What happens if my sister ws caught with a controlled substance while trying to cross the border? 3 Answers as of June 25, 2013

My sister tried to cross the US Border from Canada between BC and Blaine, WA and they found a small amount of controlled substance in her purse. She has a court date at the end of September and wants to know what can be done so that this will not go on her record.

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Law Office of Michael Brodsky
Law Office of Michael Brodsky | Michael Brodsky
A "controlled substance" can mean anything from marijuana to a prescription drug to steroids, meth or heroin. And what she had and how much could effect what she is charged with and her potential sentence. Typically, a small amount of marijuana is a gross misdemeanor with a 1 day minimum sentence and a 364 day maximum, although any sentence above the minimum is unlikely. But possession of almost any other controlled substance is a felony with an exposure of up to 5 years although typically a lot less. But felonies carry additional consequences involving the ability to enter the US or Canada, the right to vote, and employment. But there may be issues surround the search and whether she had actual or constructive possession of the controlled substance. She should certainly seek an attorney experienced in criminal and border crossing issues.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 9/14/2011
Julian & Chin LLP
Julian & Chin LLP | Larry F Chin
It is unclear if your sister has a date scheduled with the immigration or criminal court. It also depends on the type of controlled and amount of the controlled substance.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 9/14/2011
Andersen Law PLLC
Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
What court charged her?
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/25/2013
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