April 18, 2014 In 2003, Mitch Hedberg was arrested for possession of heroin in Austin, Tx. The comedian was known to have a sense of humor about his known drug use, though. Even mentioning it in one of his most famous jokes: “I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too.” Unfortunately the state of Washington does not share Mitch Hedberg’s sensibilities about recreational drug use. If you are caught with drugs, the crime falls under Washington’s Violation of Uniform Controlled Substance Act (VUSCA). Whether it’s the illegal possession of prescription or illegal drugs or the manufacturing or intent to distribute, most of the time the charges are felonies. Certain factors are taken into consideration as to the degree of seriousness of the charges. For example, the amount of the drug and the type, the intent of use (to sell or to use), the age of the defendant are all taken into account. If the defendant were to be charged with possession (rather than intent to distribute), it would be considered a Class C felony in Washington. This could mean up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Distribution charges have even more serious repercussions and Washington state’s definition of “delivery of a controlled substance” has a broad reaching definition. Simply giving the drug to another person or even having too much for one person can be considered “delivery”. If you or someone you love has been accused for the first time of criminal possession of a controlled substance or criminal possession with intent to distribute, you need to enlist the right defense strategy. Regardless of how much evidence was obtained or if a confession was given to the police, first time drug offenders have several alternatives to jail. Depending on the details of your case, illegal search and seizure may have taken place, warrants may not have been legally obtained, or probable cause may not have been properly established. The state of Washington does also have a First Time Offender Waiver that your loved one may be eligible for. In addition there are programs that use drug treatment instead of jail time. The 40 years of combined criminal defense experience of the Nahajski Law Firm can be leveraged to pursue the best possible outcome for you and your family in these circumstances. The help you need may be a phone call or email away. Contact our offices online or call 206-621-0500 today for your confidential consultation.