Most drug offenses (Violations of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, or “VUCSA”) are felonies. Punishment for more serious cases often involves prison. However, offenders can receive reduced prison or jail terms, or avoid jail time completely if the offender seeks treatment to help overcome a drug problem. Drug Courts are available now in many courts in Washington and can often result in dismissal of less serious felony charges if the person successfully completes the Drug Court program.
VUCSA cases often involve questions of whether the police acted lawfully in seizing the drugs. Was the stop or arrest lawful? Was the search legal? Was there a valid search warrant? Under search-and-seizure law, evidence that is improperly seized by the police must be suppressed and cannot be used as evidence by the government. Without evidence of the drugs the police improperly seized, the government usually has no case and the charges must be dismissed. These cases often boil down to a legal challenge to the evidence brought in a Motion to Suppress Evidence.