What is a Stipulated Order of Continuance / SOC in Washington State?
In an SOC, the defendant enters into a contractual agreement with the state, county or city government prosecutor and the court just approves it. If the defendant follows his/her part of the bargain, the prosecution will move to dismiss the case at the end. But in some courts, the defense lawyer must actively file a motion to dismiss at the end of the SOC deferral period. I have gotten hundreds of SOC’s in Bellevue, Issaquah, Seattle, Redmond and other District and Municipal Courts. In Seattle Municipal Court they are called dispositional continuances. But Kirkland and Bothell Municipal Courts do not have SOC’s any longer (so I try to get a so-called “informal” SOC in those venues). In Everett Municipal Court., these are called CMD’s (Court Monitored Diversions).
Not every case or client qualifies for this excellent, no-jail, no-sentencing, no-conviction and no conviction record negotiated outcome. But the benefit of an SOC is that at the end if all conditions have been complied with, the case is dismissed. Each court has its own way of administering SOC’s and in some courts the probation department monitors the client’s treatment reports and sees whether there are any new criminal violations. If the SOC is revoked you basically get summarily convicted and sentenced.
For more information see my SOC page: