PCS – Possession

Possession of 40 Grams or Less of Marijuana:

Possession of 40 grams or less of marijuana in Washington state is a misdemeanor.  RCW 69.50.4014.A Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act(“VUCSA”) related misdemeanor is punishable by a minimum of at least one day in jail and a $250.00 fine and a maximum of 90 days in jail and a  $1000.00 fine. RCW 69.50.425.

Furthermore, for individuals under 21 years of age, a possession of  marijuana charge may cause a one-year driver’s license suspension (with  the ability to petition the court to reinstate your license after 90  days).  RCW 69.50.420.

Possession of More than 40 Grams of Marijuana:

Possession of more than 40 grams of marijuana in Washington State is a  class C felony and may be punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a  $10,000 fine.Additionally, if you possess significantly more  than 40 grams of marijuana, the state could argue that you possessed  the marijuana with intent to deliver (sell) it and charge you with a  more serious crime.

Cultivation, Delivery or Sale of Marijuana:

Cultivation (growing), delivery and sale of marijuana are all class C  felonies in Washington State and are punishable by up to 5 years in jail  and up to a $10,000 fine.

It is very important to be aware that the cultivation, delivery or sale  of any amount of marijuana, no matter how small, may be charged as a C  felony and therefore will carry a much more severe penalty than a simple  possession of 40 grams or less.

Medical Marijuana

Washington State’s Medical Marijuana Act, found at RCW 69.51A,  gives qualifying individuals a defense to Washington VUCSA crimes  relating to the possession, cultivation and administration of medical  marijuana.  It does not legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

Further, it is important to understand that the only people covered under this act are “qualifying patients and their providers.”  In order to become a qualifying patient, one must meet the medical conditions  listed in the Act and follow the specific protocols the Act requires.

Qualifying patients must always carry valid documentation whenever they  plan on carrying or using medical marijuana and must be prepared to  provide these documents to a police officer if they are questioned about  their use of medical marijuana.  This documentation consists of the following:

Proper authorization from their physician; and

A valid proof of identification (such as a US passport or a Washington State Driver’s License)

For more information on Washington State’s Medical Marijuana laws, see the Washington State ACLU’s medical marijuana site.

Possession of Heroin:

Simple possession of a small amount of heroin is a class C felony in Washington state and is punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. However, when anything other than a very small amount of heroin is recovered, or if a large amount of cash or scales or numerous zip-lock baggies are also recovered, the State will often charge an individual with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.

“Narcotic Drug” Charges

Since heroin is considered a “narcotic drug” under the VUCSA laws, the penalties increase to a B felony punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000.

Heroin is considered a “narcotic drug” under Washington VUCSA laws. Therefore, if you are charged with the Manufacture, Delivery or Possession with Intent to Deliver Heroin in Washington State you are facing a B felony, which is punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine.

If you are convicted of selling heroin for the first time under Washington VUCSA laws, you would be facing a mandatory minimum of 2 years jail, with a maximum of up to five.

If you had previously been convicted of a sale of heroin, and you are convicted a second time, you would then be facing a mandatory minimum of 10 years in jail.

Possession of Methamphetamine:

Simple possession of a small amount of methamphetamine is considered a C felony in Washington state and is punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

However, when anything other than a very small amount of methamphetamine is recovered, or if a large amount of cash or scales or numerous zip-lock baggies are also recovered, the state will often charge an individual with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, and the penalties increase to a B felony punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000.

Possession with Intent to Manufacture Meth:

Possession of certain ingredients used to manufacture methamphetamine, including large amounts of pseudoephedrine and certain ammonia solutions, is considered a B felony under Washington State’s VUCSA laws and is punishable by a jail sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $25,000.

Possession of Cocaine:

Simple possession of a small amount of cocaine is considered a C felony under the Washington state VUCSA laws and is punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

However, when anything other than a very small amount of cocaine is recovered, or if a large amount of cash or scales or numerous zip-lock baggies are also recovered, the State will often charge an individual with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, and since cocaine is considered a “narcotic drug,” the penalties increase to a B felony punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000.

Manufacture or Delivery or Possession with Intent to Deliver of Cocaine

Cocaine is considered a “narcotic drug” under the Washington State VUCSA laws. Therefore, if you are charged with the Manufacture, Delivery or Possession with Intent to Deliver cocaine in Washington State you are facing a B felony, which is punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine.

Crack-Cocaine Charges:

In Washington State there are sentencing provisions for possession of crack cocaine which impose a mandatory minimum prison term of 5 years jail all the way up to 20 years jail and can include severe fines if you meet the following criteria:

It is your first crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed is in excess of 5 grams;

It is your second crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed is in excess of 3 grams; or

It is your third or subsequent crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed is in excess of 1 gram.

The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer will fight to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome in your court case. Call attorney Erin Bradley McAleer today at (360) 334-6277 to schedule an immediate confidential free consultation.

Washington Attorney Erin Bradley McAleer represents clients throughout Southwest Washington State, including in Clark County, Cowlitz County, and Skamania County and Vancouver, Battle Ground, Camas, La Center, Ridgefield, Washougal, Woodland, Yacolt, Castle Rock, Kalama, Kelso, Longview, North Bonneville, and Stevenson. Attorney Erin Bradley McAleer focuses on the areas of Criminal Defense, Traffic Infractions, Landlord Tenant, Personal Injury, Firearm Rights Restoration, and Post-Conviction Relief (Vacating & Sealing Criminal Records.

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