The Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office has recently instituted a Pre-Trial Diversion Agreement for certain low-level felonies. It is called the Pre-Trial Agreed Continuance Track, or PACT. In essence, the Prosecutor’s Office screens the case files at the time of charging and decides which felonies are low-level enough to be dismissed. This process saves time and resources for the Prosecutor’s Office, because the files that are selected for PACT are never assigned to a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney or a legal assistant.
While the benefit to the Prosecutor’s Office is large, the benefit to the criminal defendant is even larger. A person charged with a low level felony can have their pending charges dismissed with no Court costs and no active probation.
Who Qualifies For PACT?
• Offender Score of zero, and
• The bottom of the range for the charged offense is 0.
This will include most level I and level II offenses as well as unranked felonies. The decision to extend a PACT offer typically made of the Prosecuting Attorney before a criminal defendant ever steps into court. If a person under consideration for PACT has an offender score of zero, and the bottom of the range is zero, there are many reasons where the Prosecutor’s will NOT extend the offer. Those reasons include, but are not limited to, numerous holdbacks, numerous victims, restitution owed, domestic violence, sex crime or a DUI.
What Does The PACT Do?
The PACT is a 1 year continuance, where at the end of the continuance, the case is dismissed with prejudice. The case remains in Kitsap County Superior Court, but there is no Court monitoring or probation monitoring. Additionally, there is no cost to the defendant. The only condition is that the person can not have any new criminal law offenses during the one-year continuance.
How Does The PACT Work?
The PACT is a stipulated waiver of speedy trial and waiver of trial rights. The speedy trial waiver is necessary because a person accused of a criminal offense has a right to be tried (if out of custody) within 90 day. With the PACT, the continuance is for 1 year, so the agreement could not work without the waiver of speedy trial, out beyond the final review date. The waiver of jury trial removes a person’s right to be tried by jury. In other words, if a person enters PACT, and they commit a new crime, the Judge is allowed to read the police reports and make a determination of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt based only on the State’s evidence. So it is highly important to commit no crimes during the one year term of the PACT.
To view the PACT paperwork, please CLICK HERE for the most up to date version. If there are any questions, please call our office.
Witt Law Group is a criminal defense and person injury law firm with offices in Bremerton, Poulsbo and Gig Harbor, Washington. If you think that you may be eligible to enter a PACT agreement in your case, please give our office a call.