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Minor in Possession Charges – Washington State

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Washington enforces certain age restrictions for a variety of public health and safety reasons. If a minor accesses a controlled substance or object and law enforcement catch him or her with it, the minor can face serious penalties. 

Minor in possession charges can involve a wide range of crimes and potential penalties. If you or a loved one are facing these criminal charges, it is critical to speak with a defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

Types of Minor in Possession Charges

In Washington, minor in possession charges can refer to multiple types of crimes. 

  • Minor in Possession of Alcohol: When a person between the ages of 13 and 17 is found to be in possession of alcohol, he or she can face serious penalties. These penalties will depend on the age of the defendant at the time of the incident.
  • Minor in Possession of a Firearm: A person under the age of 18 may face minor in possession charges if he or she is found guilty of illegally possessing a firearm while in a vehicle or commits any crime while armed with a gun in which a motor vehicle is involved. Minor in possession charges may also apply to any person aged 13 to 17 who is convicted of an offense involving a firearm, regardless of the presence of a motor vehicle.
  • Minor in Possession of Drugs: Minor in possession charges apply to any person aged 13 to 20 who is convicted of a drug offense in Washington state. Like alcohol-related charges, these penalties depend on the age of the defendant on the date of the incident.

Penalties for Minor in Possession Charges

If you are facing a minor in possession conviction, it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. These charges can have a severe impact on your life, depending on the severity of the crime and the number of previous offenses.

For example, minors found in possession of alcohol can face up to 364 days in jail and fines up to $5,000. Additionally, these gross misdemeanor crimes often result in driver’s license revocation for up to one year following the first arrest, or up to two years for a second conviction.

If a minor is found in possession of marijuana, he or she could face a misdemeanor charge. In Washington, a misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days in county jail and a fine up to $1,000. Administrative penalties like license revocation also apply to these convictions.

The illegal possession of a firearm is a class B felony, regardless of whether the defendant is an adult or minor. Minors found guilty of this crime could face up to 10 years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines. License revocation also applies, and convicted individuals are ineligible for early license reinstatement. 

Defending Against Minor in Possession Charges

Minor in possession charges can be scary and overwhelming. If you or your child are facing a conviction for possessing drugs, alcohol, or firearms as a minor, it is important to speak with an attorney who can fight for the best possible outcome. 

A Washington criminal defense attorney has the skills, experience, and knowledge necessary to evaluate your case and craft a compelling case to protect your best interests. Contact us as soon as possible following the arrest to discuss your or your child’s legal options.

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