Seattle Drug Crime Defense Attorneys

Meet the Wills

Seattle Drug Crime Defense Attorneys

Whether you're being accused of possession, delivery, manufacturing, or some other drug-related crime, the consequences of a conviction can be very serious. Court and Michelle have solved hundreds of drug-related cases. This page can answer many of your questions, but the best thing you can do is to give us a call. Schedule a free consultation with us today.

Meet the Wills

30+ Years Experience
Excellent Client Reviews
Superb 10.0 Avvo Ratings
1000's of Cases Successfully Resolved


Common Drug Crimes Questions

What is VUCSA?

Drug crimes in Washington State are considered to be a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substance Act (VUCSA), and can range anywhere from simple misdemeanor possession charges all the way to major sales/manufacturing charges.

What types of drug-related charges do you handle?

We handle any and all types of drug charges in both state and federal court. Here’s a quick list of some of the most common that we see. If you don’t see the charge you have been accused of below, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Just give us a call.

  • Possession
  • Manufacture
  • Deliver
  • Possession with intent to manufacture or deliver
  • Paraphernalia
  • Controlled Substances Homicide
  • Counterfeit Substances
  • Any other crimes that are drug related (e.g. Robbery of a Pharmacy) or were committed due to an addiction to drugs
What is the Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative and am I eligible?

Drug offender sentencing alternative (DOSA) is a program designed to help people beat their addiction. There are both prison-based and residential-based DOSA options. If you plead guilty to certain crimes, you may be eligible for this program. Eligibility alone does not guarantee you will get DOSA. There still must be a screening process and it is ultimately up to the judge’s discretion. Further, it’s important to note that DOSA does not mean you avoid a conviction on your record, but it can cut down on your time in custody. You are eligible if:

  • You are convicted of a felony that is NOT: a violent crime, a sex crime, involve a firearm enhancement, or a DUI.
  • No prior convictions for a sex offense, ever.
  • No prior convictions for a violent offense within past 10 years
  • For drug convictions, only a small amount of drugs were involved
  • You are not subject to deportation
  • You are looking at more than one year in custody pursuant to the standard range of the sentencing guidelines
  • You haven’t done DOSA more than once in the past 10 years
What is Drug Court? Should I do it and am I eligible?

Drug Court is an option in certain counties in Washington for non-violent drug offenders to accomplish two important things: (1) Beat their addiction, and (2) avoid a conviction on their record. Drug court isn’t for everyone, however. First, you must be eligible, and second, you must be dedicated to completing it. Drug court is certainly not easy. There are a lot of steps involved and a lot of court appearances that you must make; it can take up to two years to complete (although can be completed quicker). Overall, if you’re serious about getting clean and willing to put in the work, Drug Court offers a great fresh start on life for many people.

The eligibility requirements for Drug Court vary from county to county. In King County, here are some of the eligibility requirements and disqualifiers:

  • VUCSA offenses: You can be eligible for both possession and delivery charges. For possession charges, it comes down to quantity, and varies depending on the substance. For delivery, it comes down to total quantity sold and the cumulative value of drugs sold, possessed, and cash on person (excluding police buy money) cannot exceed $700
  • Class B & C Felonies: Below is a list of felonies that are eligible.
    • Unlawful Issuance of Bank Checks
    • Possession of Stolen Property 1 or 2
    • Organized Retail Theft
    • Theft 1 & 2
    • Failure to Return Leased Property
    • Trafficking in Stolen Property 1 & 2
    • Burglary 2
    • Identity Theft 1 & 2
    • Possession or Theft of Stolen Vehicle
    • Cases where prosecutor agrees to amend the charge to an eligible offense
    • Domestic Violence property crimes, certain Felony Violation of a No Contact Order and Felony Harassment, upon recommendation and approval of parties and victim
    • Escape 2 if committed while under supervision of Drug Court
    • Charged with eligible Class B or C felony and also charged with a DUI or Physical Control
  • General Disqualifiers
    • Restitution exceeds $2000
    • Evidence of any of the following: (1) manufactured ID’s; (2) targeting of vulnerable victims; (3) abused position of trust to get financial information; (4) victim’s information was stolen in a residential burglary, robbery, or theft from a person; (5) used/possessed more than three victims’ financial information; (6) opened more than three accounts in a victim’s name; (7) the crime represents a significant breach of fiduciary duty.
    • Evidence that defendant is a major player in car theft
  • Criminal History Disqualifiers
    • Sex crimes, violent felonies, and felony assault all make you ineligible with the following exceptions: Priors for Robbery 2 (if no weapon used) and Assault 3 can still be eligible if the convictions are over five years old.
    • Convictions for Violation of the Uniform Firearm Act or Theft 2 of a Firearm make you ineligible unless the convictions are over five years old.
    • Current offense cannot involve a weapon
    • No Promoting Prostitution
    • A max of four domestic violence priors in the past 10 years
    • A max of two DUI convictions in past 10-years
    • No pending felony non-drug court eligible cases
    • Not currently on DOSA, unless the current offense predates the imposition of DOSA
What if I’m not eligible for Drug Court or just don’t think I want to do it? Am I stuck with a Felony?
No, not necessarily. In addition to any legal arguments we may have in defending you, we also push hard for non-felony resolution even when the deck is stacked against us. For instance, on a possession case, we are often able to negotiate with the prosecutor and get them to reduce the charge to a gross misdemeanor of solicitation to possess a controlled substance.
What is a “protected zone” enhancement?

Certain drug offenses are subject to enhancements when the offense takes place in a protected zone, in the presence of a child, or in a correctional facility.

Protected Zones
If you are sentenced for committing certain drug offenses in a protected zone, an additional 24 months is added to your sentence and the fines are doubled. Protected zones include:

  • Schools or school buses
  • 1,000 feet of a school bus route or a school ground perimeter
  • Public parks
  • Public transit vehicles or public transit stops
  • Civic centers designated as a drug-free zone (or within 1,000 feet of the perimeter of the facility, if the local governing authority specifically designates this)
  • Public housing project designated as a drug-free zone.
What is a “presence of a child” enhancement?
If you are convicted of manufacture of meth or of the possession of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture and a minor was present (in or upon the premises), then an additional 24 months is added to your sentence.
The cops found a gun when they arrested me for a drug offense. What is going to happen?
You will likely face a gun enhancement added to your underlying charge. If proven, gun enhancements can have serious consequences by dramatically increasing the length of your sentence. Any gun or deadly weapon enhancement runs consecutive to any other sentence and must be served in total confinement (no sentencing alternatives). We do everything possible to get these enhancements removed.
The cops seized my car and money (or other property). What gives?
If your vehicle or money (or other property) has been seized as part of a drug case, then there is a good chance the city or county that seized the item(s) will look to begin formal forfeiture proceedings against you. They will claim things like your car was used in the commission of your crime and the money was illicit proceeds from drug sales. If this happens, you will receive formal notice of the proceedings and will have the opportunity to fight the forfeiture with a formal hearing. The problem with these hearings is two-fold. First, they are done in front of a “hearing officer,” often at the local police headquarters or City Hall, rather than in a courtroom in front of a judge. Secondly, the standard of evidence to forfeit your stuff is much lower than the standard of evidence needed to convict you in a criminal case. That said, we have some proven strategies to fight these, which will give you the best possible chance at getting your property back.
I've been charged with Controlled Substance Homicide. How is that possible?
If you deliver drugs to someone and then that person uses the drugs and then dies, you can get charged with Controlled Substances Homicide. You do not have to intend to kill the person to be charged. However, in order to be convicted of a controlled substance homicide, the state will have to prove that (1) you unlawfully delivered the controlled substance; (2) you knew the substance was a controlled substance; (3) the person used the substance; and (4) the substance was a “proximate cause” of the death. It’s important to note that the drug use need not be the sole cause of death, but rather it can just be listed as “a” cause of death. On these cases, we hold the prosecutor’s feet to the fire and force them to prove each and every element beyond a reasonable doubt. If they can’t do that, combined with other mitigating evidence we present, we can often get these case resolved for a lesser charge.
What are some of the potential results I can expect?

Because every case has its own unique set of facts and circumstances, it’s not possible for us to tell you what result you will get on your particular case until we have had a chance to fully litigate it. That said, here are some potential results, all of which we have achieved for our clients:

  • Dismissal of charges in pre-trial stage for legal/factual reasons
  • Drug Court
  • DOSA
  • Reduction of charges
  • Reduction of penalties
  • Not guilty verdict after trial
What potential penalties am I looking at if I’m convicted of a drug crime?

Every case is different and every client is different.  Due to this, there is a wide variety of potential outcomes/penalities, so we don’t want you to get ahead of yourself by worrying about every single potential consequence.  Further, Washington State utilizes sentencing guidelines to determine sentences on felonies, which serve to complicate matters even more.  Thus, it's best to call us for a free consultation so we can discuss/look up your case, find out about your criminal history (if any), and then go from there.  Nevertheless, here's a quick list of some of the general types of consequences you could be looking at for a drug crime conviction:

  • Jail/Prison
  • DOSA
  • Drug Court
  • NA Meetings/Rehab
  • Fines/Restitution
  • Work Release
  • Community Service
  • Electronic Home Monitoring
  • Community Custody/Probation
The police want to talk to me to get my side of the story. Should I speak with them?
No. End of discussion. The police will act like they just want to talk to you. The truth is they only want to gather enough information to arrest you.
What can you promise me?

You’re not going to find a more qualified team to represent you, and we are going to get you the best possible result given the facts and circumstances of your particular case.

We work really hard and are very accessible to our clients. Try calling or texting us right now; if we don’t pick up right away, we will get back to you very fast.

How will you get me the best possible result?

The short answer is through hard work. Here’s a little closer look:

Some of the legal issues we analyze while handling your Drug case:

  • Unwitting possession
  • Delivery/Manufacture/Sale Authorized by Law
  • Private Residence Exception
  • Valid prescription
  • Determination of whether any incriminating statements you made were in violation of your Miranda Rights
  • Legality of any search & seizure issues

Some of the mitigating factors we introduce and discuss during negotiation:

  • Humanize you to the prosecutor; we want to know everything about you. Give us your life story. We will memorize it and then be able to talk to the prosecutor very intelligently about you; as if we have known you for years.
  • Gather a bunch of character reference letters for you.
  • Private polygraph (when applicable)
  • Explain the impact this matter will have on your job and family
If I retain your services, are you going to get my charges reduced or dismissed?
The only answer I can give you at this point is “it depends…” I know, not totally satisfying, but it is honest. If another attorney promises you more than that, then they are just trying to take your money. Get out of their office (or hang up the phone) as fast as you can.
How much are your services going to cost me?
We charge fair, competitive flat fees for our services. Here’s the problem you face with a lot of other attorneys: The ultra-expensive guys aren’t going to get you a better result than we are, and the dirt cheap guys aren’t going to much of anything for you at all. That’s where we come in. While we certainly don’t have the lowest fees in Western Washington, we won’t make you take out a second mortgage either.
Do you exclusively handle drug cases?
No, we don’t play marketing games like some other attorneys out there. We’re well-rounded and handle ALL criminal matters, including drug crimes…and not just a few drug crime cases here and there. We’ve successfully handled hundreds of drug related cases over the years. Our secret is simple: we focus on what matters – getting you the best possible outcome.
I have a court date coming up ASAP, what do I do?!?
Hire an attorney! Is this answer self-serving? Yes. Despite this, is it still the best possible thing you can do? YES.