The state of Washington has some of the strictest and toughest drug laws in the country. In fact, the majority of drug offenses are felonies. Some would find that hard to believe, considering the fact that the use of marijuana – both recreational and medical – has been legalized in the state.
But the truth is, even though the use of marijuana is legal to an extent, other drugs are not. You could go to jail, pay thousands of dollars in fines, and have your public record tainted for the rest of your life if you happen to be convicted of any drug-related offense. Count on the defense attorneys at Twyford Law Office to help you avoid these harsh penalties and move on from this experience. Contact us online or call us at (509) 327-0777 to request a free consultation.
Felony or Misdemeanor?
Though some drug-related offenses are charged as misdemeanors, most are classified as felonies. A felony conviction carries more severe penalties than a misdemeanor conviction.
Whether you will be charged with felony or misdemeanor depends on several factors, such as:
The type and amount of drug found on you
Whether your intent was to use or sell the drugs found on you
Your criminal history (for example, a past DUI)
Whether or not a firearm was found in your possession
If you are an adult or juvenile
Whether the case is in state or federal court
There is a thin line between being charged for a felony drug offense and a misdemeanor drug offense. For example, the possession of any controlled substance or over 40 grams (one ounce) of marijuana is an automatic felony charge punishable with jail time.
Penalties for Drug Possession Charges
The penalties for drug crimes in Washington are very strict and the possibility of jail time is still very high. Although there have been a few changes to the legalization of marijuana in the state, the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana is not a crime under Initiative 502. However, being caught with anything over that is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Ultimately, your sentence will be decided by a judge who will take your criminal record, the circumstances surrounding the case, and the prosecutor’s sentence recommendation into account. That is why it is imperative that you contact an experienced Spokane drug possession lawyer to handle your case immediately.
Defending Controlled Substances Charges
Just because drug charges are usually classified as a felony doesn’t mean a good attorney can’t defend your rights and get your case either dismissed or reduced.
Most times, evidence gathered from a drug arrest was done improperly. Twyford Law Office can argue that all the evidence (including the drugs and paraphernalia) relating to your case is inadmissible and therefore should be suppressed.
Examples of common defenses include:
The evidence was obtained during illegal search and seizure
You were lured into committing the crime that you normally wouldn’t commit (for example, by an undercover officer)
That probable cause to search you, your vehicle, or home was not established or based on racial stereotyping
The search warrant used was either obtained or used illegally
The evidence used against you was obtained by police informants (who are known to lack credibility or have ulterior motives)
Drug Possession Jail Alternatives
There are times when the evidence is so compelling that it would be easy to give up hope. But the truth is, it is not over until the very end. And when it comes to matters like these, there is always a way out.
DOSA: The Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative is a program designed to help reduce jail time by up to 50%
First-Time Offender Waiver: This program was specifically developed for first-time felony offenders; it allows you to complete things like community service and drug treatment instead of going to prison
Probation: This is the most common alternative to jail time – it allows you to serve your sentence in the community and under the supervision of a probation officer
Diversion Program: This program allows you to complete a term of supervision while in the community; if the term is successfully completed without any incidents, the charges against you might be dropped completely
Contact an Experienced Spokane Drug Possession Lawyer
Anyone can make a mistake – but it isn’t fair for that mistake to ruin your life and your career. Having a drug conviction on your record can affect you for years to come.
If you get arrested and charged for any drug-related offense, your first line of defense is to contact an attorney with a proven track record of getting drug possession cases either dismissed or greatly reduced.
Contact Twyford Law Office at (509) 327-0777 today for a free and confidential consultation.