Although the State of Washington has decriminalized the recreational use of marijuana, the possession and delivery of other drugs like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine remains illegal. Any type of a drug conviction can seriously impact somebody’s personal life, education, occupation and liberty. For example, Washington’s minimum mandatory sentence for possession of even just a small quantity of heroin is a Class C felony that’s punishable by five years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000. If you have been charged with any kind of a drug charge or a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act (VUCSA), you’ll want an experienced and aggressive drug defense attorney representing you.
Other classifications of felonies
A person convicted of a Class B felony can be sentenced to up to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $20,000. If charged with a Class A felony, an offender can be sentenced to life imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $50,000.
Possession of a controlled substance
When a person is charged with possession of a controlled substance, he or she is charged with either actual or constructive possession of it. Actual possession occurs when somebody is arrested with a controlled substance on their person. For example, a drunk driver was arrested, and cocaine was found in his or her pocket. That driver was in actual possession of the controlled substance. Constructive possession might occur when a driver and passenger are pulled over by police, and cocaine is found between the front seats of the vehicle. Both the driver and the passenger would have dominion and control over the cocaine without being in actual possession of it. On that basis, both might be arrested for constructive possession.
When we agree to be retained to represent a drug defendant, our preparation is thorough and exhaustive. We approach these cases in many ways by attacking:
- Searches and seizures
- The probable cause for arrests
- The credibility and truthfulness of witnesses against our clients
- How evidence against our client has been analyzed and handled
- Any alleged delivery or intent to deliver drugs by the accused
The drug court alternative
Defendants with an appropriate criminal background history might be eligible for drug court programs that are available in certain counties. In return for successful completion of a drug court program, it’s likely that a defendant’s case will be dismissed. It’s an excellent alternative to carrying a drug offense conviction for the rest of a person’s life. Failure to successfully complete the program results in termination from the drug court program, sentencing and a conviction.
The Drug Offender Sentencing Act (DOSA) alternative
Some people who are sentenced to prison can reduce their sentences by 50 percent if they successfully complete the minimum 90 day DOSA program. Some offenders are even allowed to complete the DOSA program in their own community rather than in prison.
Contact a Spokane drug charge lawyer today
Just about every criminal case has its complications. We’re retained to represent people who are accused of crimes because they want vigorous and effective assistance of counsel who protects and invokes their rights. If you’re taken into custody on any type of drug or VUCSA charge, don’t give the police a statement or confession. That would only give the prosecution more evidence to try to convict you with. Exercise your Fifth Amendment right to an attorney and contact us right away.