Washington’s criminal laws make it a crime for people to involve a minor in a drug transaction. A violation of these laws can result in a serious felony conviction that is punishable by up to five years in state prison. If you or a loved one is facing a Washington drug charge, it’s critical for you to contact a criminal defense attorney for help.
Is it a Crime to Involve a Minor in a Drug Deal?
Yes. RCW 69.50.4015 is the Washington statute that sets forth the crime of involving a minor in an unlawful controlled substance transaction. People violate this law if they compensate, threaten, solicit, or in any other manner involve a person under the age of 18 years in a transaction to unlawfully:
- Sell, or
- Deliver a controlled substance.
Examples of crimes under this statute include:
- Having a 14-year-old deliver cocaine to complete a drug deal,
- Asking a boy 16 years of age to buy meth, and
- Threatening a high school student to help make heroin.
Note that people charged with this crime will also face charges for an underlying drug crime, like the possession or sale of a controlled substance.
What are the Penalties?
Including a minor in a drug deal is a Class C felony under Washington law (as opposed to a misdemeanor). The crime is punishable by:
- Custody in state prison for up to 5 years, and/or
- A maximum fine of $10,000.
Note that people guilty of this offense will face the above penalties, as well as the penalties for any underlying drug conviction.
Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?
Yes. Fortunately, people charged with this crime can challenge it with a legal defense. A common defense is for defendants to show that the person that they involved in a transaction was over 18. Further, accused people can also contest a charge by showing that there was no illegal drug transaction in a case.
A criminal defense lawyer can also try to challenge an accusation by showing that the police violated one of the defendant’s constitutional rights. For example, maybe the authorities arrested a defendant without probable cause or coerced a confession. In these cases, a judge can dismiss or reduce any criminal charges because of the violation.
Contact Black & Askerov for Help
While a defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge a drug charge, it will take a skilled criminal defense attorney to raise the best defense. The experienced drug defense attorneys at Black & Askerov have over 30 years of combined experience defending clients on various drug-related charges. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers have the skill and commitment that makes all the difference in these cases. Our attorneys will fight tooth and nail for you at every step of your case. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!