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Articles Posted in Drug Charges

Carl-Sagan-high-300x300Under Washington law, it is legal for people to use marijuana recreationally. However, they must abide by certain restrictions and laws regarding the safe use of marijuana. If they do not, they may be charged with crimes. This was illustrated recently in a Washington ruling issued in a DUI case in which the court rejected the defendant’s assertion that he had a constitutional right to use marijuana without restriction. If you are charged with a DUI crime, it is smart to speak to a dedicated Tacoma DUI defense attorney at Smith and White, PLLC regarding your rights as soon as possible.

Factual Background of the Case

It is reported that pursuant to Washington law, people can be convicted of DUI if, within two hours after driving, they have a THC concentration that is 5.00 nanograms per milliliter or higher, as illustrated by an analysis of their blood. The defendant was charged with and convicted of violating the marijuana DUI law after it was determined that his blood THC level was 9.4 nanograms per milliliter within two hours of driving. He appealed, arguing that the prong of the DUI statute regulating marijuana use was unconstitutionally vague and overbroad and was not a legitimate exercise of the legislature’s police power.

DUI Charges Arising Out of Marijuana Use

The appellate court rejected the defendant’s reasoning and affirmed his conviction. It explained that laws passed by the people through initiatives, like the DUI marijuana provisions, are presumed to be constitutional, and those individuals challenging the constitutionality of a law bear the burden of proving their position beyond a reasonable doubt. A party meets this burden if the research and arguments show that there is no reasonable doubt that the law violates the constitution. Continue reading

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Hace solo algunos meses, las consecuencias por posesión de droga en el estado de Washington dieron cambio por completo. El caso que desató el cambio de paradigma fue Blake vs el estado de Washington.

Shannon Blake fue arrestada en el año 2016 en el marco de una investigación por robo de vehículos. Fue entonces cuando un policía descubrió que tenía una bolsa de metanfetamina en el bolsillo de sus jeans. Blake se defendió diciendo que los jeans no eran suyos sino de un amigo y que desconocía que había droga en el bolsillo.

La carga probatoria

 

Crime bosses always seem to have plenty of money.  I’m trying to think of one movie or series where the crime boss ran out of money.  Since he has plenty of money he always has the best lawyers.  I’ve been doing this 20 years.  If I’ve ever had a crime boss for a client he was too professional to let me know.

What I do know is that as soon as the Government charges you with a crime that would be an ongoing criminal enterprise, like being a drug dealer, embezzler, forger (think Catch Me If You Can) or all around crime boss, they also immediately, and sometimes before, seize or freeze all your assets.  So, once that happens it is too late to pay for the best lawyers.  Right when you need them finally.  All the fancy cars, houses, weapons, jewelry, etc are worthless (to you, the government agents are loving it all).  They are seized.  And you cannot afford a lawyer to get them back for you.  Continue reading

 

There has been plenty of press about the opiate epidemic that has swept the United States.  CDC opioid death statistics.  How the doctors neglect to warn people about the addictive properties of the painkillers which they are liberally prescribing and whether the FDA should approve such addictive substances to begin with are the subject for another article.  Deceptive Marketing of Drugs.  The hard truth that we must face, regardless how we got here, is that there is a crime wave that accompanies any opiate epidemic.

Fortunately, the vast majority of crimes associated with drug addiction are property crimes–theft, trafficking in stolen property, taking motor vehicles and even the noxious but not physically threatening identity theft.  As such, they are often eligible for the residential DOSA alternative to prison.  https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.94A.664. Continue reading

A famous song from the 1960s, borrowing from Jewish and Christian scriptures, states that there is a “time to every purpose under heaven.” Encounters with police can be like that. Which is to say, when interacting with the police, there is a time to be very forthcoming, and there is a time to refrain from speaking. Suffice it to say, whatever the specifics of your situation may be, the first thing you say when you encounter a law enforcement officer should probably not be, “I did it.” One man from southwestern Washington made that mistake in his case, a case in which the Washington Court of Appeals upheld his conviction.

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There are a few, but only a limited few, reasons that a law enforcement officer can search your person or possessions without a warrant. If the officer conducts a warrantless search and obtains evidence against you, and you challenge the admission of this evidence at trial, the law requires the state to prove that the warrantless search fit within one of the valid exceptions to the prohibition against warrantless searches. In one recent vehicular assault case, a deputy conducted a warrantless search of a driver’s purse in order to expedite the towing of her car. The trial court said that this was part of the the officer’s “community caretaking” function, but the Washington Court of Appeals later reversed that ruling and awarded the driver a new trial. Without proof that the search was necessary for some health-and-safety-related reason (which the state did not have in this case), the search was not within any exception and therefore was illegal.

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