WA Legal Roundup: Division II
Bickle was convicted of manufacturing and possession of meth and manufacturing and possession of pot. He appeals his resentence, arguing that the trial court erred in treating these crimes separately for sentencing purposes when they stemmed from the same criminal conduct. The trial court specifically found that the four charges were not from the same criminal conduct. Bickle argues the charges were from the same criminal conduct because they occurred at the same time and place and that the objective intent was the same. The state argued that the objective intent was different because the charges were for two separate drugs and the manufacturing process for each differs.
The appeals court agreed with the trial court in respect to the separate drugs. The appeals court held that the manufacturing of marijuana and meth did not share the same objective criminal intent because they were separate substances and the process was substantially different.
The appeals court disagreed with the trial court in respect to the same substance. The appeals court found that manufacturing and possessing the same drug amounts to the same objective criminal intent. The appeals court dismissed the state’s argument that the crimes were committed in different parts of Bickle’s house and occurred at different times. They argued that in order to manufacture marijuana one uses marijuana seeds and the RCW’s amount possessing seeds to possessing marijuana. Therefore, in order to make pot you must possess it and Bickle possessed it in order to make it.
The appeals court reversed for resentencing and held that the trial court abused its discretion when they calculated Bickle’s marijuana manufacturing and possession convictions separately at sentencing.