WA: Legal Roundup: Division II
Cliff Jones entered a guilty plea to first degree child molestation. He was sentenced to 130 months of incarceration and 36 months of community custody. The Court previously granted his PRP, remanding the case back to trial court for sentencing where he then was sentenced to 51 months of incarceration and 36 months of community custody. Upon resentencing, the trial court applied the 81 months the defendant spent incarcerated towards his 51 month sentence but not towards the 36 months of community custody. Jones argues on appeal that the trial court was statutorily required to apply the credited time to not only the incarceration but also the community custody and by not doing so the trial court violated his right to be free from double jeopardy.
Jones argued that former RCW 9.94A.120(16), which states in part, “the sentencing court shall give the offender credit for all confinement time served before the sentencing if the confinement was solely in regard to the offense for which the offender is being sentenced” should have applied to both his incarceration and community custody time. The State argued that former RCW 9.94A.170(3), which states that “any period of supervision shall be tolled during any period of time the offender is in confinement for any reason,” is controlling contrary to the Court of Appeals Division Three’s recent decision in In re Knippling, 144 Wn. App. 639, 183 P.3d 365 (2008), The State also argues that Jones’s community custody term was tolled while he was incarcerated as opposed to the holding in Knippling which concludes that an offender’s community custody term may begin before the offender is released into the community.
The Court declines to follow the majority in Knippling, arguing that allowing an offender’s community custody term to begin before the offender is in the community conflicts with the definition of ‘in the community.’ (Hence the word community… seems pretty simple right?) The Court goes further suggesting that Knippling is inconsistent with our Supreme Court’s ruling in In re Dalluge, 162 Wn.2d 814, 177 P.3d 675 (2008). Therefore, the Court held that the trial court did not err in not applying Jones's 81 months of previous confinement time to his community custody sentence.
The Court touches only briefly on Jones’s double jeopardy claim. It holds that because it is the legislatures intent that his community custody not begin until he is in the community no violation of double jeopardy existed.