With opiate, methamphetamine and heroin abuse all on the rise, local communities are devoting greater resources to the investigation and prosecution of drug offenses. In the ongoing “war on drugs,” law enforcement officials and prosecutors appear are ready to do almost anything to get a conviction, often in disregard of the basic rights of the people being investigated for the crime.
In Washington, a drug crime is a Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act (VUCSA). These crimes found at RCW 69 can range from simple possession to manufacturing and distributing. A conviction for any drug-related offense can lead to serious penalties, including imprisonment, fines, probation and others. In addition, many charges can be enhanced if the crime is committed within 1,000 feet of a protected zone such as a school or a playground where children are present. Curios about what potential penalty there might be? You can find a list of all of the “sentencing guidelines” which the prosecution and Court will rely upon in your case here.
Above and beyond confinement, fines and probation drug convictions and a number of collateral consequences which are rarely spelled out by police, prosecutors, or Judges. These consequences can include the denial of basic civil rights (e.g., right to vote, immigrate to this country, travel to a foreign country, possess firearms, etc.) and denial of public benefits and entitlements such as social security, disability, and licensing. If you are a minor, even simple drug offenses such as possession of marijuana will generally result in the loss of a driver’s license and make you ineligible for student aid or college admission. These collateral consequences can follow you long beyond the end of your case and any time you have served or fines you have been ordered to pay, making many aspects of your life unnecessarily difficult.
At the law firm of Spencer & Sundstrom, we have experience in navigating the challenges that come with drug charges and convictions. We work closely with our clients to closely scrutinize the case reports, warrants, and evidence with the aim of identifying potential defenses the charges. Where defenses can be found, we aggressively pursue them.
Where the case against our client is compelling, we aggressively pursue any mitigation and sentencing alternatives of which our client’s might benefit (e.g., Drug Court, Drug Offense Sentencing Alternatives, First Offender Waiver Options, etc.). We evaluate your case to determine if one of the programs would be beneficial for you, and we explain the pros and cons associated with pursuing any particular course of action. We will make sure you have all the information you need to make a sound decision about how to proceed. In every case, the final decision will be yours. Having the right criminal defense lawyer on your side can go a long way toward ensuring a positive outcome.