Last Tuesday the Seattle City Council voted 6-3 to allow the City Attorney’s Office to prosecute knowing possession and public use of illicit drugs. In doing so, the council adopted a state bill (which took effect on July 1, 2023) into the city’s criminal code that allows the city to pursue new state charges for both offenses in an effort to combat public consumption of drugs. The controversial bill, which permits City Attorney to pursue gross misdemeanor charges for public drug use and possession, cleared the council after months of discussion, following a 5-4 vote against an earlier version of the bill in June. The bill goes into effect (and prosecutorial decisions can be made) 30 days after it is signed by the mayor. Though the now approved version of the bill takes steps toward diversion, some of the concerns of council and community members this summer have not been addressed. We shall see how that all plays out as the prosecutor’s office starts prosecuting public possession and us of drugs in the Seattle Municipal Court.
If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a criminal charge (gun related or otherwise), immediately contact a Seattle Criminal Attorney. A Criminal lawyer is not going to judge you and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Criminal Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So, it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a crime in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle Criminal Lawyer. SQ Attorneys can be reached at (425) 359-3791 and/or (206) 441-0900.