Seattle Cocaine Defense Lawyer
Any controlled substance that is addictive is a big concern for law enforcement. One of the most commonly abused controlled substances in the United States is cocaine. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in 2008, almost 15% of the population in the U.S. had tried cocaine and 6% of the population has experimented with the drug in high school or earlier. Cocaine is a stimulant that is very powerful and chronic exposure to the drug may even cause permanent changes in the brain. In order to discourage people from using the drug and preventing young people from getting access, law enforcement will crack down on anyone caught using, possessing, manufacturing or dealing cocaine.
In order to make sure that the penalties for a drug crime fit the seriousness of the offense, lawmakers have classified every type of controlled substance in a set of schedules. The Uniform Controlled Substance Act, article 2 lists all five of the Schedules as well as what drugs are contained in each. Crimes involving different drug Schedules will have different penalties. Generally, drugs in the lowest number Schedules are the most serious and will result in the steepest penalties. Cocaine is classified under Washington law, RCW 69.50.206 as a Schedule II drug.
If you are facing any type of the VUCSA crime involving cocaine, contact a lawyer immediately. Even possession of a small amount of cocaine can lead to felony charges and result in jail time and steep fines. The best way to avoid these penalties is to fight your charges with the help of an experienced VUCSA defense attorney.
Washington Cocaine VUCSA Laws
Under RCW 69.50.401 “it is unlawful for any person to manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture or deliver, a controlled substance”. This includes Schedule II drugs like cocaine. This means that a person found with any amount of cocaine could be charged with possession.
If a large amount is found, or the suspect is also in possession of evidence like cash, scales or plastic wrap, they could face charges for manufacturing or intent to deliver. Under Washington law RCW 69.50.101, the term “manufacture” refers to:
the production, preparation, propagation, compounding, conversion, or processing of a controlled substance, either directly or indirectly or by extraction from substances of natural origin, or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis, and includes any packaging or repackaging of the substance or labeling or relabeling of its container. The term does not include the preparation, compounding, packaging, repackaging, labeling, or relabeling of a controlled substance.
Any type of criminal offense that involves cocaine could have serious penalties. For more information about cocaine VUCSA crimes, call our office to set up a free consultation.
Penalties for Cocaine Crimes in Seattle
A conviction for a cocaine related VUCSA crime is almost always a felony crime Under Washington law, possessing, manufacturing or possessing with intent to distribute cocaine is a Class C felony. The recommended penalties for a Class C felony conviction are as follows, described under RCW 9A.20.021:
- A maximum fine of $10,000 OR
- A jail sentence of up to 5 years OR
- A combination of the two penalties
In addition to these penalties, a person convicted of a cocaine related offense will also face probation, the possibility of mandatory drug counseling, community service and more. Perhaps one of the most serious penalties is the addition of convicted felon to their criminal record. Before businesses hire candidates or schools admit students, they usually perform background checks. Many institutions do not do business with people convicted of felony crimes. A felony drug conviction can follow you for your entire life and make it difficult to find work, attend school and even find appropriate housing. A VUCSA defense attorney can help you fight your charges and avoid conviction or work with you to get your record expunged so that potential employers cannot have access to it.
Penalties for Cocaine Crimes in Seattle
It is important to recognize that any type of VUCSA offense can have serious and long term consequences. Anyone who has been arrested for a drug crime in Seattle should call out office as soon as possible to make sure that they understand the charges they face as well as their rights.
When facing any type of drug crime in Washington, calling an experienced VUCSA attorney is a great way to make sure you get the best possible results. Attorney Steve Karimi is a former prosecutor so he understands how the other side thinks. He will listen to your case and help you come up with your best defense solution. Attorney Karimi is experienced in all areas of drug defense and help you make the best decisions. Call now for a free consultation.