Washington Criminal Law
The Washington criminal statutes contain detailed information on what constitutes a criminal offense, the punishment for the offense, and the procedure for trial. The following information is a selection of important topics in Washington criminal law designed to provide a basic understanding of common elements. If you have been arrested or have specific Washington criminal law questions, you should contact a Washington criminal defense attorney.
Drug Possession in Washington
Drug possession and distribution in Washington is an offense with punishments varying depending on the type of drug and the quantity possessed.
- Possession or distribution of Narcotics:
- Possession of narcotics in Washington: Possession is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Possession of large quantities may lead to a charge of possession with intent to distribute, and elevate the crime to a distribution offense.
- Distribution of narcotics in Washington: Distribution of a narcotic is an offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine from $25,000 to over $100,000 depending on the quantity of the drug
- Possession or distribution of Marijuana:
- Possession of marijuana in Washington: possession of a small amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of $1,000.Possession of a quantity more than 40 grams is a felony conviction and a sentence of up to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
- Distribution of marijuana in Washington: If a defendant is convicted of distributing marijuana they face 6 months to 5 years jail sentence and a fine of $10,000.
If arrested for a drug offense in Washington, contact a Washington criminal defense attorney.
Assault in Washington
Assault in Washington refers to instances in which an assailant actually causes physical harm to another person, and has four degrees:
- Assault in the 4th degree in Washington: Occur when an assailant harms another person.
- Fourth-degree assaults are misdemeanors punishable by a prison term up to one year and a fine up to $5,000.
- Assault in the 3rd degree in Washington:Occurs when someone negligently causes harm with a weapon, or assaults a particular group including firefighters, health care providers, and bus drivers.
- Third-degree assault is a felony punishable by up to five years in jail and a fine up to $10,000.
- Assault in the 2nd degree in Washington: Examples include assault with a deadly weapon, intentional assault that recklessly causes substantial bodily harm, or assaults with intent to commit a different felony.
- Second-degree assault is a felony punishable by a prison sentence up to ten years and a fine up to $20,000.
- Assault in the 1st degree in Washington: Occurs when someone assaults another with a firearm and intends to cause great bodily harm or death, intentionally inflicts great bodily harm, or knowingly poisons someone.
- First-degree assault is a felony punishable by up to life in prison and a fine up to $50,000.
For questions on what degree of assault a specific incident is categorized under, or if arrested for assault, contact a Washington criminal defense attorney.
Washington Drunk Driving – DUI
Drunk driving in Washington carries serious penalties.; First time DUI offenders face possible jail time from one day to one year, electronic home monitoring for 15 – 30 days, fines up to $5,000, license suspension from 90 days to one year, a possible requirement for an ignition interlock device, and possible alcohol or drug rehabilitation courses.; If arrested for a DUI in Washington, contact a Washington DUI attorney.
Right to Jury Trial in Washington
A defendant in Washington may waive his right to a jury trial with a written statement to the court electing a judge hear the case instead of a jury.; Many local courts have rules that require defendants in misdemeanor cases to request a jury as those cases are generally tried by judges alone.
Trial Date in Washington
In Washington, the clerk of the trial court set the trial date taking into account whether or not the crime is a felony or a misdemeanor and whether or not the defendant is in custody or not when determining the priority of cases.A court may grant a continuance in order for the parties more time to prepare for the trial by gathering additional evidence.
Sentence Review / Appeals in Washington
A defendant has a right to appeal a conviction or judgment in Washington by alleging error in the trial proceedings.The procedure for review in Washington requires timely attention to the rules of appeal laid out by the courts of Washington. Contact a Washington criminal law attorney for assistance filing an appeal.
The Revised Code of Washington
Click here for the Revised Code of Washington:
- Drug Possession in Washington
- Revised Code of Washington, Title 69: Food, drugs, cosmetics, and poisons, Chapter 69.50 §§ 401, 4013, 4014
- Assault in Washington
- Revised Code of Washington, Title 9A: Washington Criminal Code, Chapter 9A.36 §§ .011, .021, .031, .041
- Washington Drunk Driving – DUI
- Revised Code of Washington, Title 46: Rules of the Road, Chapter 46.61 § 502
- Trial Date in Washington
- Revised Code of Washington, Title 10: Criminal Procedure, Chapter 10.46 §§ .020, .080
- Sentence Review / Appeals in Washington
- Revised Code of Washington, Title 10: Criminal Procedure, Chapter 10.73 § .010