If you’re convicted on drug charges, your life may never be the same. Along with possible incarceration and financial penalties, drug charges can affect your future ability to secure housing, gain employment, and receive or keep government benefits.
Under federal and state laws, it’s a crime to willfully possess certain illegal, controlled substances along with chemicals and paraphernalia used in making and consuming the drugs. Drug charges can range from simple possession to selling, distributing, or manufacturing drugs.
For individuals charged with a drug crime in Washington, the legal process can be stressful and the consequences can be severe. It is critical to work with a qualified Spokane criminal defense attorney with extensive experience to ensure that your rights are protected. Twyford Law Office can help you understand the law and your legal options.
In Washington, possession and recreational use of marijuana is legal for amounts up to one ounce. However, the state has laws against individuals growing marijuana plants. Consuming marijuana in public places is illegal and can result in a civil penalty of up to $100. Possessing more than an ounce of marijuana is a criminal act that can result in fines and jail time. It is also illegal for people younger than 21 to possess marijuana in any amount.
Possessing more than 40 grams of marijuana can result in a felony charge punishable by incarceration of up to five years and a fine up to $10,000. Subsequent offenses can carry double those penalties. Possession of amounts between one ounce and 40 grams is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days of incarceration.
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board regulates the sale of marijuana, including zoning ordinances and other rules for retail sales. Washington also has legalized the medical use of marijuana for patients who gain the proper approvals.
The Laws Regarding Other Drugs
Possession of any illegal drug other than marijuana in Washington may result in a felony charge, regardless of the amount of the drug possessed.
The law applies to illegal drugs including but not limited to:
Illegal prescription drugs
If you are caught with any amount of these substances, you may be charged with a Class C felony, which can result in fines of as much as $10,000 and up to five years in prison.
If you’re charged with a drug-related crime in Washington, don’t panic. An experienced Spokane drug crime defense attorney from Twyford Law Office can assist you in exploring your options and work hard to achieve a favorable outcome on your behalf.
Alternatives to Incarceration
If you’re convicted on a drug charge, your defense attorney may be able to have you accepted into a program providing alternatives to incarceration. Washington state offers two types of programs to avoid incarceration: First-time offender waivers and Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative, or DOSA. Your criminal record and the specifics of your case factor into whether you’ll be accepted.
An alternative program may require that you:
Undergo drug treatment
Participate in community service
If you comply, you may be able to avoid jail time or even have the charges against you dismissed.
Work with an Experienced Spokane Drug Crime Defense Attorney
Twyford Law Office offers knowledgeable guidance and aggressive defense in every case we handle. Whether you are charged with misdemeanor possession or are facing federal felony drug charges, you will get the professional advice and strong advocacy you need to protect your rights.
In federal court, the mandatory-minimum sentencing guidelines for drug crimes are severe. Depending on the details of your case, you could be facing years in prison, fines, and forfeiture of any property connected to the illegal activity. We will analyze the evidence from every angle to ensure that you get the strongest possible defense. If there is a flaw in the case against you, our drug charges lawyer will find it.
To schedule a phone consultation, please contact Twyford Law Office at (509) 327-0777.