Washington drug related offense are often called VUCSA charges – Violations of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Drug related charges can range from the simple possession of a small amount of marijuana (still a crime under some circumstances) to an accusation of manufacturing or dealing in large amounts of illicit substances.
Drug related crimes range from simple misdemeanors punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000.00 fine to serious felonies punishable by significant prison sentences. Convictions for drug offense can also trigger ineligibility for student financial resources and government benefits and can trigger a one-year driver's license suspension for defendants under age 21.
In addition to facing jail time and fines, people arrested for Washington drug crimes can face the seizure and forfeiture of their personal property. RCW 69.50.505 allows law enforcement to take, keep, and sell certain private property if they can show it was used in connection with a VUCSA or drug related crime. If your property was seized by law enforcement you have a limited amount of time to request a hearing to challenge the seizure and forfeiture of your property. Please contact me for a consultation if you have any questions regarding the seizure and forfeiture of your property.
While Washington state legalized the possession of a limited amount of marijuana in 2012 – there are still circumstances where the possession of marijuana is a crime and can lead to jail time, fines, and other significant consequences. The cultivation, delivery and sale of marijuana without proper authority are felony crimes in Washington – this is true no matter how small the amount of actual marijuana cultivated, delivered or sold may be.