Seattle Drug Crimes Defense Attorneys

You’ve been accused of a Drug Crime. Now what?

Seattle Drug Crimes Lawyers

The infamous ‘war on drugs’ rages on.  Everyday, police are out on the streets of Seattle and all over the state looking to make arrests.  And then there’s the federal government. The feds dedicate enormous resources to fight this endless war, often culminating in numerous arrests in large drug conspiracy cases.

Whether it’s a state or federal drug charge, the government does not take drug cases lightly, and if you are accused of selling drugs or even just possessing drugs with the intent to sell, they are going to try and make an example out of you.  This is why you need a knowledgable and experienced law firm by your side to fight these allegations.

Below, you’ll find answers to many common questions related to drug crime allegations, but the best way to make sure your individual questions are answered is to simply give us a call for a free, no strings attached consultation.

DrugCrimes

Common Drug Crimes Questions

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

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

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

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
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.
 

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.
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 

The answer to this varies depending on your particular situation, but there are three universal pieces of advice:

  1. Do NOT talk to the police
  2. Do NOT talk to anyone else about the situation either as you run the risk of creating witnesses for the government
  3. Consult with an Attorney

From there, we need to hear more about your individual situation to advise your further.  In the meantime, please view our video below on the subject and visit our Under Investigation page.

under-investigation

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I would highly recommend Mr Court for any criminal case consulting. His approach was thoroughly professional. he was a great listener and a good strategist. His approach was methodical and he didnt rush into any decisions. I changed my counsel just before my first court date and Mr Court did an excellent job. The case was finally dismissed in my favor. I would consider myself lucky but Mr court had some innovative ways to approach my case. It was such a pleasure to have Mr Court on my side. He was super responsive over texts and emails. He was punctual and very gentle in communication.
We never imagined we would be in the position to need a defense attorney, but when we did, we were so thankful that we found Court Will. Both he and Michelle are truly the best. Court is extremely dedicated, thoughtful, calm, and confident. He took time to get to know us, the case, and really ensured that we understood not only what was happening, but all possible outcomes. Court was honest, answered every question, took his time with us, gave excellent advice, and ultimately got the best possible outcome we could have hoped for. He is brilliant, and we are most grateful.
After some research & speaking with other attorneys, I came across Court. I instantly knew he was right for my situation. I met him shortly after we discuss some details on the phone. He was very pleasant & very understanding of this difficult time in my life. One of the hardest things I have ever gone through. Of course I hired him. As months passed, he reached out to me & gave me the best news/results I have ever heard. I know the work he did in the background & I couldn’t be more grateful. Thank you Court!
Chris
A knowledgable and caring attorney who got me an amazing result I was charged with a felony sex crime. I had a previous attorney before hiring Mr. Will. The other attorney told me I needed to plead guilty or I would go to prison for 3 years. Due to a number of reasons, I didn't want to go to trial, and Mr. Will respected that. Mr. Will went to court for me more times than I can count, did some additional investigation and ultimately told me that I could plead guilty to a lesser offense and get probation and house arrest. I was amazed. I give Mr. Will my highest recommendation.
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