CrRLJ 3.2.1: PROCEDURE FOLLOWING WARRANTLESS ARREST -- PRELIMINARY HEARING

(a) Probable Cause Determination.

A person who is arrested shall have a judicial determination of probable cause no later than 48 hours following the person's arrest, unless probable cause has been determined prior to such arrest.

(b) How Determined.

The court shall determine probable cause on evidence presented by a peace officer or prosecuting authority in the same manner as provided for a warrant of arrest in CrRLJ 2.2. In making the probable cause determination, the court may consider an affidavit, a document as provided in RCW 9A.72.085 or any law amendatory thereto, or sworn testimony, and further may examine under oath the affiant and any witnesses the affiant may produce. Sworn testimony, including telephonic statements, shall be recorded electronically, stenographically, or by reliable method. The written or recorded evidence considered by the court may be hearsay in whole or part. The evidence shall be preserved and shall be subject to constitutional limitations for probable cause determinations. The court's probable cause determination may be recorded through any reliable method. If the court finds that release without bail should be denied or that conditions should attach to the release on personal recognizance, other than the promise to appear for court hearing, the court shall proceed to determine whether probable cause exists to believe that the accused committed the crime alleged, unless this determination has previously been made by a court.

(c) Court Days.

For the purpose of section (a), Saturday, Sunday and holidays may be considered judicial days.

(d) Preliminary Appearance.

(1) Adult. Unless an accused has appeared or will appear before the superior court for a preliminary appearance, any accused detained in jail must be brought before a court of limited jurisdiction as soon as practicable after the detention is commenced, but in any event before the close of business on the next court day.

(2) Juveniles. Unless an accused has appeared or will appear before the superior court for a preliminary appearance, any accused in whose case the juvenile court has entered a written order declining jurisdiction and who is detained in custody, must be brought before a court of limited jurisdiction as soon as practicable after the juvenile court order is entered, but in any event before the close of business on the next court day.

(3) Unavailability. If an accused is unavailable for preliminary appearance because of physical or mental disability, the court may, for good cause shown and recorded by the court, enlarge the time prior to preliminary appearance.

(e) Procedure at Preliminary Appearance.

(1) At the preliminary appearance, the court shall provide for a lawyer pursuant to rule 3.1 and for pretrial release pursuant to rule 3.2, and the court shall orally inform the accused: (i) of the nature of the charge against the accused; (ii) of the right to be assisted by a lawyer at every stage of the proceedings; and (iii) of the right to remain silent, and that anything the accused says may be used against him or her.

(2) If the court finds that release should be denied or that conditions should attach to release on personal recognizance, other than the promise to appear in court at subsequent hearings, the court shall proceed to determine whether probable cause exists to believe that the accused committed the offense charged, unless this determination has previously been made by a court. Before making the determination, the court may consider affidavits filed or sworn testimony and further may examine under oath the affiant and any witnesses he or she may produce. Subject to constitutional limitations, the finding of probable cause may be based on evidence which is hearsay in whole or in part.

(f) Time Limits.

(1) Unless a written complaint is filed or the accused consents in writing or on the record in open court, an accused, following a preliminary appearance, shall not be detained in jail or subjected to conditions of release for more than 72 hours after the accused's detention in jail or release on conditions, whichever occurs first. Computation of the 72-hour period shall not include any part of Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays.

(2) If no complaint, information or indictment has been filed at the time of the preliminary appearance, and the accused has not otherwise consented, the court shall either: (i) order in writing that the accused be released from jail or exonerated from the conditions of release at a time certain which is within the period described in subsection (f)(1); or (ii) set a time at which the accused shall reappear before the court. The time set for reappearance must also be within the period described in subsection (f)(1). If no complaint, information or indictment has been filed by the time set for release or reappearance, the accused shall be immediately released from jail or deemed exonerated from all conditions of release.

(g) Preliminary Hearing on Felony Complaint.

(1) When a felony complaint is filed, the court may conduct a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that the accused has committed a felony unless an information or indictment is filed in superior court prior to the time set for the preliminary hearing. If the court finds probable cause, the court shall bind the defendant over to the superior court. If the court binds the accused over, or if the parties waive the preliminary hearing, an information shall be filed without unnecessary delay. Jurisdiction vests in the superior court at the time the information is filed.

(2) If at the time a felony complaint is filed with the district court the accused is detained in jail or subjected to conditions of release, the time from the filing of the complaint in district court to the filing of an information in superior court shall not exceed 30 days plus any time which is the subject of a stipulation under subsection (g)(3). If at the time the complaint is filed with the district court the accused is not detained in jail or subjected to conditions of release, the time from the accused's first appearance in district court which next follows the filing of the complaint to the time of the filing of an information in superior court shall not exceed 30 days, excluding any time which is the subject of a stipulation under subsection (g)(3). If the applicable time period specified above elapses and no information has been filed in superior court, the case shall be dismissed without prejudice.

(3) Before or after the preliminary hearing or a waiver thereof, the court may delay a preliminary hearing or defer a bind-over date if the parties stipulate in writing that the case shall remain in the court of limited jurisdiction for a specified time, which may be in addition to the 30-day time limit established in subsection (g)(2).

(4) A preliminary hearing shall be conducted as follows: (i) the defendant may as a matter of right be present at such hearing; (ii) the court shall inform the defendant of the charge unless the defendant waives such reading; (iii) witnesses shall be examined under oath and may be cross-examined; (iv) the defendant may testify and call witnesses in the defendant's behalf.

(5) If a preliminary hearing on the felony complaint is held and the court finds that probable cause does not exist, the charge shall be dismissed, and may be refiled only if a motion to set aside the finding is granted by the superior court. The superior court shall determine whether, at the time of the hearing on such motion, there is probable cause to believe that the defendant has committed a felony.

(6) If a preliminary hearing is held, the court shall file the record in superior court promptly after notice that the information has been filed. The record shall include, but not be limited to, all written pleadings, docket entries, the bond, and any exhibits filed in the court of limited jurisdiction. Upon written request of any party, the court shall file the recording of any testimony.

[Originally effective September 1, 1987; amended effective July 1, 1992; September 1, 1995; September 1, 2002; September 1, 2014.]

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