Arrested on Weed Charges? Our Marijuana Lawyers Have Answers

Marijuana laws in Washington have changed over the last several years. It can be hard to know what has been decriminalized and what is illegal. It’s important to know that possessing or selling marijuana can still result in incarceration, fines, and other penalties. However, the drug attorneys at Emerald City Law Group can help you avoid the harshest consequences.

From getting your charges reduced to an entire case dismissed, Emerald City Law Group knows how to get the best outcome possible in every case.

Based in Seattle, We Assist People Across Washington and Offer Virtual Consultations. Initial Consults are Free, Confidential, and We’re Available 24/7 to Answer Your Questions.

Seattle Marijuana Charges

Marijuana offenses must be handled carefully. While the use of marijuana is legal in Washington, there are still some cannabis offenses that can result in criminal charges. As a marijuana defense law firm, Emerald City Law Group can guide you through the following drug charges related to cannabis:

  • Federal Marijuana Charges
  • Unlicensed Sale and Distribution of Marijuana
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana
  • Illegal Possession of Marijuana
  • Illegal Cultivation of Marijuana
  • Marijuana Paraphernalia
  • Public Consumption of Marijuana
  • Crimes Involving Marijuana Hash and Concentrates
  • Transportation of Marijuana Across State Lines
  • Marijuana DUI

Marijuana Laws in Washington: What to Know

Washington drug laws can be severe. Depending on the circumstances, you can face hefty fines and years in prison. Even though the state does allow certain legal possession and use of marijuana, the law remains complicated. Criminal prosecutions for marijuana continue to this day, and a drug conviction can make it difficult for you to  obtain employment, go to school, and participate in various other aspects of life.

The Regulation of Sale & Use of Marijuana

Only licensed cannabis stores are permitted to sell marijuana in Washington. However, the substance remains federally illegal, so most banks will not do business with cannabis operations because of possible federal sanctions.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) regulates cannabis sales in the state. Cannabis stores may sell to both recreational users over the age of 21 and medical marijuana users. However, people with medical marijuana cards are exempt from the 37% marijuana use tax.

Marijuana businesses can sell cannabis and related products, including flowers, vapes, concentrates, edibles, and paraphernalia.

Restrictions on Legal Use of Marijuana

While possessing, consuming, and even selling marijuana has been legalized in some instances, these actions are still highly regulated and can result in serious criminal charges if arrested. Among the many legal restrictions on marijuana use in Washington, it is important to note:

  • Marijuana can only be bought and sold through licensed retailers, and a person must show a valid state-issued ID to be on the seller’s premises.
  • You must be at least 21 years old to purchase or possess marijuana.
  • When purchasing marijuana, you are limited to one ounce of usable harvested flowers, 16 ounces of infused edibles in solid form, 72 ounces in liquid form, and 7 grams of cannabis concentrate.
  • It is against the law to drive under the influence of marijuana. You can expect to be charged with a DUI if you have more than five nanograms of active THC per milliliter in your blood.
  • Marijuana cannot be consumed in public.
  • State and federal laws prohibit you from taking legally purchased marijuana out of Washington.

Washington Marijuana Penalties

Although marijuana is partially legal in Washington, violations can still lead to severe consequences. Punishments for various marijuana crimes may include:

Unlicensed Sale & Distribution of Cannabis

  • A felony with up to five years in prison and a fine of $10,000 for any quantity
  • A felony with up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000 if sold to a minor who is at least three years younger than you

Illegal Marijuana Possession

  • A fine of up to $100 for public consumption of up to an ounce of marijuana
  • Up to 90 days in jail, with 24 hours being mandatory, plus a fine of up to $1,000 for having between one and 40 ounces of marijuana.
  • A felony with up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for possessing more than 40 ounces

Marijuana Cultivation

  • A felony with up to five years in prison and fines reaching $10,000.

Dealing with King County Marijuana Charges

The marijuana court process in Washington is like the court process for other drug offenses. However, there are some unique aspects to the marijuana court process since marijuana is legal for recreational and medicinal use in Washington.

Here is a general overview of the marijuana court process in Washington:

  • Arrest & Booking.If you are arrested for a marijuana offense, you may be booked into jail and processed by the police.
  • You Will Have an Initial Arraignment. At the initial arraignment, the judge will inform you of the charges against you and your legal rights. You will also enter a guilty or not guilty plea.
  • Pre-Trial.  You may have one or more pre-trial hearings if you plead not guilty. At pre-trial hearings, the judge and attorneys will discuss the case and make rulings on various issues, such as the admissibility of evidence.
  • Plea Agreement with the Prosecution. A plea agreement is an agreement between the prosecution and the defendant in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a lighter sentence. Your case will proceed to trial if you do not reach a plea agreement.
  • Sentencing. The sentence will vary depending on the specific facts of the case and your criminal record.

Defenses Against Marijuana Charges

If you or a loved one are arrested for a marijuana-related offense, it’s important to work closely with a marijuana lawyer. Many believe that the legitimacy of Washington’s legal marijuana movement rests in how seriously state prosecutors pursue and punish drug violators. Your marijuana attorney will have to understand how Washington’s complex drug laws have evolved over the last several years and how to fight each step of your prosecution.

Alternative Washington Marijuana Punishments

Emerald City Law Group knows that every marijuana charge is unique. As your marijuana criminal defense lawyer works to protect your rights during a prosecution, it’s very possible to have your charges reduced or completely dismissed depending on the circumstances of your case. Your lawyer can also possibly pursue one of several options offered to certain drug defendants in Washington, such as:

  • Entry into a diversion program. These programs are sometimes available to non-violent offenders of low-level crimes. They include counseling and drug testing for a specific period as an alternative to traditional punishments.
  • A First Time Offender Waiver. If this is your first prosecution for a drug offense, you may be able to receive a First Time Offender Waiver which would effectively assist you in avoiding jail time. This can apply even to serious crimes.

Washington Marijuana Offense Info & Resources

Our marijuana lawyers are here to help you handle your drug charges and protect your rights. We have answers to your legal questions. If you need additional information, contact us at Emerald City Law Group right away.

Is Marijuana Legal in Seattle?

Washington residents over the age of 21 can legally use cannabis within a specified limit. Minors are not allowed to use cannabis in Washington. However, medical marijuana patients under the age of 21 can use cannabis with proper written certification from a medical practitioner and registration with the Board of Pharmacy.

Can I Grow Marijuana at Home for Personal Use?

Home cultivation for recreational use is not allowed, but there are exceptions for medical patients.

Can I Consume Marijuana in Public Places?

In Washington, consuming marijuana in public places is strictly prohibited. This includes areas like parks, sidewalks, and other open spaces. Even though the state has legalized the regulated use of marijuana, public consumption remains off-limits to ensure the safety and comfort of all residents and visitors.

Is Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana Legal?

Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in Washington. While marijuana might be legal for recreational and medicinal use, operating a vehicle while impaired by it is not. If caught driving under the influence, individuals can face DUI charges, which come with significant legal consequences, including fines, license suspension, and potential jail time.

Can Non-Residents Buy Marijuana in Washington?

Yes, non-residents can purchase marijuana in Washington. However, they are required to consume it within the state’s borders. This means that taking marijuana across state lines, even if traveling to another state where it’s legal, is prohibited and can result in legal penalties.

Are Marijuana-Related Convictions Common in WA?

Yes. Despite the partial legality of marijuana in Washington, marijuana-related convictions are still common. The state enforces its marijuana laws strictly to ensure that its legal use is regulated and controlled. Violations, especially those related to unauthorized sale, possession beyond the legal limit, or consumption in restricted areas, are penalized to maintain order and public safety.

Can a Marijuana Offense be Expunged?

In 2021, Washington passed a law that allows people to expunge certain marijuana convictions from their criminal records. To be eligible for expungement, the conviction must be for an offense that would not be a crime under current Washington law.

Don’t Wait. Call Our Marijuana Attorneys

Marijuana charges are complex. It’s vital to understand Seattle marijuana laws and potential penalties. Our team will use our knowledge and experience to help you navigate the process. If you cannot contact us, you can have a friend or family member call Emerald City Law Group. We will help them understand your situation and get you out of jail.

Emerald City Law Group Will:

  • Investigate the facts of your case and gather evidence in support.
  • Poke holes in the prosecution’s accusations against you.
  • Prove that you were legally possessing marijuana.
  • Communicate with you throughout the case.
  • Work to ensure your rights are protected at every stage of the legal process.
  • Get the best outcome possible in your case.

Marijuana Defense Attorneys Serving Washington – Free Consults 24/7

Emerald City Law Group provides Seattle and the greater Washington area with high-caliber legal representation for those facing marijuana-related accusations.

Seattle – Local Areas Served

  • King County – Bellevue, Auburn, Kent, Renton, Federal Way, Kirkland, Redmond, Bothell, Carnation, Duvall, Issaquah, Maple Valley, Mercer Island, Sammamish, Seattle, & Woodinville
  • Snohomish County – Everett, Lynnwood, and Marysville
  • Pierce County – Tacoma, Puyallup, Gig Harbor, and Lakewood
    • Greater Washington

      • Grays Harbor
      • Kittitas County
      • Spokane County
      • Cowlitz County
      • Douglas County
      • Mason County
      • Skagit County
      • Thurston County
      • Island County
      • Mason County
      • Grays County
      • Kitsap County
      • Lewis County
      • Whatcom County
      • Whitman County
      • San Juan County