In Washington, any criminal charge related to drugs is properly called a Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act (VUCSA). Under this Act, a person can be charged for drug possession, use, manufacturing, delivering or intent to deliver.
With all of the publicity regarding legalization of marijuana or Seattle’s “safe zones” for heroin, some people think of Washington as a drug friendly state. That is absolutely not true. Prosecutions for drug crimes are common and aggressive. In fact, it is also common to see the Prosecutor allege “intent to deliver” due to the significant increase in punishment. While you may consider a certain amount of marijuana normal for personal use, the Prosecutor may not see it that way.
Additionally, it is important to understand that while you may be in possession of a “legal” drug or narcotic, it doesn’t mean you can use it or possess it at your discretion. For example, you may have been prescribed medication for your back pain but you can’t be in possession of your friend’s identical pain medication. And, while marijuana is “legal,” there are limits on where you can use it, how you can use it, whether you can grow it, and how much you can possess. The term “legal” can be confusing and dangerous in the world of drug charges.
How Serious Are Your Charges?
If you are facing a drug charge and curious about the seriousness of your case, it is extremely important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. The jail time, fines, and other consequences will vary depending on certain factors:
- The type or classification of drug
- The quantity of drugs
- Personal use vs. intent to distribute
- Evidence of sales
- The presence of firearms or weapons
- Past criminal history
Additionally, if you manufactured, sold, or delivered drugs near a school, near or on a school bus, in a drug free zone, in a park, to a minor, or on public transit, the Prosecutor will likely seek sentence enhancements. This can greatly increase your range of jail time and fines.
On the positive side, some people may be eligible for alternatives to the normal VUCSA punishments. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to enroll in the Drug Court program or qualify for a drug treatment program. Again, the unique facts of your case will determine the options for resolving your drug charges short of going to trial. In most drug cases, it’s important to consider alternatives due to the lengthy prison terms for VUCSA convictions.
Witt Law Group serves individuals that have been charged with drug offenses in Kitsap, Pierce and Jefferson Counties. We also handle cases in nearly all the cities within those Counties. We have offices in Gig Harbor and Bremerton for your convenience. We offer free consultations and can be reached at (360) 792-1000 (Bremerton) or (253) 312-3838 (Gig Harbor) or you can text one of our attorneys at (360) 710-0027.
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