[U] City of Walla Walla v. Topel by Washington Court of Appeals

Book Review : [U] City of Walla Walla v. Topel

By Washington Court of Appeals

  • Publication Date: 2001-02-08
  • Genre: Law

Book Review

Melvin Topel was charged with driving while under the influence of an intoxicating liquor and/or drug (DUI) in February 1999. Seven years earlier, he had received a deferred prosecution for a prior DUI. When he requested a second deferred prosecution for the 1999 charge, the court denied the request, based on changes to the deferred prosecution statute that became effective January 1, 1999. The changes to the statute limit a DUI defendant to one deferred prosecution. Mr. Topel appeals, contending that the amendments to the statute are ambiguous and can be reasonably interpreted to provide one deferred prosecution after the effective date of the amendments. Alternatively, Mr. Topel argues that the amendments violate ex post facto principles because the amendments change the consequences of his first DUI. We conclude the trial court did not err by ruling Mr. Topel was not eligible for a second deferred prosecution of a DUI under RCW 10.05.010. We further conclude that the amendments to RCW 10.05.010 and RCW 10.05.160 do not violate ex post facto principles. We affirm Mr. Topels conviction.

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