Drug Charges

If you were charged with a drug crime in Washington, there are many factors and elements that could dramatically affect potential consequences if you are convicted. For example:

  • The type of drug involved;

  • How much of the drug is involved;

  • The purpose of the drug (personal use or to sell);

  • Was a weapon involved (a “weapon” can be very fact specific and could include everyday items not normally considered a “weapon” like a belt);

  • Were other crimes also being committed; and

  • Do you have a prior criminal record.

Below are some common drug charges that you will need a lawyer to advise you to protect your rights:

Drug Paraphernalia

In order to be convicted of Use of Drug Paraphernalia, the prosecuting attorney will need to prove that you possessed an instrument used to plant, cultivate, grow, manufacture, ingest, or otherwise create or use drugs is illegal. Generally, Use of Drug Paraphernalia is a misdeamonr, which faces a maximum of 90 days of jail time and up to a $1,000 fine.

Marijuana Crimes

While the use and possession of marijuana may have been legalized in Washington, there are still state crimes related to the marijuana and there are strict regulations that must be followed. Failure to follow the strict regulations can result in serious charges and consequences.

Methamphetamine Crimes

Possessing methamphetamine is considered a class C felony, and is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If you have larger amounts than what would be expected for personal use, or if you have other items such as a scale or numerous plastic baggies, you could also face more serious charges such as possession with intent to deliver controlled substance.


Like methamphetamine, simple possession of heroin can result in a class C felony. But with larger amounts or evidence suggesting intent to distribute, the charge can become a class B felony.

Prescription Drug Crimes

Possessing or selling prescription drugs – like Xanax or Oxycodone – without a legal prescription can carry serious penalties in Washington. And when a charge alleges the sale, delivery, or possession with intent to sell or deliver, the penalty could become a class B felony, which could result in 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Collateral Consequences of a Drug Conviction

Not only can a drug conviction result in jail time and fines, your life can be impacted in several other ways effecting both your professional and personal life. For example you could suffer the following:

  • Negative reputation in the community;

  • Restricted gun ownership rights;

  • Inability to vote as a felon;

  • Restriction from traveling to foreign countries;

  • Removal of professional licenses;

  • Impact on immigration status; and

  • Child custody and visitation restrictions.

What Can You Loose From A Criminal Conviction

If you are convicted of a crime, you can suffer several consequences. Below is a list of just a few ways a conviction can negatively affect you:

Harm to your Reputation | Time in prison or jail | Large Fines | Loss of your right to carry or possess a firearm | Loss of your right to vote | Your assets can be seized | Permanent criminal record; and Immigration consequences.