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Blake requests for drug convictions

Learn how the Prosecuting Attorney's Office (PAO) is working on prior drug convictions after the State v Blake decision.

The Washington State Supreme Court recently ruled that “Violation of the Uniformed Controlled Substances Act” (VUCSA) Possession cases are unconstitutional in State v Blake. All prior convictions are now invalid and need to be vacated (removed as if they didn’t occur).

If you were convicted of drug possession before February 2021, you may be eligible to have your:

  • Conviction vacated
  • Sentence reduced
  • Court fees refunded

How to respond

We are attempting to respond to a large number of inquiries following the decision in State v. Blake. We give priority to those currently in custody who are likely to be released within the next 0 to 180 days, based upon a change to their offender score and sentencing range. We are also prioritizing individuals with active or inactive Department of Correction supervision.

You may send your request to us at any time. Due to how many cases are in review, you will not get an immediate response for less time-sensitive requests.

For VUCSA possession cases you do not have to request relief unless there is an urgent need because the KCPAO will be proactively addressing these dismissals-see below. All VUSCA Possession cases are now invalid and must be dismissed and anyone serving a sentence on a single VUSCA Possession is required to be released.

Pro-se requests

Please be advised that the state cannot and will not respond to pro-se requests for resentencing. A pro-se request is a request made by the defendant and not through an attorney. If you are a defendant and have a request or question about resentencing you need to contact These requests will go to the public defender's office and they will contact us as needed.

Attorneys may submit re-sentencing requests to

In order to help us act quickly on the most urgent cases, in the subject line of your email please include:

  • The name and cause number
  • Whether the request is for re-sentencing or dismissal
  • Please indicate “urgent” if release from custody or community custody is immediate

Please be aware

  • We are constantly working to get through all requests.
  • For most requests, we are likely to agree to amend the Judgment and Sentence without a hearing.
  • If a hearing is required, we are trying to limit the inconvenience to defendants by coordinating with Department of Corrections to hold hearings virtually.
  • We cannot provide you with any legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact your attorney or contact the King County Department of Public Defense to screen for an attorney. Due to the complex legal nature of the re-sentencing requests, we cannot respond to pro-se requests for resentencing at this time. If you are pro-se, please contact an attorney.

If you want to seek appointment of counsel for Blake related issues, visit the King County Department of Public Defense website.

If you are a victim of a case affected by the Blake decision and have further questions, please also email us at and let us know that you are a victim. The KCPAO is attempting to notify victims of re-sentencings.

How to submit a Blake related request

In order to help us prioritize your request and respond as quickly as possible, please fill out the Blake Request Form found below and attach all necessary documents. We cannot review your request until we have this information. Once a completed request is received, we can add it to a queue for review by a DPA. Incomplete requests and missing documents will delay our ability to respond to your request.

In addition to the documents requested, please include completed proposed orders where applicable.


  • Blake Request Form
  • Dismissal for a VUCSA Possession case that only includes Blake related counts
  • Dismissal in a VUCSA Possession case that has multiple counts that include non-VUCSA crimes, and one (or more) Blake/VUCSA counts
  • Agreed order to amend the Judgment and Sentence to correct the offender score, standard range, and sentence (for use by licensed attorney only)

Email all completed forms and documentation to:

Help us act quickly on the most urgent cases, in the subject line of your email please include:

  • The name and cause number
  • Whether the request is for re-sentencing or dismissal
  • Please indicate “urgent” if release from custody or community custody is immediate

Vacation of prior simple possession convictions

King County also has a process to vacate all prior convictions for simple drug possession in Superior Court. This includes convictions where simple drug possession was an element of the current offense. The good news is that a person with a qualifying conviction does not need to take any action for this to happen! We are currently compiling a list of all Blake-eligible convictions since 1971.

The PAO has successfully vacated 5,040 Blake convictions through the end of March 2022. The PAO has also completed 373 re-sentencings and dismissed 780 pending simple possession cases. 

Starting with the most recent convictions and working back in time, we are currently filing motions on behalf of the state to:

  • Vacate prior convictions for simple drug possession.
  • Cancel any outstanding LFO or collections cost balances that arise from the vacated conviction.
  • Begin a process through the clerk’s office for a refund of any LFO or collections paid.

We also inform the State Patrol about the vacated conviction.

In the future, VUSCA Possession charges will not be invalid. The Blake decision changed the language of the law. Going forward the State can once again charge people with VUSCA Possession under the new statute. This change only affects new VUSCA cases and not cases that occurred before the Washington Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Blake.

We have successfully vacated criminal judgments with Blake-only convictions back to mid-2008. The clerk’s office will compute any LFO refunds that are due and document those amounts in the court file.

Learn more on the clerk's office process

Check your court record to make sure your conviction for simple drug possession is gone.

Convictions in other counties

Check with that county to find out how simple drug possession convictions and LFO refunds are being handled. The specific procedure for each county may vary.

Cases that are not VUSCA cases

There are many cases where a defendant had a prior VUCSA conviction on their record during sentencing to a different crime. During sentencing, an offender gets scored on the seriousness of the crime and the number of crimes they committed in their past. If there was VUSCA Possession in their past, it added to the offender score and increased the length of their sentence. These defendants need to be re-sentenced because there will be a reduction in the offender score. This also reduces the amount of time they spend in prison.

The Blake decision may also affect certain felonies where an underlying VUSCA was the predicate offense for a new charge. Most cases affected by the Blake decision will not be re-sentenced at a hearing. It will be resolved with a mutually agreed order between the defendant’s attorney and the King County Prosecutor’s Office. This agreed order reflects the original sentence and removes the invalid VUSCA conviction. This will reduce the offender score and sentence. There will not be a hearing, but, you may still receive a letter explaining State v Blake.

In some limited violent crime cases, a re-sentencing hearing is scheduled. We notify victims of any of these cases about the hearing. An assigned advocate also helps you through the process.