Understanding Drug Possession Charges

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Aug 21

Baker, Lewis, Schwisow & Laws

Understanding Drug Possession Charges

by Baker, Lewis, Schwisow & Laws

Understanding Drug Possession Charges

If you’re caught with even a small amount of a controlled substance, you could be charged with drug possession. Possession of a controlled substance is one of the most common charges in Washington State. Even though it’s a common charge, a drug possession conviction can have life-long consequences and should be taken just as seriously as any other criminal charge. Here’s some basics to be aware of if you’re charged with drug possession.

What to Do if You Are Arrested or Contacted by Law Enforcement

If you are arrested due to drug possession charges or are contacted by law enforcement for anything related to drug possession, it’s important that you avoid talking to the police before you hire a lawyer. Do not give a statement until you have spoken to an attorney.

A drug investigation is a criminal investigation, and you shouldn’t approach it any more lightly than you would if you were subject to any other type of criminal investigation. Let your lawyer do the talking with law enforcement officials.

Drug Possession

In Washington state, being convicted of possessing even a small amount of any kind drug (except small portions of marijuana) is a class C felony; if charged, the maximum sentence is up to 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. If you are caught with a more substantial amount or are charged with an intent to manufacture or sell illegal drugs, you could be charged with a class B felony, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and a $20,000 fine.

This is true regardless of the drug in question, whether it is heroin, cocaine, prescription drugs—assuming, of course, that you do not have a prescription for them—methamphetamine or any other illegal drug.

You can be accused of drug possession if you have the drugs on your person (example, in your pocket). You can also be charged with drug possession if the drugs are in a location that you have control over, including drugs that are in your sock drawer or in the trunk of your car.

Defense Strategies

There are two main strategies when facing drug possession charges. Your legal team can make the case that you—the defendant—were in “unwitting possession” of the drugs, which is another way to say that you had no knowledge that the drugs were in your home or vehicle. To use this defense successfully, your team must affirmatively prove that someone else planted or stored the drugs in question.

Drug possession charges can also be fought if the drugs were found as the result of an illegal search. Successfully getting drug charges thrown out due to illegal discovery requires intimate knowledge of the law as it relates to searches.

The bottom line is that drug possession charges are serious and a conviction, even for a very small amount of drugs, can have life-long consequences. If you’ve been arrested or even contacted about anything drug related, it’s important to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.

Have you or someone you know been accused of drug possession? Contact the Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers at Baker, Lewis, Schwisow & Laws

The expert defense team at Baker, Lewis, Schwisow & Laws, PLLC vigorously defend the rights of individuals facing a multitude of charges in Seattle, Bellevue, and Kirkland. Contact us today at 206.209.0608 or fill out our online contact form to get more information or to get a free case review!



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