I fully credit Jim with the success of my case. His years of experience in the Puget Sound area have provided him with a deep understanding of our northwest legal system. He personally knows the players (judges, prosecutors, fellow attorneys) in the different jurisdictions and when you observe his interactions with them, it is clear he has earned their respect.


As posted on CitySearch by a criminal defense client

Over 50 years of combined legal experience

Possession of a Controlled Substance


With few exceptions, the unauthorized possession of a controlled substance is a felony. The amount of drugs in your possession does not matter. In fact, over-zealous prosecutors have filed felony charges based on trace residue found in a plastic baggie. In most cases, simple possession of a controlled substance is a Class C felony, with a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The amount of jail or prison time you are likely to receive if convicted depends on the type of substance and your criminal history.



Our approach to drug possession cases


Challenge the search

Our first step in your defense is to challenge the constitutionality of the police stop. The police must have a legal basis for the stop and the search, and if they don’t, the drugs must be suppressed and the case dismissed. We have decades of experience in filing and winning motions to suppress evidence.


Challenge whether there was possession

The next step is to challenge proof of possession. The State can prove possession through either “actual possession” or “constructive possession.” The most common type of actual possession is when you are physically carrying the drug on your person. Common examples of constructive possession include drugs found under a seat in a car you are traveling in, or in a closet at a house you share with others.


The defense of “unwitting possession”


One way to combat the State’s evidence is with the affirmative defense of “unwitting possession.” This defense allows you to prove to the jury that you did not know you were in possession of the substance or that you did not know the nature of the substance. For instance, assume you borrow a friend’s jacket not knowing that there is a small container of cocaine in one of the pockets. If you convince the jury that you did not know about that container, then the jury cannot convict you of that offense.


We’ve been defending clients on drug cases for over fifty years and know how to successfully attack the State’s case and win your freedom.


Dixon & Cannon, Ltd. is licensed to practice law in the States of Arizona and Washington. This Web site is created for your general information only and does not represent legal advice. An attorney-client relationship between you and our law firm is not created by you reading this information or calling us. If we decide to work together, we sign a contract to establish our attorney-client relationship.

Criminal Defense


Dixon & Cannon, Ltd

Downtown Seattle Office

Dixon & Cannon, Ltd.

601 Union Street, Suite 3230

Seattle WA 98101