CrR 7.1: PROCEDURES BEFORE SENTENCING

(a) Generally. At the time of, or within 3 days after, a plea, finding, or verdict of guilt of a felony, the court may order that a risk assessment or presentence investigation and report be prepared by the Department of Corrections, when authorized by law. The court shall also then:

(1) Set a date, time, and place for sentencing in compliance with the time requirements of RCW 9.94A.500;

(2) Order the defendant to return at the designated date, time, and place; and

(3) Set a date at least 10 days before sentencing for delivery of the risk assessment or presentence report, if any, to the court, to the prosecuting attorney, and to the defendant or defense counsel.

(b) Report. The report of the presentence investigation shall contain the defendant's criminal history, as defined by RCW 9.94A.030, such information about the defendant's characteristics, financial condition, and the circumstances affecting the defendant's behavior as may be relevant in imposing sentence or in the correctional treatment of the defendant, information about the victim, and such other information as may be required by the court.

(c) Notice of New Evidence. At least 3 days before the sentencing hearing, defense counsel and the prosecuting attorney shall notify opposing counsel and the court of any part of the presentence report that will be controverted by the production of evidence.

(d) Other Reports. Any interested person, as designated in RCW 9.94A.500, may submit a report separate from that furnished by the Department of Corrections.

Comment: The rule is designed to implement RCW 9.94A.110 and related statutes concerning the sentencing procedure. The entire rule is new; it replaces the prior CrR 7.2, Presentence Investigation, portions of which are incorporated into the new rule.

Section (a) is adapted from Minn. R. Crim. P. 27.03. The rule states that the court may order a presentence investigation and report, giving the court a measure of discretion to dispense with a report when the appropriate sentence can readily be determined on the basis of the sentencing guidelines score sheet. The rule codifies the existing practice of requiring the writer of the report to send copies to counsel and to the court.

Section (b) is substantially the same as the prior rule, CrR 7.2(b). The reference in the prior rule to the defendant's "prior criminal record" is replaced by a reference to the defendant's "criminal history" in order to parallel the statutory language. The reference to "helpful" information is replaced by a reference to "relevant" information because much of what is "helpful" under the prior rule will become irrelevant under a system of presumptive sentencing.

Section (c) ensures that both parties will receive reasonable notice of any intent to controvert the presentence report by the production of new evidence. The combined effect of sections (a)(3) and (c) is that each party will have 7 days to examine the report before giving the required notice.

Section (d) makes it clear that persons who are permitted under RCW 9.94A.110 to present "argument" at sentencing may do so in writing. Unlike the prior rule, CrR 7.2(c), the rule contains no provision concerning the nondisclosure of "harmful" portions of the presentence report. The Commission concluded that the provision was no longer necessary because much of what might be "harmful" under the prior rule will no longer be relevant under presumptive sentencing and will not be included in the report. If a report under the presumptive sentencing system does contain information that the court believes should be kept confidential, the court may fashion an appropriate remedy on a case-by-case basis.

[Amended effective July 1, 1984; September 1, 1986; Amended effective February 28, 2006.]

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