Washington Heroin Laws

Federal and all state laws prohibit the sale and possession of heroin and other opium derivatives. Heroin is an illegal and considered a highly addictive drug. Some authorities suggest that the U.S. is going through a "heroin epidemic." It can be smoked, snorted or injected. Upon ingestion heroin produces analgesic and euphoric effects quickly.

Washington State Heroin Laws

In Washington, as in most other states, possession and/or the sale and trafficking of heroin brings stiff penalties.

Simple possession of heroin small amount of heroin is charged as a Class C felony in Washington and can result in up to five (5) years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000. The state also offers probation and drug diversion programs for first-time offenders.

Alternatives to Incarceration

In some cases, particularly with first-time offenders, Washington State has a Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative (DOSA) program, First Time Offender Waiver, and a Diversion program. These special programs focus on drug treatment, as an alternative to a long term prison sentence.

Other Penalties

There are a variety of other penalties that come along with a conviction of a heroin-related crime. Convictions may lead to loss of federal funding - including school loans. There are severe penalty enhancements if a firearm was present at the scene, you were in a protected zone (like a school zone), a child was present, selling to a minor, and selling in a correctional facility.

Charges and penalties under Washington's heroin laws are listed in the following column. See FindLaw's Drug Charges section to learn more.

Code Section 69.50.401, et seq.
Possession Up to 5 yrs. and/or $10,000; Subsequent offense: double penalties
Sale [Effective July 2004] Class B felony; up to 10 yrs. and/or 1) $25,000 (less than 2 kg) or 2) $100,000 and $50 for each g. in excess (over 2 kg); Sale to minors: Class C felony; Sale within 1000 ft. of school: double penalties
Trafficking -

Note: Heroin charges are very serious, and with them come very stiff penalties. If you find yourself arrested or accused of a heroin crime, the advice and counsel of a Washington state criminal defense attorney can be essential. Additionally, there are a wide variety of factors involved in these cases, including the practices of your jurisdiction. An attorney can be beneficial in explaining the true nature of the existing law in the state of Washington.

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