If you or a loved one have been arrested for a marijuana charge, it’s important to seek an understanding and skilled Seattle marijuana lawyer as soon as possible in order to stay out of jail and clear your name.
Washington drug laws can be very serious, and depending on the circumstances of your case, you can be facing a large fine and years in prison for a conviction. Even though the state does allow certain legal possession and use of marijuana, the law remains complicated and many criminal prosecutions for marijuana continue. Charges for drug crimes can overwhelm anybody, and a conviction can make it difficult for you to move forward with school, work, or many other aspects of your life.
Emerald City Law Group knows that each marijuana charge is unique, and we know how to help you during every part of your prosecution. Contact our office at 206-973-0407 to speak with one of our experienced Seattle marijuana lawyers.
Restrictions to the Legal Use of Marijuana
Marijuana laws in Washington have changed a lot over the last several years. Initiative 502, which allowed for the legalization of certain marijuana-related activities, was approved by voters in November of 2012. While possessing, consuming, and even selling marijuana has been legalized in certain cases, these actions are still highly-regulated and can result in serious criminal charges if you are arrested. Among the many legal restrictions on marijuana use in the state of Washington, it is important to note the following:
- Marijuana can only be bought and sold through licensed retailers, and a person must show a valid state-issued ID in order 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, and 72 ounces in liquid form.
- 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 mL of your blood.
- Marijuana cannot be consumed in public.
- State and federal laws prohibit you from taking legally-purchased marijuana out of Washington.
Severe Punishments for Marijuana Crimes
Many people feel that since marijuana’s sale and use are in part legal in Washington, then violations of the state’s marijuana laws will not normally result in a serious offense. However, this is far from the truth. State and local authorities often use strict enforcement of marijuana laws in order to keep its legal use in check.
Punishments that you could be facing for various marijuana crimes would include:
Unlicensed Sale and Distribution
- 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
- 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 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
- A felony with up to five years in prison and fines reaching $10,000 for cultivating any amount of cannabis
- Any advertisement or paraphernalia charge is a misdemeanor with up to 90 days in jail, 24 hours of which is mandatory, and a fine up to $1,000
Defenses Against Marijuana Crimes
If you or a loved one are arrested for a marijuana-related offense, it’s important to seek skilled legal counsel as soon as possible. Many believe that the legitimacy of Washington’s legal marijuana movement rests in how serious state prosecutors pursue and punish drug violators. Your marijuana lawyer 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.
Emerald City Law Group knows that every marijuana charge is unique. As your Seattle criminal defense attorney 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 Seattle marijuana 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, and they include counseling and drug testing for a specific period of time as an alternative to traditional criminal punishments.
- A first time-offender waiver. If this is your first prosecution for a drug offense, you may be able to receive a waiver for a greatly reduced sentence. This can apply even to serious crimes. To be awarded a waiver, your lawyer must show the court that you are not going to commit any further drug offenses.
Talk to a Seattle Marijuana Lawyer Today
Emerald City Law Group understands that marijuana laws in Washington are complex and can result in serious punishment for offenders. In order to avoid a long prison sentence, large fine, and permanent criminal record, you will need a skilled and compassionate Seattle marijuana lawyer to take your case. We know how drug prosecutions proceed in Washington, and we understand how to protect your rights during this challenging time.
A Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
No matter the charges or accusations – You deserve an aggressive defense.
When people are ill-prepared for the criminal justice system or take their situation too lightly, the consequences are often dire and in most cases, permanent. By working with a King County criminal defense lawyer from Emerald City Law Group, you can rely on a personalized and proactive approach to your case, so every issue is addressed and you obtain the best possible outcome.
If you have been charged with a crime in or around King County, Washington, Emerald City Law Group should be your next call. 206-973-0407