If you have been charged with a drug crime in Washington, it is important to understand the difference between simple possession and possession with intent. These two charges carry different penalties and require different legal strategies to defend against.
What is Simple Possession?
Simple possession is the charge that is typically brought against individuals who are found to be in possession of a controlled substance for personal use. In Washington, simple possession is a misdemeanor offense that carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine for a first offense. Repeat offenses can result in higher fines and longer jail sentences.
What is Possession with Intent?
Possession with intent is a more serious charge that is typically brought against individuals who are found to be in possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell or distribute it. In Washington, possession with intent is a felony offense that carries much harsher penalties than simple possession. Depending on the type and amount of drugs involved, a conviction for possession with intent can result in years of imprisonment and thousands of dollars in fines.
Tips for Navigating These Charges
If you have been charged with simple possession or possession with intent in Washington, there are a few key things to keep in mind:
- Hire an experienced criminal defense attorney: Drug charges can be complicated and require a thorough understanding of the law and the legal system. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the charges against you and build a strong defense.
- Understand the evidence against you: In order to convict you of either simple possession or possession with intent, the prosecution must prove that you knew the drugs were illegal and that you had control over them. Your attorney can help you understand the evidence against you and develop a strategy to challenge it.
- Consider treatment options: If you are facing a simple possession charge, you may be eligible for a diversion program that allows you to avoid jail time by completing a drug treatment program. Your attorney can help you explore these options and determine whether they are right for you.
Understanding the difference between simple possession and possession with intent is crucial if you are facing drug charges in Washington. By hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney, understanding the evidence against you, and exploring treatment options, you can build a strong defense and minimize the impact of these charges on your life.
If you need help navigating these charges, contact Hale Law Enterprises today for a consultation.