Division III: Gang Admission for Safe Housing Out of Bounds for Trial and Sentencing
So when you’re booked, if you need safe housing (i.e. - not general population) so you don’t get killed, you have to have a reason. Here, they admitted they were in a gang. The State then turned around and used the evidence at trial, and as one of the aggravating factors in sentencing. The Court of Appeals ruled that the gang evidence was improper, because it was a fifth amendment violation (i.e. - you had to incriminate yourself to get the safe housing, so no using it in other situations). While it had no effect on the outcome of trial (there was plenty of gang evidence on 2/3 of the defendants, and plenty of evidence to convict the 3rd), it definitely had an effect in sentencing, and so had to be remanded for that.
While the lawyers at Issaquah Legal Services do not currently practice criminal law, we expect to add an Issaquah Attorney practicing in the area soon. In the meantime, please contact us for a referral to other qualified attorneys.