Arrested on Meth Charges? Our Lawyers Have Answers
Washington drug charges involving methamphetamine can be scary. But Emerald City Law Group will stand by your side. We won’t leave you alone to face the prosecution and their judgement. An experienced methamphetamine attorney is ready to develop a strong defense to help you avoid the harshest consequences of meth convictions.
From meth possession to manufacturing, we can help you navigate the situation. Contact Emerald City Law Group for a top-notch defense.
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.
Methamphetamine Laws in Washington: What You Need to Know
Meth is a big problem throughout the United States, with many people battling addiction unsuccessfully and ruining their health and lives. Because of this, its possession, distribution, and manufacture are punished harshly.
Based on Washington’s Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act (VUCSA), methamphetamine is a Schedule II narcotic. This means it has been designated as having a high potential for abuse and dependence with hardly any or no medical value. The VUCSA’s Schedule II also includes immediate precursors to the drug, including the materials, compounds, and mixtures needed to manufacture meth.
You may face several charges if you were caught with meth in Washington. It’s important to have a meth defense lawyer to explain the law and ensure you secure the best outcome possible. Emerald City Law Group can guide you through every aspect of a meth charge in Washington State.
Seattle Meth Charges We Handle:
- Possession of Methamphetamine
- Manufacturing Methamphetamine
- Delivering Methamphetamine
- Distributing Meth to Minors
- Possession with Intent to Manufacture
Penalties for Methamphetamine
Based on Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 69.50.401, it is illegal to manufacture, deliver, or possess with the intent to manufacture or deliver any controlled substance. If you are charged with manufacturing, delivering, or possessing meth (including its salts, isomers, and salts of isomers) with the intent to do one of these actions, then you can be charged.
Possession of Methamphetamine
Possession of methamphetamine is illegal in Washington, but it is no longer a felony. In 2021, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that the state’s law criminalizing possession of drugs for personal use was unconstitutional. Then, in 2023, Washington’s governor signed a bill that made drug possession a gross misdemeanor, now punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Distributing Meth to Minors
RCW 69.50.406 outlines the offense of distributing drugs to persons under 18 years of age. If there is evidence you violated RCW 69.50.401 by distributing meth, including its salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, to anyone under 18, you will be charged with a Class A felony. This is punishable by up to twice the prison term described in RCW 69.50.401 and the fine authorized in that statute.
Possession with Intent to Manufacture Meth
Many states target the substances that make meth possible, not just the end product. Because meth can be created from several household substances and over-the-counter drugs, Washington regulates many of these materials tightly. To this end, you can be convicted of a crime for possessing substances that could be used to manufacture meth if there is evidence that you intended to create the drug.
Under RCW 69.50.440, it is illegal for you to possess:
- Ephedrine or any of its salts, isomers, or salts of isomers,
- Pseudoephedrine or any of its salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, or
- Pressurized ammonia gas solution with the intent to manufacture meth.
This is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Like with other meth-related offenses, $3,000 of the fine cannot be suspended and must go to the law enforcement agency that has to clean up the environment or substances that were being or would have been used to manufacture the drug.
Manufacturing Meth in Washington
Meth is not naturally derived from plants like many other drugs. Instead, it is manufactured in a lab. While much of the drug sold in the U.S. is created in “super labs” run by cartels, the drug can also be made in smaller environments. Sometimes, meth is made entirely from household products and over-the-counter drugs, like cold medicine, in people’s kitchens or makeshift labs. While mass production in super labs may use laboratory and chemistry equipment, homegrown operations often make do with makeshift equipment. Items as simple as camping stoves and pop bottles might be used.
You may be charged with manufacturing meth if a law enforcement agency finds you have purchased several products needed to produce the drug yourself. This is highly likely if there is evidence you have large quantities of these substances or have purchased many of these materials from multiple sources in a short period.
What to Expect if You’re Facing Meth Charges
If you are arrested for a meth charge in Seattle or anywhere in or around King County, you can expect to be handcuffed and taken to the police station. You will be photographed, fingerprinted, and processed. Your personal belongings will be inventoried and stored. You will also be placed in a holding cell until you can bail out or until your first court appearance.
After your arrest, you will be arraigned in a superior or district court, such as Seattle or Kent. You will be informed of your official charges and allowed to enter a plea. You have a right to an attorney at your arraignment.
Your defense lawyer will review all the evidence against you and develop a strong defense on your behalf. They may file legal motions and attempt to get evidence suppressed or thrown out. Your defense may be able to negotiate with the prosecution to reduce your charges and get your case dismissed altogether.
Defending Against Meth Charges in Washington
There are several ways to defend against methamphetamine charges. Some of the most common defenses include:
- Illegal Search and Seizure: If the police violated your rights by conducting an unlawful search or seizure, any evidence obtained due to that violation may be suppressed. This means the evidence cannot be used against you in court.
- Entrapment: If the police induced you to commit a crime that you would not have otherwise committed, you may have a defense of entrapment.
- Lack of Knowledge: If you were not aware that you had methamphetamine, you may have a defense of lack of knowledge.
Washington Meth Info & Resources
Our methamphetamine lawyers are here to help you effectively handle meth charges and protect your rights. We can answer your questions about Washington’s meth laws and the legal process.
Is Meth Legal in Washington State?
Possession of methamphetamine is illegal in Washington state, but it is no longer a felony. In 2021, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that the state’s law criminalizing possession of drugs for personal use was unconstitutional. However, in 2023, the possession of meth was made a gross misdemeanor. It’s important to note that possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute is still a felony.
Will I Go to Jail for Meth in Washington?
Not necessarily. Every case is different, but when you work with a meth lawyer, you may get alternative penalties instead of time behind bars. For example, you might be able to attend drug rehabilitation instead of going to jail. Your attorney can discuss your options with the prosecution and present an agreed-upon plea deal to the court.
Are there Enhanced Penalties for Meth Charges Near Schools?
Yes. Penalties for meth-related crimes can be increased if committed within 1,000 feet of a school, school bus stop, or other designated drug-free zones.
Can I Be Charged for Having Meth Paraphernalia?
Yes. Possession of drug paraphernalia associated with meth use or production, such as pipes or syringes, is illegal.
Can Property Be Seized for Meth-Related Activities?
Yes. The state can seize assets connected to meth-related offenses, such as vehicles used for transport or property bought with drug sales proceeds.
Don’t Wait. Contact Our Seattle Meth Lawyers
It’s important to contact a meth lawyer with Emerald City Law Group immediately. We need to access evidence in your case right away. If you are not able to contact an attorney, you can have a friend or family member call Emerald City Law Group. We will explain the process to them and help them secure your release.
Emerald City Law Group Will:
- Help you understand Washington meth laws and potential penalties.
- Discuss your alternative penalty options honestly.
- Help you build a strong defense to your meth charges.
- Negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor to reduce your charges.
- Work to get evidence suppressed and your case dismissed.
- Represent you at trial, if necessary.
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 meth-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
- 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