Last Minute Changes to Charging Instrument

State v. Brooks No. 97150-1 (January 23, 2020), Washington Supreme Court.

Brief: The court did not abuse its discretion in granting the State’s motion to amend the information to merely expand the date range concerning the molestation charge because the amendment did not alter the substantive charge and only expanded the time frame to conform to the defendant’s confession during his testimony at trial.

Translation: The State may modify the date(s) on which the alleged crime occurred if evidence establishes different dates than was originally charged.

Note: In practice, once the State rests (completes their case-in-chief by finishing questioning of their last witness), the court will not permit further amendments to the charging instrument (the “information”).

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