Bergen also appeals the sentencing court's imposition of legal financial obligations (LFOs), contending it failed to first find she had the present or future ability to pay. We conclude the trial court erred by incarcerating Ms. Bergen pending placement in a treatment facility. We affirm the imposition of LFOs.
¶ 2 On December 3, 2012, the State charged Ms. Bergen with possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine. The next month, the court issued a bench warrant when Ms. Bergen failed to maintain contact with her attorney. In March 2013, Ms. Bergen pleaded guilty to the charge. Her criminal history included seven prior drug convictions. The State agreed to recommend a residential DOSA sentence if Ms. Bergen qualified. The Department of Corrections (DOC) conducted a chemical dependency evaluation, which indicated that Ms. Bergen was drug dependent and predicted that she would " continue to engage in criminal behaviors to support addiction." Clerk's Papers (CP) at 21. The evaluation also noted that Ms. Bergen had been diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder and multiple personality disorder.
¶ 3 At sentencing, Ms. Bergen had been in jail 59 days. She requested a residential DOSA, acknowledging daily use of heroin and methamphetamine. She also acknowledged that her drug abuse caused social, emotional, and physical problems, and negatively affected work, school, and social activities. Based on Ms. Bergen's need for treatment, the trial court judge waived the standard range sentence of 12 to 24 months of confinement and imposed 24 months of [186 Wn.App. 25] community custody on the condition that Ms. Bergen enter and remain in residential treatment for 6 months.
¶ 4 The court also imposed LFOs in the amount of $3,362.30 to be paid at $100.00 per month following treatment. However, it reduced the payment to $50.00 per month at Ms. Bergen's request when she said ...