Washington Civil Compromise

Washington Civil Compromise

Most people assume that the only way to resolve a criminal case is to face trial, and hope that your lawyer can help get the charges decreased or dismissed. However, in the state of Washington, there is an alternative path to resolution known as civil compromise. This process provides defendants with an opportunity to pay restitution to the victim and dismiss the charges, avoiding the need for a criminal trial. The attorneys at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer have both skill and experience in regards to civil compromise. As such, they will earnestly defend you on your behalf in order to obtain the best possible outcome for you.

Understanding Civil Compromise 

Civil compromise is a legal mechanism that allows defendants and victims to reach a mutually agreeable resolution outside the traditional criminal justice system. It involves the victim agreeing to drop or not pursue criminal charges against the defendant in exchange for restitution or other conditions. Often restitution will involve monetary payments equal to the amount of property that was stolen or damaged.

Benefits of Civil Compromise 

There are many potential benefits to pursuing and obtaining a civil compromise when faced with criminal charges:

Resolution and Closure: Civil compromise offers a way for both parties to resolve the matter swiftly and avoid the uncertainties and emotional toll of a criminal trial. Victims get restitution and can move forward with their lives, while defendants can avoid the potential consequences of a criminal conviction.

Control over the Outcome: By engaging in civil compromise, defendants have an opportunity to actively participate in the resolution process. The defendant can help the attorney review the terms being negotiated and make sure that those terms are aligned with their concerns.

Avoidance of Criminal Record: One of the most significant advantages of civil compromise is the potential to avoid a criminal record. A criminal conviction can have long-lasting consequences, affecting employment prospects, housing opportunities, and personal relationships. Civil compromise offers a chance for defendants to protect their reputation and maintain a clean record.

Limitations of Civil Compromise 

While civil compromise presents several advantages, it is essential to understand its limitations:

Judicial Discretion:

The decision to allow civil compromise rests with the judge handling the case. The judge may reject the offer if the defendant is a repeat offender or if the charges are serious. Additionally, even if you and the victim have reached an agreement outside of court, the final say would still be with the judge.

Limited Applicability:

Civil compromise is not available for all types of criminal offenses. Felonies or domestic violence charges do not have the option of civil compromise.


Civil compromise is an important alternative resolution option for defendants in Washington State criminal defense cases. It offers a means to address the harm caused to the victim, achieve closure, and potentially avoid the consequences of a criminal conviction. By engaging in civil compromise, defendants can actively participate in the resolution process and negotiate terms that align with their interests. However, it is crucial to recognize that civil compromise is subject to judicial discretion and may not be available for all offenses. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial to navigate the complexities of civil compromise and protect one’s rights effectively. As mentioned previously, The team of attorneys at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer have the expertise necessary to help negotiate with the victim to reach an agreement to get your charges dropped, and your future safeguarded.

Don’t hesitate, call the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer at (360) 334-6277 to help you with your criminal charges and see if civil compromise is the right path for you.