DRUG TRAFFICKING UNDER WASHINGTON LAW
Washington’s drug trafficking laws penalize the following:
- Drug manufacturing;
- Drug possession;
- Drug distribution/sale; and,
- Illegally transporting or importing drugs.
Trafficking laws, in particular, punish these acts when they involve drugs in large quantities. Some of the most common drugs that are trafficked include: cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and prescription drugs like Vicodin.
Prosecutors must prove two elements to successfully convict a defendant with a drug trafficking charge. These elements are:
- The defendant knowingly possessed an illegal drug; and,
- The defendant was involved in the sale, transport, or importation of the drug; or, intended to distribute or manufacture the drug.
PENALTIES FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
Drug trafficking is a felony under Washington law. The offense can get charged in state court; or, it could get charged in federal court and result in a federal crime. The exact penalties for drug trafficking will depend on the specific facts of a case. In general, however, the penalties for this crime could include:
- An imprisonment of five to years; and /or,
- A fine of up to $100,000.
The sentences for drug trafficking can also increase if certain “enhancement factors” are involved in a case. One example of an enhancement factor is if a minor was involved in the crime. A second example is when a person sells drugs in a school zone.
We should also note that some trafficking cases involve international drug operations. Additional punishments may arise in these cases. For example, an international drug trafficking crime can lead to the forfeiture of all assets related to the drug trafficking business.
DEFENSES TO DRUG TRAFFICKING CHARGES
Legal defenses to drug trafficking do exist. Recall, for example, that one element of this offense is that a defendant possessed an illegal drug. This means a possible defense is that the person accused did not knowingly possess the drug in question. A Seattle drug crimes attorney can also argue that the evidence gathered in a case was done in violation of the defendant’s rights.
Know, though, that it takes a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney to successfully raise a valid defense. The attorneys at Black Law are just that. They are proven and tested when it comes to defending clients on charges of drug trafficking. They are tireless in their efforts and dedicated in their representation. If you or a loved one is facing a charge of drug trafficking, contact Black Law now for the quality assistance you deserve.
We serve clients throughout Washington including those in the following localities: King County including Bellevue, Kent, and Seattle; Benton County including Kennewick; Chelan County including Wenatchee; Clallam County including Port Angeles; Grays Harbor County including Aberdeen; Kitsap County including Port Orchard; Kittitas County including Ellensburg; Pierce County including Tacoma; Skagit County including Mount Vernon; Snohomish County including Everett; Spokane County including Spokane; Thurston County including Olympia; Whatcom County including Bellingham; and Yakima County including Yakima.
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