It is illegal to sell or distribute controlled substances. Drug crimes of this kind are often charged as felonies, and if committed within a certain distance of a school or church, the accused may face increased penalties.
It is a serious criminal offense to sell or distribute illegal drugs. Particularly when these charges involve selling drugs to minors or involve alleged sales within a certain distance of school property, a church or public recreation center, the offender will face enhanced penalties. Even a first time offender who is convicted for the sale or distribution of narcotics may face harsh penalties. Most of the time, distribution is charged as a felony offense. Specific sentencing guidelines will vary depending upon the specific charge, the type of drug, the amount of drug and whether state lines were crossed. The accused may also face harsher penalties if convicted in federal court.
In some cases, the accused may face criminal charges for possessing a controlled substance with the intent to sell or distribute it. When law enforcement makes an arrest for drug possession and discovers evidence that may indicate that the arrestee intended to sell or distribute the drugs, the defendant may face more serious charges than simple possession. The presence of measuring scales, baggies, client lists, large amounts of cash and other items may be considered to indicate that the defendant intended the drugs for more than just personal use.
In Washington State, possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor and carries a mandatory minimum of 1 day in jail and a minimum $250 fine. The maximum penalties for possession of drug paraphernalia in Washington are 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine.