Any kind of criminal charge can be challenging for an individual to face. These difficult times could be even worse if the charges are associated with drug crimes, because Washington is one state that prosecutes drug crimes aggressively. The laws addressing drug possession, drug trafficking and even prescription drug charges can be tougher than many other states because state officials want to protect the public from the dangers of illicit drugs and controlled substances. Limiting illegal drug activities can also reduce other types of crimes.
As is the case with any criminal charge, the consequences of a drug conviction can be serious and include time in jail or prison, as well as substantial fines. For Washington residents, substantial time behind bars following a drug arrest may seem like a foregone conclusion, but the criminal justice system requires the state to prove not only the commission of a crime, but also the participation of the person charged.
Local enforcement officers are very strict when handling drug crimes because they know how important a clean arrest is and the potential consequences of drug charges. These charges, such as drug distribution, drug trafficking and drug possession, can result in fines and jail time. However, in a recent alleged drug crime in Pierce County, a former police chief was accused of selling illegal drugs himself.
Many illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines and illicitly obtained prescription drugs are addictive. Users risk both physical harm and criminal prosecution if caught manufacturing, distributing or possessing them. In Washington State, the consequences of drug possession vary, depending on the type and amount of the controlled substance in question. However, overdoses from these drugs may be presenting a bigger concern for law enforcement officials and lawmakers.
Anywhere in the country, including Washington, law enforcement officers have the authority to stop motorists and anyone else using public roadways. Police authority, however, is not unlimited and cannot violate an individual's civil rights without due process. An officer can stop and search a person but only when there is probable cause for such a search.
Selling, transporting and illegally importing illicit drugs and controlled substances may result in a serious criminal offense in Washington and throughout the United States. Readers should note that drug possession charges are different from drug distribution because the latter may lead to a more severe punishment.
Spokane residents may be interested to learn that a 43-year-old Quincy man has been detained by police after a raid on his home allegedly uncovered methamphetamine. He has been charged with drug possession, unlawful possession of a firearm and the possession and trafficking of stolen property. The incident took place on Jan. 27 in Grant County.
A Spokane County sheriff accused a man of being in possession of methamphetamine after an incident on Harrington Avenue. After he was taken into custody, the 36-year-old man received a felony drug possession charge. Although the drugs were discovered on his person, the man has claimed that the pants he was wearing were borrowed, and he had no knowledge of what was in the pockets.
After a recent DEA raid in Spokane that ended a $20 million prescription drug ring, local law enforcement reported that they still arrest people weekly for the possession of OxyContin. The prescription pill epidemic consumes much of the police agency's time and efforts. While the drug of choice in the city used to be meth, according to an undercover drug agent, opiate pills such as OxyContin have overtaken it in popularity. Heroin costs have decreased, so some addicts may switch to taking pills instead. Regardless of the underlying causes of the local price fluctuations, drug trafficking associated with the rising popularity of the pills has increased.