Washington is one of two states that have legalized marijuana possession, in quantities of less than 1 oz.

If you have been charged with a crime – whether this is the first time you’ve been arrested or if you’ve been down this road before, it is a nerve-wracking and stressful experience. Your fear of what might happen is understandable. A criminal defense lawyer can help you understand your options and assist you in making appropriate decisions on your case.

From the moment you are arrested, your freedom is on the line. While not all possession cases result in jail time, many of them do. And some result in lengthy prison sentences too. With these sorts of penalties there is no way to take such charges lightly.

Washington State Marijuana Possession Laws

Though most common marijuana possession cases are no longer criminal matters, there are still ways to run afoul of the law.  Possession of more than 1oz, possession if you are under 21, and sale of marijuana are illegal under most circumstances.

Smoking in public is technically illegal, too.

If you are in possession of more than 40 grams, you will face a felony charge and up to 5 years in prison. This charge also carries a much heftier fine of $10,000.

Other Drug Possession Laws

If you are charged with possession of any drug other than marijuana, you will face a felony charge no matter how much of the substance there was. This includes possession of drugs like heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamines, methadone, illegal prescription drugs, and any other drug that is classified as illegal.

Possession of a controlled substance is considered a Class C felony and carries up to 5 years in prison and fines reaching $10,000.

Drug Charge Defense Options

Though a drug charge has the potential to bring about significant change in your life, it’s not the end of the world. You do have options. Your criminal defense attorney will work diligently to ensure you get the best results possible, with a dismissal of charges being a top priority.

However, if it looks like a conviction may be imminent, there are other sources of relief. In Washington state, there is diversion programs, First Time Offender Waivers, and Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative (DOSA). The facts of your case and your criminal history will determine which of these programs you might qualify for.

They may require you to attend treatment or serve probation. But in exchange for your compliance, you could get the charges dismissed or at least avoid jail time.

The best way to determine what you should do next is to consult with a criminal defense lawyer in your area. Contact us to speak with a local attorney for a criminal consultation.