I am currently bein charged with vucsa times 2 it is my first felony is there any other option besides prison
3 attorney answers
It looks like the site automatically changed "VUCSA" to "Federal Crime" when you enter it into the search.
I don't handle Federal Cases. And Ms. Morelli is right about Federal Drug Charges carrying much more serious penalties. If you ARE charged in Federal Court you will need counsel who have the experience and expertise to represent you.
but... since the vast majority of drug crimes are charged under State law, in the Superior Court of the County where the alleged crime(s) occurred, you probably aren't facing a prison term. Under the Washington Sentencing Guidelines, if a defendant is convicted of two counts of Possession of most drugs besides Marijuana, with no prior Felony Convictions you are probably looking at a Standard Range Sentence of 0 to 6 months in county jail. (Prison sentences in Washington are usually only imposed for sentences of more than a year).
However, if you are charged and convicted of Delivery of a Controlled Subsatnce, you could be sentenced to prison. Possession with Intent to Deliver is treated the same way. So that is the most important factor. Washington Drug Sentencing basically treats drug users (in Possession of a small amount of drugs) much differently than drug dealers.
so... If you are looking at a straight possession case or two State law provides for many alternatives. If you have a drug abuse problem, and you want to get clean, you could enter a treatment program. If you would rather get treatment than sit in jail, we have an excellent Drug Court in Everett. There are many other options to serve a simple Possession sentence. Judges can give you the opportunity to perform up to 240 HOURS of community service in place of 30 DAYS jail. House Arrest, Work Release... but not prison.
So what can you do now to help yourself? If you can hire a lawyer do it, even if you haven't been Summoned and Charged yet. If not, most of the Public Defenders in Snohomish County are excellent, in my opinion. But you're not entitled to a lawyer until you are charged. If you ended up in this situation and you want to get clean. There are State programs for free or "sliding-fee scale" financial help to pay for treatment. If you are between arrest and charging, contact the Snohomish County Prosector to make sure they have an address on file. Drug cases sometimes take many months for this County to charge. If you don't get the Summons, or you miss your Arraignment (the First Court Date, in most cases), the court will issue an Arrest Warrant and complicate your case considerably, and you would likely have fewer options like the ones I mentioned. If your case has already been charged, you should already have a lawyer. Listen, ask questions, and most of all, follow your lawyer's advice.
Again... if it's in Federal Court, none of the above applies to your case. Good Luck.
I am a Seattle-based attorney and I practice in the Federal Courts as well as all over WA, including Snohomish, King, and Pierce Counties. My focus area is defense of drug related crimes. Federal cases are notoriously difficult, as the DEA tends to do their job quite well. If you don't have a public defender you really need to find a private attorney to negotiate your case through the system. There are ways out of federal prison, but it usually involves snitching, and you probably don't want to go to prison with that label attached to you.
You said "VUCSA," which is a state crime, but your post is in "Federal Crimes." If you're looking a state charges your life just got much, much, easier. Yes, there are many options to stay out of jail, depending on the facts of your case (priors, amount, type of drug, how well the police did their job, addiction history). Apply for a public defender or contact private counsel. Most of us are willing to talk to you for free.
If you are charged with a State crime, you might be eligible for a First Time Offender Waiver which limits your jail time to 90 days in county. If your charge is Unlawful Possession of Controlled Substance (UPCS), you're not looking at prison time as your range is less than 12 months, the cutoff for going to prison.
You might also be eligible for Drug Court, which in Pierce County is a pretty intensive one year program. If you are admitted into Drug Court, you are released from jail and begin outpatient treatment with regular court dates. On graduation, your case is dismissed. Drug deliveries (UDCS) and possession of drugs with the intent to deliver (UPCS w/ID) are not eligible for Drug Court without police endorsement.
You might also be eligible for alternatives to jail such as Breaking the Cycle, and electronic home monitoring, or work crew.
All of the above assumes that you were charged with UPCS in State Court. You should hire a lawyer to take a look at the facts of your case. You'd be amazed at how often cases are screwed up by cops/investigators. If they're screwed up badly enough, they get kicked out. Even if they aren't screwed up, they frequently get reduced.
DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided for general educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you agree and understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the attorney responding, and no attorney-client confidentiality. The law changes frequently, and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information provided in this answer is general in nature and may not apply to the factual circumstances described in your question. The applicable law and the appropriate answer may be different in the State or States where the relevant facts occurred. For a definitive answer you should seek legal advice from an attorney who (1) is licensed to practice in the state which has jurisdiction; (2) has experience in the area of law you are asking about, and (3) has been retained as your attorney for representation or consultation. Your question and the attorney’s answer may be used for promotional or educational purposes.