In the past, the majority of drug cases our firm has been involved with are drug possession charges, as well as drug possession with intent to deliver or manufacture drugs. Currently, simple drug possession cases are filed as a misdemeanor instead of a felony. Recently, the Washington Supreme Court issued a decision in State v Blake. This verdict eroded the severity of a drug possession charge due the previous law did not specify criminal intent in relation to drug possession. There has been a shift in the landscape for drug possession cases. Looking at the current sentiments of the public and the courts, the potential for change in terms of drug possession classifications and definitions are subject to evolve.
How Is A Drug-Related Charge Determined To Be A Felony Or A Misdemeanor In Washington?
For felony drug possession charges, you must have the intent to manufacture or to deliver. This means if you are producing, making, or selling drugs you have a higher likelihood of being charged with a felony.
If you have a small amount of drugs or controlled substances in your possession, you would receive a misdemeanor charge. Currently, the courts are looking to utilize diversion programs, use a deferral period to get treatment, or receive some other type of therapeutic remedy. Exercising these options would lead to avoiding any criminal charges or potential jail time. But as it stands, simple drug possession charges are being charged as misdemeanors.
What Are The Potential Penalties Someone Could Face When Charged With A Drug Crime In Washington?
Felony drug charges could be classified as a Class B felony with a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and hefty fines. As for simple drug possession charges (misdemeanor), the courts are actively trying to avoid any penalty of jail time. There is a significant amount of reform happening with drug possession charges at the state level. As a result, the classification of felony or misdemeanor may change over the next couple of years. As of right now, they are looking to divert any sort of jail time and get people the necessary treatment.
Do You Advise Voluntary Counseling To Clients With Ongoing Or Pending Drug Cases?
Being proactive is always a good thing. If someone is actively seeking help or treatment, that can help lessen the potential consequences if someone has possession of or using a controlled substance. It has the potential to show the prosecutor or state government that you are taking steps to rectify the situation and find solutions to address the underlying issue.
At What Point In My Drug Case Will, I Have To Enter A Plea Of Guilty Or Not Guilty?
At your first hearing, our firm will encourage you to enter a not guilty plea. By making that decision, we will be able to help you achieve a more favorable outcome for your case.
What Are The Next Steps After I Enter A Plea Of Not Guilty In My Drug Case?
Our firm will review the case, looking at the evidence discovery and police reports to gather as much information as we can. Then, we will be able to discuss all your options moving forward. Finally, we will be able to determine if we should take the case to trial or seek a resolution by having it be a lesser or reduced charge.
For more information on Drug Charges In The State Of Washington, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (253) 222-4878 today.