This is the final segment related to the “rules of the road” for the new Clark County Mental Health Court, a program that could make a huge difference for someone accused of a Felony or Misdemeanor criminal offense in Vancouver, Clark County, WA.
All Mental Health Court Participants are required to pay a minimal program participation fee as well as all other court costs, fees, fines and/or restitution. Some fines may be eligible to be worked off on an alternate plan a case -by-case basis (work crew). The amount of the program fee and any associated cost, fines, fees, restitution and judgments shall be included on the MHC Contract and agreed upon at time of admission.
Each participant will be required to pay a $150.00 program participation fee along with any other assessed fines, fees and/or restitution. The court will conduct an “ability to pay” inquiry with regards to the $150.00 program participation fee. Payments will be collected at the District Court Clerk’s/Administration office and funds will be allocated for ongoing operating costs.
I am continuing the article regarding Clark County, Washington’s improved Mental Health Court, starting with qualifying felonies and continuing forward, victim input, restitution, crimogenic risk factors and referral and intake process.
As a criminal defense attorney in Vancouver (Clark County), Washington who has successfully handled a wide-ranging array of criminal cases, ranging from Disorderly Conduct to Attempted Murder in the Second Degree. I have encountered mental health issues throughout my practice involving my clients that were relevant both to potential defenses (insanity and diminished capacity) as well as mitigation (a justification why someone should receive a lesser charge or lessor sentence). I have used these mental health issues to successfully defend my clients in a number of cases throughout my career. However, to be clear though, just because someone has mental health issues does not mean they have a mental health defense or mitigation.
(n) If the court expressly finds based on the evidence that contact between the parent and the child will not cause physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or harm to the child and that the probability that the parent's or other person's harmful or abusive conduct will recur is so remote that it would not be in the child's best interests to apply the limitations of (a), (b), and (m)(i) and (iv) of this subsection, or if the court expressly finds that the parent's conduct did not have an impact on the child, then the court need not apply the limitations of (a), (b), and (m)(i) and (iv) of this subsection. The weight given to the existence of a protection order issued under chapter 26.50 RCW as to domestic violence is within the discretion of the court. This subsection shall not apply when (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), (k), (l), and (m)(ii) of this subsection apply. This paragraph allows the court limited discretion, subject to the legislature’s determination that the court shall not have discretion to allow contact between a parent and a child when (c) through (l) and (m)(ii) apply. In essence, the legislature has commanded that in no circumstances should a court not limit contact between a parent because if (c) through (l) and (m)(ii) apply.
This article is part two involving limitations of a parent’s time with their child as stated under RCW 26.09.191. We continue the article by discussing the rebuttable presumption for parents or the person(s) they live with that have been convicted of certain sex offenses. As this is a very technical part of the law, the statute is essentially given to avoid any confusion or misinterpretation based on interpretation.
As a family law/divorce attorney in Vancouver, Clark County, WA, I am frequently asked in the course of my work how to limit the parenting plans for the other parent. Washington law proscribes situations where the parenting time with a child can be limited by the court for a parent. To be clear, these are very limited and specific circumstances and need to be proven to a court in order to be established. I will summarize them at length, though the summary will be broken down into multiple segments.
As a family law/divorce attorney in Vancouver, Clark County, WA, I am frequently asked about how someone with a domestic violence history may be treated by the court when in a custody battle, i.e. trying to establish a parenting plan. Well under RCW 26.09.191 proven domestic violence can greatly impact a parent’s time with their child or children in a number of situations. This article will focus on situations involving domestic violence and how it can limit a parenting plan:
In my capacity as a criminal defense/assault attorney in Vancouver, WA, in a recent article I wrote, I detailed the use of self-defense in Assault in the Fourth Degree and Assault in the Fourth Degree Domestic Violence cases, using a recent jury trial I had won to illustrate the criminal defense aspect of self-defense in Washington. If you are successful in a self-defense claim in your criminal case, then under Washington law you are also allowed to have the jury determine if you can have your attorney fees and other moneys recouped as a result of being successful based upon self-defense.
I recently won a jury trial for Assault in the 4th Degree Domestic Violence based upon a theory of self-defense. The specific situation involved one spouse who reasonably believed that he was about to be injured based upon the actions and statements of the other spouse. While the other spouse did not actually injure my client, the circumstances presented a situation where it was reasonable to conclude that the client may be injured, as there was yelling, name calling, threats to harm others, the other spouse appeared to be under the influence, and the other spouse ultimately approached the defending spouse in a manner that appeared confrontational and aggressive.
Nicholas "Nick" Wood - Law Office of Nicholas Wood, P.S.
Nick Wood received his J.D. in 1999 from Lewis and Clark's Northwestern School of Law in Portland, Oregon. The Law Office of Nicholas Wood, P.S. has represented clients for various criminal defense matters since 2006.