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Deportation Order Not Determinative of SSOSA Sentence in Washington State

The State of Washington Court of Appeals has held that a trial court abused its discretion when it refused to consider a special sex offender sentencing alternative (SSOSA) based on its mistaken belief that it lacked authority to impose one in light of an immigration hold on the defendant.

Ricardo A. Adamy pled guilty to one count of first degree rape of a child and third degree assault of a child. In response to his attorney’s request that Adamy receive an SSOSA evaluation, an evaluator recommended an SSOSA. A presentence investigator, however, found Adamy was not eligible for an SSOSA due to a deportation hold placed by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

At sentencing, the trial court repeatedly stated that it could not consider an SSOSA due to the immigration hold. The state and defense counsel agreed. The Court of Appeals held that was error.

In State v. Osman, 157 Wn. 2d 474, 139 P.3d 334 (2006), it was held that in exercising its discretion to impose an SSOSA sentence, a trial court may consider a variety of factors, including the fact the defendant is subject to a deportation hold, although that risk factor is not determinative.

As the sole reason the trial court failed to consider an SSOSA sentence was the deportation hold, the trial court abused its discretion. In addition, trial counsel was found ineffective for not arguing Osman. As such, Adamy’s case was remanded for consideration of an SSOSA.

See: State v. Adamy, Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 3, Case No. 27206-1-III.

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Related legal case

State v. Adamy