Frequently Asked Questions about Alleged Criminal Violations in Arlington, Edmonds, Everett, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe and the rest of Snohomish County, Washington

I have been charged with Possession of Marijuana (or Possession of Drug Paraphernalia); what can I expect? I have no prior criminal history or limited criminal history.

First, Possession of Marijuana (POM) is a simple misdemeanor if the allegedly possessed amount is less than 40 grams. POM at this level is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. However, at this level, there is a mandatory day in jail and a $250 fine if convicted. If you have a prior drug conviction, the mandatory day in jail remains (and could be higher), but the minimum fine is $500. In addition, you would likely be charged additional “court costs” by the court imposing the sentence.
Conviction of a charge like this also carries with it some additional penalties, such as possible drug treatment/classes ordered by the court, denial of federal student loans, and inability to obtain certain jobs.
If you have a clean criminal history, or a limited history, a good attorney who has a good reputation with the prosecutor may be able to resolve your case short of any sort of conviction, oftentimes being able to achieve a dismissal.

Additionally, a knowledgeable attorney may be able to find legal issues in your stop, arrest and search and be able to get the evidence excluded, or suppressed. If so, the case would likely be dismissed. Hiring an attorney may sound expensive at the outset, but the money you pay to be fully protected is almost always well worth it.
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