When Washington joined other states in legalizing marijuana, judges grew tougher on underage offenses of possession. Though the state decriminalized marijuana, it is still illegal to use and possess it if you are a minor under the age of 21. When found with marijuana and charged with possession, youth still face prosecution.
Some believe that after Initiative 502, law enforcement turned to enforcing tough policies to raise the bar in uncharted territory. Since the Federal government maintains its laws against marijuana, various conflicts remain between the state and federal government. The losers in Washington are often the youth as charges for possession for them is still a felony. For those who have been charged with possession of marijuana in Washington, this moment in youth can cause problems for many years. What's worse is for someone who is in college, just beginning a career, or is still deciding the future, a criminal charge of possession impacts many different areas of life. To understand the effects of a conviction, it is important to understand the basic limits it can place on someone's life
Penalties for Underage Possession of Marijuana in Washington
A criminal charge is never a good thing for one's permanent record. However, for someone just launching a career or receiving an education, a criminal charge can affect life plans.
Five Ways an Underage Possession Charge Can Impact Your Future:
- You can get your driver's license suspended.
- You can be disqualified from receiving financial aid if you are a student.
- You can be denied access to jobs with a criminal record.
- You can be denied housing, either at a college or by private real estate agency.
- You can be forced to serve a sentence under the supervision of a probation officer.
You can be charged with possession if there is any amount of marijuana is on your body. You may also be charged if you have consumed it, or if you are in a vehicle or a dwelling where others have it. Simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time can result in possession charges.
You could, however, be offered a diversion program in some counties designed to keep nonviolent offenders out of prison. If offered a diversion program, and if you successfully complete it, you will have no criminal record.
Avoiding a Felony Underage Marijuana Possession Charge
A skilled Washington defense attorney can help in several ways. Your attorney can either help you get into a diversion program, argue for a dismissal, or defend you in a court of law and perforate the State's argument against you to influence an acquittal.
If you or your child is charged with possession of marijuana, your case could hinge on the advice you seek. Call our office to schedule a consultation. When you discuss the case with an attorney experienced in the Washington court system, you will discover the ways the case can be planned that can possibly make all of the difference in moving ahead.