With every year, we see new stories and headlines about people being exonerated of crimes they never committed that they spent years, even decades, in prison for. With the advancements in science, especially DNA testing, and a greater push from organizations like the Innocence Project, it is clear that we will likely see an increase in people being exonerated of crimes they didn't commit. Our state legislature wanted to embrace that movement and in 2013 they passed a new law that made it easier for persons wrongfully convicted to obtain compensation for the time they lost. That statute can be found in RCW 4.100, the Wrongly Convicted Persons statute.
RCW 4.100.010, explains the intent of the legislature in creating this new law:
The legislature recognizes that persons convicted and imprisoned for crimes they did not commit have been uniquely victimized. Having suffered tremendous injustice by being stripped of their lives and liberty, they are forced to endure imprisonment and are later stigmatized as felons. A majority of those wrongly convicted in Washington State have no remedy available under the law for the destruction of their personal lives resulting from errors in our criminal justice system. The legislature intends to provide an avenue for those who have been wrongly convicted in Washington state to redress the lost years of their lives, and to help address the unique challenges faced by the wrongly convicted after exoneration.
As a firm that handles lots of criminal defense cases, and has seen first hand, that the criminal justice system is not always fair, we applaud our legislature for passing this law and providing an avenue to make those mistakes right in the only way possible, compensation.
This is a fairly new law and therefore new cases and decisions interpreting the statute are being decided all the time. It is important to find a firm experienced with this statute, the recent case law, and one that is familiar with the entire process. We here at the Law Office of William A. White, PLLC, are one of the few firms that have been successful under this statute. Our firm is familiar with the strict requirements of this statute and the ever changing case law. More importantly, in the short time this statute has existed, and in a time when so few attorneys have even attempted one of these suits, our firm has a proven record of monetary awards of nearly $500,000. These suits are on a strict statute of limitations so time is of the essence! Call us to find out whether you qualify today.
Below we've outlined the statutory requirements a person must meet in order to qualify and the types of compensation a person could receive.
If at anytime in your research you have questions or would like to set up a face to face consultation, give us a call at 253-383-3328 or email us at Office@WilliamAWhiteLaw.com.
The legislature has established very specific requirements in order to qualify under this statute. You should hire an experienced attorney that can investigate and analyze your case according to these established criteria but also have the knowledge and creativity to explore all of your options. Start here to find if you qualify today.
The legislature has established how much claimants can seek based on a number of criteria. Time in custody is not the only fact used to calculate compensation and therefore having an attorney that knows what types of compensation you are eligible for and the proof necessary to receive that award is of critical importance in these cases. Having an attorney experienced in these cases and the process can make a huge difference in how much compensation you may obtain.
In the few short years this statute has been in place only a handful of suits have been brought and even fewer have succeeded. Our firm is at the forefront of these claims, with proven success. To date, our firm has recovered nearly $500,000 in monetary awards. More importantly, successfully winning a lawsuit of this nature can have a lasting affect on a person's life. No one, not even the government, can ever give you back the time you lost, and although money helps, what these lawsuits truly give a person is closure. Successful completion of these suits helps to give a person their life back and allows them to begin the rebuilding process.
Let us help you get your life back on track and try to obtain compensation that will give you the breathing room to build a new life. Call us today at 253-383-3328 or send us an e-mail today at OFFICE@WILLIAMWHITELAW.COM.