71.09.055  <<  71.09.060 >>   71.09.070

TrialDeterminationCommitment procedures.

(1) The court or jury shall determine whether, beyond a reasonable doubt, the person is a sexually violent predator. In determining whether or not the person would be likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence if not confined in a secure facility, the fact finder may consider only placement conditions and voluntary treatment options that would exist for the person if unconditionally released from detention on the sexually violent predator petition. The community protection program under RCW 71A.12.230 may not be considered as a placement condition or treatment option available to the person if unconditionally released from detention on a sexually violent predator petition. When the determination is made by a jury, the verdict must be unanimous.
If, on the date that the petition is filed, the person was living in the community after release from custody, the state must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person had committed a recent overt act. If the state alleges that the prior sexually violent offense that forms the basis for the petition for commitment was an act that was sexually motivated as provided in RCW 71.09.020(18)(c), the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged sexually violent act was sexually motivated as defined in RCW 9.94A.030.
If the court or jury determines that the person is a sexually violent predator, the person shall be committed to the custody of the department of social and health services for placement in a secure facility operated by the department of social and health services for control, care, and treatment until such time as: (a) The person's condition has so changed that the person no longer meets the definition of a sexually violent predator; or (b) conditional release to a less restrictive alternative as set forth in RCW 71.09.092 is in the best interest of the person and conditions can be imposed that would adequately protect the community.
If the court or unanimous jury decides that the state has not met its burden of proving that the person is a sexually violent predator, the court shall direct the person's release.
If the jury is unable to reach a unanimous verdict, the court shall declare a mistrial and set a retrial within forty-five days of the date of the mistrial unless the prosecuting agency earlier moves to dismiss the petition. The retrial may be continued upon the request of either party accompanied by a showing of good cause, or by the court on its own motion in the due administration of justice provided that the respondent will not be substantially prejudiced. In no event may the person be released from confinement prior to retrial or dismissal of the case.
(2) If the person charged with a sexually violent offense has been found incompetent to stand trial, and is about to be or has been released pursuant to RCW 10.77.086(7), and his or her commitment is sought pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, the court shall first hear evidence and determine whether the person did commit the act or acts charged if the court did not enter a finding prior to dismissal under RCW 10.77.086(7) that the person committed the act or acts charged. The hearing on this issue must comply with all the procedures specified in this section. In addition, the rules of evidence applicable in criminal cases shall apply, and all constitutional rights available to defendants at criminal trials, other than the right not to be tried while incompetent, shall apply. After hearing evidence on this issue, the court shall make specific findings on whether the person did commit the act or acts charged, the extent to which the person's incompetence or developmental disability affected the outcome of the hearing, including its effect on the person's ability to consult with and assist counsel and to testify on his or her own behalf, the extent to which the evidence could be reconstructed without the assistance of the person, and the strength of the prosecution's case. If, after the conclusion of the hearing on this issue, the court finds, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the person did commit the act or acts charged, it shall enter a final order, appealable by the person, on that issue, and may proceed to consider whether the person should be committed pursuant to this section.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the state shall comply with RCW 10.77.220 while confining the person. During all court proceedings where the person is present, the person shall be detained in a secure facility. If the proceedings last more than one day, the person may be held in the county jail for the duration of the proceedings, except the person may be returned to the department's custody on weekends and court holidays if the court deems such a transfer feasible. The county shall be entitled to reimbursement for the cost of housing and transporting the person pursuant to rules adopted by the secretary. The department shall not place the person, even temporarily, in a facility on the grounds of any state mental facility or regional habilitation center because these institutions are insufficiently secure for this population.
(4) A court has jurisdiction to order a less restrictive alternative placement only after a hearing ordered pursuant to RCW 71.09.090 following initial commitment under this section and in accord with the provisions of this chapter.


Findings2023 c 453: See note following RCW 10.77.060.
ApplicationEffective date2009 c 409: See notes following RCW 71.09.020.
RecommendationsApplicationEffective date2001 c 286: See notes following RCW 71.09.015.
Effective date1998 c 146: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [March 25, 1998]." [ 1998 c 146 § 2.]
Effective date1990 1st ex.s. c 12: See note following RCW 13.40.020.
Site Contents
Selected content listed in alphabetical order under each group