Sunday, May 23, 2010

Smoke Dope, Get Stoned ... by the Government

Being arrested, cited, charged and/or convicted of a crime involving Marijuana in Washington State may be a much bigger deal than one might imagine. This is so even though many of our state governmental agencies claim they are de-emphasizing their pursuit of marijuana possession arrests and convictions. Don’t be fooled, the majority of Washington State governmental bodies are still seeking out arresting, citing, charging and even convicting people for possessing Marijuana – even for possessing very minimal amounts of Marijuana. Below following are some of the many affects being arrested and/or convicted of Marijuana possession in Washington State can have on an individual:

1. If you are convicted for Marijuana possession, you may: (a) be put on court supervised probation, and (b) be required to participate in mandatory random Urinalysis Testing;

2. A Marijuana conviction in Washington State can detrimentally impact federally insured student loans;

3. A Marijuana conviction may significantly impact child custody issues in Washington State family law court, and may also detrimentally impact an individual’s ability to successfully adopt children;

4. A felony Marijuana conviction, like all felony convictions, deprives a person of their constitutional right to vote;

5. A felony Marijuana conviction, like all felony convictions, deprives a person of their constitutional right to possess firearms;

6. Being arrested for Marijuana possession with Intent to Distribute in Washington State, or being arrested for “manufacturing” five or more Marijuana plants, may result in the government attempting to forfeit your home, car, cash and even other valuable assets. The government is permitted to do “Asset Forfeiture” even if the charges are later dismissed or even if the defendant is acquitted (found not guilty) at trial;

7. A Marijuana conviction may detrimentally impact an individual’s right to qualify for government subsidized housing;

8. A Marijuana conviction may result in an individual being denied entry into Canada and possibly even other countries around the world;

9. A Marijuana conviction may detrimentally impact an individual’s ability to obtain food stamps as well as other equally important welfare benefits;

10. A misdemeanor Marijuana conviction, like many other misdemeanor convictions, remains on your Washington State criminal record for at least three years before it can ever be expunged. Criminal records are available to the general public and thus a misdemeanor Marijuana conviction in Washington State can detrimentally impact both current and future employment opportunities;

11. A felony Marijuana conviction in Washington State remains on an individual’s criminal record for at least five years before it can ever be expunged. Criminal records are available to the general public and thus a felony Marijuana conviction in Washington State can detrimentally impact both current and future employment opportunities.

No matter the circumstances one may find themselves in, the best approach to take when arrested for Marijuana possession in Washington State is to contact a qualified Washington State criminal defense attorney who has knowledge of not only the Washington State court system but also Washington State police procedures. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified Seattle criminal defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with possessing Marijuana in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the Marijuana possession allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible.

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