How do I vacate my possession of Controlled Substance conviction or (Blake Issue)
The Washington State Supreme Court ruling in State v. Blake,197 Wn.2d 170, 481 P.3d 521 (2021) issued February 25, 2021, declared the current Possession of a Controlled Substance law unconstitutional. The decision has great impact on many citizens. However, the resolution will take time to implement.
Grays Harbor County has set a prioritization process to resolve those incarcerated facing release. If one has a conviction for Possession of a Controlled Substance, it may be removed from the criminal history record. The removal may result in an adjustment to a sentence for a crime based on a revised offender score; removal of a felony from criminal history and /or a challenge to any criminal charge predicated upon the initial conviction.
If you believe you are entitled to relief under the Blake decision, and if you are indigent and unable to afford your own counsel, provide the following information by
Mail: Department of Public Defense
100 W. Broadway # 1, Montesano, WA 98563
OR email: email@example.com
SB 6164 Update Resentencing
The Washington legislature recently passed a law recognizing that our system sometimes gets things wrong. This law, SB 6164, provides a second look—a way for courts to reconsider a defendant’s sentence. SB 6164 took effect on June 11, 2020. It is codified as RCW 36.27.130.
CAUTION TO families of incarcerated individuals to recent solicitations for unnecessary, high-cost services. Families are receiving cold calls and being told that, if they want to request a resentencing hearing from a prosecutor’s office under a recently-passed law, they need certified court documents. The cost quoted: $1,500.
and record of rehabilitation while incarcerated; evidence that reflects whether age, time served, and
diminished physical condition, if any, have reduced the inmate's risk for future violence; and evidence
that reflects changed circumstances since the inmate's original sentencing such that the inmate's
continued incarceration no longer serves the interests of justice.
What is my public defender's phone number, email address or physical address?
The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) licenses all attorneys in Washington StateAll public defense attorneys are contractors. WSBA maintains all contact information for all attorney.
If you do not know your attorney's name, you may contact the Department of Public Defense. Other identifying questions will be asked to ensure information is appropriately provided.
How do I pay my fines or what should I do if I cannot pay them?
Pay fines directly to the court that ordered them. Contact District Court Administration, or the Superior Court Clerk’s Office directly to make payment arrangements or to discuss inability to pay.
Grays Harbor County District Court (360) 249-3441.
Grays Harbor County Superior Court Clerk's Office (360) 249-3842.
To make a payment by phone, please call: 877-793-8935.
**Paga con tarjeta de credito o debito. Linea gratuita: 877-793-8935**
How can I get my court costs lowered?
The court determines the amount to be paid as a fine or court cost- Legal Financial Obligations should be individually considered based on the financial situation of each individual. State v. Blazina (2015), the Washington Supreme Court unanimously ruled that courts must take into consideration a defendant’s ability to pay before imposing LFOs. The Court ruled that trial courts must make “an individualized inquiry” into the defendant’s current and future ability to pay before imposing court costs, and must consider important factors, such as incarceration and the defendant’s other debts.
Moreover, the Court stated that if a person receives public assistance or has an income at or below the poverty level, then courts should seriously question that person’s ability to pay LFOs.
An individual may file a motion with the court requesting a reduction in legal financial obligations. The court will require a current LFO calculation form, bank statements, and employment or government subsidy records.
I have a warrant for my arrest; What should I do?
Grays Harbor County District Court
If your warrant is for missing a court date in District Court, you may request a warrant quash hearing. Go to the District Court on Friday between 12:30 and 1:00 PM. Check in at the counter with photo ID. The court holds quash hearings on Fridays at 1:15 PM.
Grays Harbor County Superior Court
If your warrant is for missing a court date in Superior Court, contact your public defense attorney immediately. If you missed court because of a legitimate emergency, provide that documentation to your public defense attorney so he/she may request the warrant be quashed. If your public defense attorney is unable to have your warrant quashed you will havee to turn yourself in. If your warrant is for a new criminal charge, you will need to turn yourself in.
How do I turn myself in?
The Grays Harbor County Jail accepts people turning themselves in for warrants in the jail lobby. Since the jail is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, we highly recommend surrender on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to avoid weekend stays and heavy court dockets. Grays harbor County Jail: (360) 964-1717.
How do I find out my court date?
If you need to verify your court date, you may contact the court or go to the Washington Courts Website.
Grays Harbor County District Court (360) 249-3441
Grays Harbor County Superior Court Clerk's Office (360) 249-3842
For info, go to:
select: FIND MY COURT DATE.
How can I get a public defender?
Public defense attorneys are appointed by the court, for those who qualify for indigent defense If you have not been to court yet, you will have the opportunity to request a public defense attorney at your arraignment. If you have already been to court, declined a public defender and want to change your mind, you can do so at your next court appearance. No public defense attorney may meet with you to discuss the matters of your case prior to the court appointing an attorney to your case.
Can I get a new judge?
The notice of disqualification must be filed and called to the attention of the judge before the judge has made any discretionary ruling in the case.
A judge who has been disqualified under this section may decide such issues as the parties agree in writing or on the record in open court.
No party is permitted to disqualify more than one judge in any matter under this section of the law.
Even though they may involve discretion, the following actions by a judge do not cause the loss of the right to file a notice of disqualification against that judge: Arranging the calendar, setting a date for a hearing or trial, ruling on an agreed continuance, issuing an arrest warrant, presiding over criminal preliminary proceedings under CrR 3.2.1, arraigning the accused, fixing bail, and presiding over juvenile detention and release hearings.
What can I do to help out my case?
- Keep your attorney informed of your current address, phone number and email. If you are or were in custody, contact your attorney as soon as you are released.
- Write notes about the facts of your case, questions, and the things to discuss before you meet with your lawyer.
- Avoid discussing the facts of your case with anyone but your lawyer or investigator.
- When you are in jail, never discuss the facts of your case with others, visitors, and people you call on the phone (all communications and contacts are recorded). ALL NON-ATTORNEY CALLS FROM THE COUNTY JAIL ARE RECORDED, & MAY BE USED AGAINST YOU IN TRIAL, OR MAY BE USED AS THE BASIS FOR ADDITIONAL CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST YOU.
- Avoid filing your own motions with the court. Only in extraordinary circumstances, such as a request for a new lawyer, will you be given a court hearing to argue your motion before a judge. You may research the law that applies to your case if you wish, but your lawyer is not obligated to accept your legal research or your legal conclusions.
- When you are in jail, do not send letters to anyone discussing your case, as letters may be intercepted by law enforcement and used against you at trial. Avoid discussing the facts of your case in postal mail and email, (all communications and contacts are recorded).
- Provide your lawyer with a list of potential witnesses as soon as possible, with accurate telephone numbers where they may be reached, and addresses where they can receive mail if possible.
- Attend all your court dates. Unless your lawyer has told you personally that you are excused, you must attend all court hearings. If you miss court, even if you might have a good excuse, there can be serious consequences, including being arrested and charged with a new crime. You may be inconvenienced by missing work or changing a medical appointment, but your boss or your doctor will not have you arrested. A judge can, and will, put you in jail and possibly keep you in custody if you fail to appear in court.
- Be on time for court.
- Dress for court as professionally as you would for a job interview or for any other appointment that could affect your future.
What do I do if I cannot reach my public defense attorney?
Please be patient as you wait for your public defense attorney to get back to you. They have busy caseloads and spend time in court many days of the week. If, after multiple messages and/or over a week's time they have not gotten back to you, you may send us an email to let us know and we will support you and efforts to establish contact.
I want to fire my public defender; How do I do that?
I want to file a complaint against my public defender.
Please see the Complaint page for details on how to file a complaint.
How do I get a sentence review hearing?
Sentence review hearings, or hearing to modify judgment and sentence, may only be granted by the court that sentenced you. Generally, the court will not grant a motion to review a sentence except with very good cause. Your best chance is to contact the court directly in writing, and state very specifically the reason for wanting a sentence review hearing (including any support documents if applicable). Always include the court case number, your full legal name, address and telephone number.
Grays Harbor County Superior Court
102 W Broadway Ave
Montesano, WA 98563-3621
Grays Harbor County District Court
102 W Broadway Ave, Rm 202A
Montesano, WA 98563-3621
I pled guilty but want to change my mind. What should I do?
How do I find out if my friend/family member is in jail?
I have a civil case (small claim, landlord-tenant, divorce etc) and need an attorney
Public defense attorneys are appointed by the court, in criminal cases, when you are charged with a crime. An attorney is appointed after a determination is made that you qualify for indigent defense. The Grays Harbor County Department of Public Defense is not authorized to help you with civil cases (other than civil contempt cases).
If you have a civil case and you not able to pay for an attorney, contact Legal Aid or NorthWest Justice Project for help. For low cost help with your divorce paperwork, you may wish to use the services of the Family Court Facilitator. In order to do so, you will need to make an appointment with the Superior Court Clerk's Office at the courthouse and pay a fee. Court Facilitators are available in Grays Harbor County.
How do I vacate or seal my criminal history?
What if I get charged with a DUI?
First Court Appearances
The first court hearing in Grays Harbor County District Court is a preliminary appearance. Once the court enters a finding of probable cause, the court will determine whether it will impose restrictions on an individual’s freedom as a condition of release. The court will review an individual’s income verification declaration and appoint an attorney if deemed financially eligible.
Mandatory Court Appearances
All court appearances are mandatory. Any failure to appear may result in a warrant for arrest.
Court Appointed Attorney
The court will provide you with attorney contact information. It is essential to keep in contact with the court appointed attorney. After requesting an attorney, discuss the case only with the attorney. Determine the attorney’s preferred method of communication and check in regularly. Immediately, notify the attorney and the court of any change in address or phone number.
Mandatory Minimum Penalties for First Offense DUI in Washington
Washington imposes mandatory minimum penalties based upon the level of the breath/blood test or a refusal to submit to testing. For a breath/blood test under 0.15, a person faces the following penalties:
- 24 consecutive hours in jail (or 15 days of home detention);
- License suspension for 90 days (plus separate administrative DOL sanctions);
- Fines, costs and assessments up to $5,000, subject to the court (typically approximately $1,000);
- Ignition interlock requirement for one year;
- Probation for five years; and
- Alcohol evaluation and/or recommended follow-up treatment, at a minimum this will include attending a Victim Impact Panel and or Alcohol Drug Information School.
For a second offense, a breath/blood test over 0.15, a refusal to submit to a breath test, or if minor children are in the vehicle, an individual faces increased penalties.
DUI Court and the DUI Arraignment
Standard DUI release conditions generally include the following: no consumption of alcohol, no driving without a valid license and insurance, no criminal conduct, and a promise to appear at all court dates. Aggravating allegations that lead the court to determine the individual could be a danger to the community may result in additional requirements such as bail. An extremely high breath or blood alcohol content, an accident, children passengers, or other non-DUI related criminal history are all examples of aggravating factors.
Alcohol and Drug Treatment Agencies
A person charged with DUI and or physical control will be required to undergo an alcohol and drug abuse evaluation. The assessment includes information from a client interview, the results of the breath test, and the individual’s criminal history and driver’s abstract.
How do I support an incarcerated loved one?
People who want to help a loved one who is in jail often don’t know how. This is especially true during the first few days of incarceration, when people have yet to learn the ins and outs of the system. The video, “How to Support an Incarcerated Loved One,” produced by Block by Block Creative, walks the viewer through those first few days, helping them understand how they can support someone who is in jail