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Chapter 9A.20 RCW

CLASSIFICATION OF CRIMES

RCW Sections

9A.20.010Classification and designation of crimes.
9A.20.020Authorized sentences for crimes committed before July 1, 1984.
9A.20.021Maximum sentences for crimes committed July 1, 1984, and after.
9A.20.030Alternative to a fine -- Restitution.
9A.20.040Prosecutions related to felonies defined outside Title 9A RCW.

Notes:

Assessments required of convicted persons
   offender supervision: RCW 9.94A.780.
   parolees: RCW 72.04A.120.
   probationers: RCW 10.64.120.


9A.20.010
Classification and designation of crimes.

(1) Classified Felonies. (a) The particular classification of each felony defined in Title 9A RCW is expressly designated in the section defining it.

     (b) For purposes of sentencing, classified felonies are designated as one of three classes, as follows:

     (i) Class A felony; or

     (ii) Class B felony; or

     (iii) Class C felony.

     (2) Misdemeanors and Gross Misdemeanors. (a) Any crime punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than ninety days, or by both such fine and imprisonment is a misdemeanor. Whenever the performance of any act is prohibited by any statute, and no penalty for the violation of such statute is imposed, the committing of such act shall be a misdemeanor.

     (b) All crimes other than felonies and misdemeanors are gross misdemeanors.

[1984 c 258 § 808; 1975 1st ex.s. c 260 § 9A.20.010.]

Notes:

     Court Improvement Act of 1984 -- Effective dates -- Severability -- Short title -- 1984 c 258: See notes following RCW 3.30.010.




9A.20.020
Authorized sentences for crimes committed before July 1, 1984.

(1) Felony. Every person convicted of a classified felony shall be punished as follows:

     (a) For a class A felony, by imprisonment in a state correctional institution for a maximum term fixed by the court of not less than twenty years, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of not more than fifty thousand dollars, or by both such imprisonment and fine;

     (b) For a class B felony, by imprisonment in a state correctional institution for a maximum term of not more than ten years, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of not more than twenty thousand dollars, or by both such imprisonment and fine;

     (c) For a class C felony, by imprisonment in a state correctional institution for a maximum term of not more than five years, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of not more than ten thousand dollars, or by both such imprisonment and fine.

     (2) Gross Misdemeanor. Every person convicted of a gross misdemeanor defined in Title
9A RCW shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a maximum term fixed by the court of up to three hundred sixty-four days, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of not more than five thousand dollars, or by both such imprisonment and fine.

     (3) Misdemeanor. Every person convicted of a misdemeanor defined in Title 9A RCW shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a maximum term fixed by the court of not more than ninety days, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of not more than one thousand dollars, or by both such imprisonment and fine.

     (4) This section applies to only those crimes committed prior to July 1, 1984.

[2011 c 96 § 12; 1982 c 192 § 9; 1981 c 137 § 37; 1975-'76 2nd ex.s. c 38 § 2; 1975 1st ex.s. c 260 §9A.20.020 .]

Notes:

     Findings -- Intent -- 2011 c 96: See note following RCW 9A.20.021.

     Severability -- 1981 c 137: See RCW 9.94A.910.

     Effective date -- Severability -- 1975-'76 2nd ex.s. c 38: See notes following RCW 9A.08.020.

Penalty assessments in addition to fine or bail forfeiture -- Crime victim and witness programs in county: RCW 7.68.035.




9A.20.021
Maximum sentences for crimes committed July 1, 1984, and after.

(1) Felony. Unless a different maximum sentence for a classified felony is specifically established by a statute of this state, no person convicted of a classified felony shall be punished by confinement or fine exceeding the following:

     (a) For a class A felony, by confinement in a state correctional institution for a term of life imprisonment, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of fifty thousand dollars, or by both such confinement and fine;

     (b) For a class B felony, by confinement in a state correctional institution for a term of ten years, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of twenty thousand dollars, or by both such confinement and fine;

     (c) For a class C felony, by confinement in a state correctional institution for five years, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of ten thousand dollars, or by both such confinement and fine.

     (2) Gross misdemeanor. Every person convicted of a gross misdemeanor defined in Title
9A RCW shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a maximum term fixed by the court of up to three hundred sixty-four days, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of not more than five thousand dollars, or by both such imprisonment and fine.

     (3) Misdemeanor. Every person convicted of a misdemeanor defined in Title 9A RCW shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a maximum term fixed by the court of not more than ninety days, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of not more than one thousand dollars, or by both such imprisonment and fine.

     (4) This section applies to only those crimes committed on or after July 1, 1984.

[2011 c 96 § 13. Prior: 2003 c 288 § 7; 2003 c 53 § 63; 1982 c 192 § 10.]

Notes:

     Findings--Intent -- 2011 c 96: "The legislature finds that a maximum sentence by a court in the state of Washington for a gross misdemeanor can, under federal law, result in the automatic deportation of a person who has lawfully immigrated to the United States, is a victim of domestic violence or a political refugee, even when all or part of the sentence to total confinement is suspended. The legislature further finds that this is a disproportionate outcome, when compared to a person who has been convicted of certain felonies which, under the state's determinate sentencing law, must be sentenced to less than one year and, hence, either have no impact on that person's residency status or will provide that person an opportunity to be heard in immigration proceedings where the court will determine whether deportation is appropriate. Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to cure this inequity by reducing the maximum sentence for a gross misdemeanor by one day." [2011 c 96 § 1.]

     Intent -- Effective date -- 2003 c 53: See notes following RCW 2.48.180.

Penalty assessments in addition to fine or bail forfeiture -- Crime victim and witness programs in county: RCW 7.68.035.




9A.20.030
Alternative to a fine — Restitution.

(1) If a person has gained money or property or caused a victim to lose money or property through the commission of a crime, upon conviction thereof or when the offender pleads guilty to a lesser offense or fewer offenses and agrees with the prosecutor's recommendation that the offender be required to pay restitution to a victim of an offense or offenses which are not prosecuted pursuant to a plea agreement, the court, in lieu of imposing the fine authorized for the offense under RCW 9A.20.020, may order the defendant to pay an amount, fixed by the court, not to exceed double the amount of the defendant's gain or victim's loss from the commission of a crime. Such amount may be used to provide restitution to the victim at the order of the court. It shall be the duty of the prosecuting attorney to investigate the alternative of restitution, and to recommend it to the court, when the prosecuting attorney believes that restitution is appropriate and feasible. If the court orders restitution, the court shall make a finding as to the amount of the defendant's gain or victim's loss from the crime, and if the record does not contain sufficient evidence to support such finding the court may conduct a hearing upon the issue. For purposes of this section, the terms "gain" or "loss" refer to the amount of money or the value of property or services gained or lost.

     (2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, this section also applies to any corporation or joint stock association found guilty of any crime.

[1982 1st ex.s. c 47 § 12; 1979 c 29 § 3; 1975 1st ex.s. c 260 § 9A.20.030.]

Notes:

     Severability -- 1982 1st ex.s. c 47: See note following RCW 9.41.190.

Restitution
   condition of probation: RCW 9.95.210.
   condition to suspending sentence: RCW 9.92.060.
   disposition when victim dead or not found: RCW 7.68.290.




9A.20.040
Prosecutions related to felonies defined outside Title 9A RCW.

In any prosecution under this title where the grade or degree of a crime is determined by reference to the degree of a felony for which the defendant or another previously had been sought, arrested, charged, convicted, or sentenced, if such felony is defined by a statute of this state which is not in Title 9A RCW, unless otherwise provided:

     (1) If the maximum sentence of imprisonment authorized by law upon conviction of such felony is twenty years or more, such felony shall be treated as a class A felony for purposes of this title;

     (2) If the maximum sentence of imprisonment authorized by law upon conviction of such felony is eight years or more, but less than twenty years, such felony shall be treated as a class B felony for purposes of this title;

     (3) If the maximum sentence of imprisonment authorized by law upon conviction of such felony is less than eight years, such felony shall be treated as a class C felony for purposes of this title.

[1975 1st ex.s. c 260 § 9A.20.040.]