Drug offenses may be classified as felonies, which are more serious, or as misdemeanors. A drug conviction in Washington may be harshly punished with jail time, fines, and even the removal of federal funds, such as school loans. A carefully crafted strategy by a skilled criminal defense attorney can make a huge difference to the outcome of your case. At Blair & Kim, Seattle drug crime lawyer Mark Blair can gather information about your arrest and the subsequent search and seizure, as well as your conversations with the police, to determine whether your constitutional rights may have been violated. If the police did not have a proper basis to search your home, for example, we may be able to suppress any evidence that was seized.Drug Offenses in Washington
Drug crimes in Washington are governed by the Uniform Controlled Substances Act (RCW 69.50). Under RCW 69.50.401, it is unlawful for someone to manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture or deliver controlled substances. Controlled substances include any drug, substance, or immediate precursor that is included in any of five schedules as set forth in federal or state laws, federal rules, or commission rules.
Drugs are placed in different schedules based on specific criteria. For example, Schedule 1 substances are drugs that are believed to have a high potential for abuse, that have no currently accepted medical use or treatment, and that are unsafe for use in medical treatment.
Drug felonies are divided into classes A, B, or C, and their class influences the sentence imposed. For example, someone who manufactures, delivers, or possesses with intent to deliver or manufacture amphetamine or methamphetamine is guilty of a class B felony. Upon conviction, he or she may be imprisoned for up to 10 years, fined up to $25,000 if the crime involved less than two kilograms of the drug, or both imprisoned and fined. Someone who manufactures, delivers, or possesses with intent to deliver or manufacture a controlled substance that falls into Schedule I-III is guilty of a class C felony. The maximum sentence that may be imposed is five years in a state correctional institute, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
Lesser offenses are charged and punished as misdemeanors. For example, possession of less than 40 grams of marijuana or possession of drug paraphernalia may be punished with 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Certain circumstances may result in more serious penalties. If a drug crime is proven to have occurred in a protected zone, such as within 1,000 feet of a school or certain public places, while in a correctional facility, in the presence of a child, or with the use of firearms or other deadly weapons, the penalties may be enhanced.Consult an Experienced Seattle Lawyer for a Drug Crime Charge
There are a number of ways to defend against charges of selling, manufacturing, or possessing drugs. If you are charged with a drug offense, Seattle drug crime attorney Mark Blair can use his experience to help you try to have the charges dropped or reach a favorable plea deal with the prosecution for a lesser offense or sentence. We can thoroughly review your case both for constitutional violations that could get your case dismissed and for mitigating factors that could result in a reduced sentence. With 40 years of combined experience, Blair & Kim serves people throughout King County, including in Redmond, Kirkland, and Bellevue. Call us at (206) 622-6562 or use our online form to set up a consultation. We also represent people who need a DUI attorney or representation in fighting other criminal charges.