The State Laws of Washington

The State Laws of Washington

The State Laws of Washington


Due to the fact that individual state laws are constantly subject to change, individuals are encouraged to consult an attorney prior to engaging in any activity, action, or event in which the expressed legality may come into question. Furthermore, individuals interested in attaining information with regard to individual state legislature are also encouraged to perform independent research in order to substantiate the relevancy and current state(s) of specific legislation. 

Washington Abortion Laws

Within the state of Washington, Abortion is defined as the purposeful termination of a pregnancy through procedural means. Subsequent to the decision of Roe v. Wade, abortion became legal within the United States – however, Washington state legislation expresses a variety of stipulations with regard to a legal abortion process:

•    A legal abortion may occur in the event that the protection and preservation of the life of the mother carrying a fetus is compromised as a result of a pregnancy; an abortion can take place in order to save the life of the mother only upon accredited and sanctioned medical review

•    Washington State protects the ‘right to choose’ granted to a Mother; in the event that the development of a fetus exists in a stage deemed acceptable – this excludes infanticide and partial birth abortion – a woman may choose to abort a fetus

•    An illegal abortion is deemed as an abortion process that occurs in the event that the health and wellbeing of the mother is not in danger; furthermore, an illegal abortion is defined as a procedure that occurs outside of legal, accepted, and authorized medical procedural protocol – in the state of Washington, unauthorized individuals conducting abortions may be charged with Class C Felonies

Washington Marijuana Laws

Within the state of Washington, the possession of Marijuana - or Cannabis products – as well as the acts of growing or distributing marijuana without the expressed permission of the Washington State Government is a punishable, criminal offense. The following penalties are associated with Marijuana within the state of Washington:

Possession/Under the Influence of Marijuana

1.    Amount: less than 40 grams

•    Penalty: 1 - 90 days’ incarceration

•    Fines: $250 - $500

•    Classification: Misdemeanor

2.    Amount: more than 40 grams

•    Penalty: 180 days’ incarceration

•    Fines: $4,000

•    Classification: Felony

Cultivation and/or Intent to Distribute Marijuana

Supplementary Charges include Possession, Sale, and Sale to a minor with regard to Drug Paraphernalia; Marijuana charges may be subject to increase to the proximity to a school zone – sale to a minor may also incur additional fines and incarceration

3.    Amount: less than 40 grams

•    Penalty: up to 6 months’ incarceration

•    Fines: $10,000

•    Classification: Felony

4.    Amount: more than 40 grams

•    Penalty: up to 5 years’ incarceration

•    Fines: $10,000

•    Classification: Felony

Medical Marijuana

Within the state of Washington, Medical Marijuana is considered to be legal upon prescription by an authorized, accredited medical professional; the appropriate amount allowed is 24 ounces per patient

Washington DWI and DUI Laws

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving while under the influence (DUI) charges exist in the event that an individual ingests illegal drugs, alcohol, or controlled-substances, which may impair their respective ability to safely operate a motor vehicle; the following DUI and DWI laws exist within the state of Washington:

•    Zero tolerance laws exist in the event that an individual below the legal age permissible to consume alcohol is suspected to be unlawfully operating a motor vehicle; within the state of Washington, the Zero Tolerance Blood Alcohol Content Level (BAC) cannot exceed .02%

•    The BAC limit for individuals operating motor vehicles may not reach .08%; this can constitute a DUI or DWI offense

•    In Washington, there currently exist no supplementary penalties incurred due to BAC levels exceeding the expressed, legal limit

•    Implied consent is a legal instrument that is employed within the realm of a DUI Arrest that entails a verbal or written contract resulting from the willing participation in a regulated activity, such as the operation of a motor vehicle; within Washington, law enforcement agents are permitted to act in accordance with implied consent laws

•    Upon a DUI or DWI conviction, and individuals is subject to undergo the loss of driving privileges for a period of no less than 90 days’ time;  penalties can range upwards of 1 year in addition to the installation of an ignition interlock device

Washington Gun Laws

A handgun is a firearm whose smaller size is fashioned to be used upon operation by one hand, which typically fire single round ammunition; within the state of Washington, handgun laws are as follows:

•    The sale, ownership, or possession of handguns with regard to convicted felons or individuals who have been in long-term care in a mental health facility is illegal in the state of Washington;  individuals carrying illegal weapons on their person during the time of a crime, aggravated assault can be attributed to any coinciding criminal convictions imposed

•    A waiting period for the purchase of a firearm does not currently exist in the state of Washington

•    Current listing or report of forearms considered to be illegal in the state of Washington: 

•    Legal Codes: 6-8-102 (Washington gun laws), 6-8-104 (the prohibition of firearms within a school zone)

Washington Adoption Laws

In the state of Washington, an individual who has been deemed as a law-abiding citizen who is of sound mind and moral character is permitted to adopt a child:

•    Within the state of Washington, and individual must maintain residence for a period of no less than 6 months

•    Any individual may be adopted; children above the age(s) of 14 must express consent with regard to a potential adoption

•    Within the state of Washington, the Department of Family Services mandates all adoptions

Washington Employment and Labor Laws

•    Within the state of Washington, the minimum wage is 5 dollars and 15 cents awarded per hour of labor

•    State Holidays are listed as: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas - Veteran’s Day, Wyoming Equality Day, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday, and President’s Day result in the closing of public institutions only upon the decision set forth by the local board of trustees and government

•    Within the state of Washington, an individual’s employ cannot be terminated in the event that they report a violation or hazard taking place with regard to their respective employment – or place of employment

Washington Divorce Laws

Within the state of Washington, a divorce is defined as the termination of a marriage, which can occur upon a decision set forth by one or both partners involved in the marriage:

•    A divorce must be filed subsequent to 60 days residence within the state of Washington; in the event that an individual –or individuals – were married in Washington and lived there on a continuous basis, a time constraint for filing does not exist

•    ‘No Fault’ divorce does exist on the grounds of irreconcilable differences

Washington Death Penalty Laws

Within the state of Washington, Capital Punishment – or the Death Penalty – is legal; however, additional stipulations exist with regard to this procedure:

•    In the event of mental instability authorized by a court or pregnancy, capital punishment is disallowed

•    The minimum age permissible for a capital punishment sentence is 16

•    Within the state of Washington, homicide is considered to be the only crime punishable by death

•    The accepted means of capital punishment is lethal injection

Washington Gambling Laws

Within the state of Washington, Gambling is defined as the purposeful risking of any or all assets, property or monies with the intention of gain; a primary stipulation exists that expressed that the individual retains no control of peripheral outcome(s) with regard to any wagers set forth:

•    Horse racing wagering is legal

•    Dog racing wagering is legal

•    Any and all unsanctioned structures and facilities intended to house gambling activity is deemed as illegal in the state of Washington

Washington Child Laws

Within the state of Washington, the following stipulations with regard to child laws and child custody are recognized:

•    Joint custody is permitted

•    The rights implied within grandparental visitation are recognized

•    The wishes of any or all children involves are taken into consideration with regard to a custody decision





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