Minimizing the Damage from a Felony Drug Charge

If you’ve been charged with a felony drug offense, you should enlist the help of an experienced attorney right away to help minimize the damage.

Depending on the type of drug, the amount of drugs in your possession, and your alleged intent, your lawyer will have different routes to help protect you.

If the court convicts you of a drug charge, your ability to seek gainful employment is dangerous. A good lawyer will help you understand your drug charges and work to find an angle to minimize the damage so you can continue with your life.

What Are Possible Defenses In A Felony Drug Charge Case?

Your lawyer will take a unique avenue to your case depending on the drug charge when building your defense.

Your lawyer can try these options to possibly help you avoid a conviction or a lengthy jail sentence. Possible defenses or options include:

  • Diversion
  • Drug Offender Sentencing Alternatives
  • Drug Court
  • First Time Offender Waivers
  • Alternative sentencing options
  • Claiming search issues with the police
  • Fourth Amendment violations
  • Arguing your intent
  • Chain of custody problems with evidence
  • Factual defenses
  • Poor police work
  • You were in legal possession of the drugs under the care of a physician
  • Claiming you didn’t know you were in possession of the drugs

What Are The Possible Punishments For A Felony Drug Charge In Washington State?

Most drug charges in Washington classify as felonies, so your case carries grave consequences from the start if you don’t handle it properly.

If convicted, your fines can be as high as $500,000 per drug count. Even first-time offenders can be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. If this is not your first conviction, the fines and jail sentences may double. If you were dealing drugs to minors, you could be facing life in prison.

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Charged With A Felony Drug Offense?

If you’ve been arrested on a felony drug charge, reach out to VanWa’s legal team right away. Our criminal defense attorneys offer free consultations to help you understand your options and chances of avoiding conviction.

We offer flat-fee pricing to help you obtain the best legal representation and move forward with your life.

Drug laws have been evolving in Washington State and across the country quickly, so employing an attorney that understands the law and can apply the new changes to your case is your best chance at minimizing the damage.

Washington State Reclassifies Drug Possession as Misdemeanor

Washington State Supreme Court strikes down felony drug possession law as unconstitutional. Redefined as misdemeanor. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed legislation on Thursday to recriminalize simple possession as a misdemeanor.

Washington State Legislature Reestablishes Criminal Penalties

Requires individuals to be referred to eval and possible treatment for first two offenses. Alots $100 million for disorder treatment, outreach, recovery.

At a signing ceremony Thursday, Inslee called the legislation “a much more appropriate and successful way to address the needs that underlie drug abuse.” He did veto a portion of the bill (Section 21) that would have created a new penalty and had that penalty go into the new account that was created. Activity in the account is funded by the state General Fund.

“This legislation will help reduce the disparate impact of the previous drug possession statute on people of color,” he said. “It moves the system from responding to possession as a felony to focusing on the behavioral health response.”

The law will stand for two years and then legislators will have to pass new laws on drug possession. However the Recovery Navigator program which is being established statewide, will remain in place. Program connects people with drug disorders to a wide range of recovery care resources.

The advocacy group Treatment First WA has been at the forefront of decriminalization efforts in Washington State. Though a 2020 campaign failed due to complications in getting needed signatures during COVID crises, the group attempted to get broader treatment-first initiatives passed in 2021. The measure passed the House committee but ran out of time and didn’t meet the legislative deadline.

Moderates and conservatives insisted that simply removing penalties would leave people with little motive to get treatment. These penalties, they argue, set a standard that wouldn’t be subverted by local anti-drug laws. Such an eventuality would leave a hodge-podge of laws that would be confusing and difficult to enforce.

State legislators are hopeful that even more progressive measures can be signed into law once the benefits of the current programs become evident. Washington State citizens seem to be generally in favor of decriminalization according to a poll by FM3 Research. The survey showed that 71% of respondents preferred a treatment-first approach to drug policy.

Oregon is moving forward even more aggressively by decriminalizing all drugs as of November 2020. And they are not alone among other states who are moving towards more progressive drug policies. Maine, Vermont and California all have significant legislature moving forward that emphasize legalization of a broad variety of “recreational” drugs.

How Experienced Lawyers Defend a Client Against Drug Charges

When facing drug charges, your best defense is to have an experienced lawyer on your side to help you navigate your case.

Experienced attorneys understand the state and Federal law, as well as the severity of your charge, whether it be a misdemeanor or felony drug charge. The right lawyer will employ unique strategies to help your defense. A strong legal defense can help minimize any sentencing and even get your case thrown out.

How Will An Experienced Lawyer Defend Me Against Drug Charges?

A good lawyer will treat each drug charge differently; for example, a drug possession charge needs a different defense than drug manufacturing charges. An experienced attorney will create a unique defense for your case.

A seasoned lawyer will start your legal defense against a drug charge — especially a drug possession charge — by trying to prove the police officer violated your Fourth Amendment rights in finding and seizing any drug evidence. If the lawyer proves this, any evidence would be thrown out and drastically help your chances in the case.

Other defenses can include a chain of custody problems with law enforcement, factual defenses, and other shoddy police work. Your attorney can also claim a doctor prescribed the drug but will need to prove it was a prescription drug and you had no intent to distribute.

Depending on the circumstances, if a conviction is imminent, a good lawyer can explore alternative sentencing options for you, such as diversion, drug offender sentencing alternatives, drug court, or a first-time offender waiver.

How Do I Find An Experienced Lawyer To Defend Against Drug Charges?

If you’re looking for a seasoned attorney to represent you in a drug charge case, take advantage of VanWa Legal’s free consultation. VanWa Legal has tried hundreds of cases in Clark County and Vancouver, WA.

We’ll evaluate your case during the consultation and inform you about the possible legal strategies we can employ to help dismiss the case. Even if you did commit the crime, reaching out to a criminal defense lawyer can help minimize your charge’s consequences. VanWa Legal will work to lessen the charges, so your life isn’t derailed.

Hiring the right lawyer will help minimize your risk of losing key government benefits if convicted. VanWa Legal offers flat-free pricing, so you understand the cost upfront. We aim to make our services accessible for all potential clients so you can get the best representation in your case.