Drug Possession

As former prosecutors we understand both sides of a case and will work to achieve the best possible resolution. We are proud to serve the greater Seattle area including the communities of Bellevue and Kirkland.

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DRUG POSSESSION IN SEATTLE

CONTACT OUR SEATTLE CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS

It may or may not surprise you to learn that marijuana possession arrests in our nation totaled 663,032 in 2011, which is more than the arrests for all violent crime combined. Additionally, 86% of these arrests are simply for possession. Statistics from the FBI reveal that possession arrests have nearly doubled since 1980 and that teen marijuana use has reached a 30-year high.

If Washington law enforcement officials have found illegal drugs in your possession, you should immediately seek legal protection from a Seattle criminal defense lawyer. Possession of an illegal controlled substance is a serious crime that will be prosecuted either as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on certain factors and your criminal history.

TYPES OF DRUG POSSESSION

The exact penalties from a drug possession conviction depend upon the amount of drugs in your possession and the schedule of the drug in your possession. There are generally three types of possession charges: straight possession, possession with intent to deliver, and delivery of a controlled substance.

Straight Possession 
The penalties for possession of an illegal substance will depend on many different factors, such as the type of substance and the amount of the substance that you possess. It may also be impacted by the purpose of your possession, weapons possession or use, your past criminal history, and the amount of money that is involved. According to RCW 69.50.4014, any person found guilty of less than 40 grams of marijuana will be charged with a misdemeanor that may bring about no more than 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The possession of heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana (more than 40 grams), PCP, or a Scheduled I or II Controlled Substance will result in a Class C Felony charge. The crime may result in a maximum jail sentence of 5 years and a maximum fine of $10,000, or both.

Possession with Intent to Deliver 
Law enforcement officials and agencies may charge you with this offense if they do not have evidence of an actual delivery, but if they have reason to believe that you intend to deliver the drugs that you possess. If you are found with a quantity of drugs that is more than one individual typically consumes, or if you are found with a controlled substance that is wrapped in many small baggies, or a large amount of cash, you may be charged with this serious crime.

The manufacture, deliver, or possession with intent to deliver marijuana is a Class C Felony with penalties up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, or both. The possession of methamphetamine or heroin with intent to deliver in the state of Washington will result in no more than 10 years in prison and a fine of $25,000, or a fine of $100,000 for the first 2 kg plus $50 in excess of 2 kg of meth.

These criminal charges often happen after the police observe you delivering a controlled substance to another person, or when the police use an undercover officer to buy drugs from you. Thankfully, our firm knows how to fight these types of charges and the methods that were used to gather evidence against you. We are familiar with the technical motions that can be used to suppress evidence before it reaches court, and we know how to have your case dismissed or reduced to a misdemeanor offense.

SENTENCING ALTERNATIVES FOR DRUG CRIMES

Regardless of your circumstances, the right criminal defense attorney can do a lot to protect your rights after being charged with a drug crime and this can benefit your case in many different ways. From your initial meeting with police, to the final resolution of your case, our lawyer will be working hard to uncover any information or evidence that may be valuable to your case. Whether you have been charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana or felony possession of a Schedule I narcotic, you can benefit from having representation from a qualified Seattle attorney. Even if you have little hope about your case, it is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.

Our team of experienced lawyers have handled countless possession cases over the years, and we are familiar with all of the different sentencing alternatives available in Washington drug courts. We may be able to pursue the option of a diversion program in your case, particularly if your situation involves a first offense or a lower-level crime. A drug treatment program typically involves a series of classes and random drug testing, and any positive test results or other violations will result in your case going back to court.

A Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative (DOSA) may be another option for your situation. This cuts your jail time in half and allows you to reenter the community under probationary supervision. Electronic home detention or monitoring is also a possibility. Above all, you must keep in mind that you don't have to face your charges alone. If you are in need of drug treatment and counseling for a substance addiction, we will pursue these alternative sentencing programs to determine if you are eligible.

Contact a Seattle drug possession attorney at Baker, Lewis, Schwisow & Laws, PLLC today to discuss your drug charges! We offer you a free consultation to discuss your charges in a confidential environment, and we are prepared to start building your defense case today!

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