Many people have the tendency to dismiss drug possession charges as being minor, nothing more than a slap on the wrist. They are shocked, however, when they learn that many possession charges can land them in a prison cell for several years. It’s when you’re facing penalties like this that you must be confident in your choice of representation. A local attorney can help make the most of your situation and work to avoid the worst consequences.
Drugs are dangerous and have been blamed for the downfall of many communities. Drugs motivate some people to commit dangerous crimes. And while this doesn’t apply in every case of drug use, those high profile and extreme cases have served to make Missouri’s drug possession laws quite severe. Lawmakers don’t want to see “drug users” take over their state and enact harsh legislation to combat it.
Missouri Drug Possession Laws
Missouri drug possession laws are among the toughest in the country. Most states classify these offenses according to the type and amount of drug found in your possession, offering the more severe penalties when the drugs are more dangerous or there is a larger quantity involved.
In Missouri, that’s not the case. Most simple possession charges are felony level drug offenses.
If you are found in possession of any drug (other than marijuana), you will be charged with a Class C Felony. Class C felonies carry a potential 7 year prison sentence and $5,000 in fines, not to mention the stigma of being a convicted felon.
Missouri Marijuana Possession Laws
Missouri still classifies possession of marijuana as a criminal offense, unlike many states, where marijuana has been decriminalized and only leads to a fine. With marijuana, however, the amount you are found in possession of plays a major role in the charge you might face.
If you are found in possession of 35 grams or less, you will face a misdemeanor charge carrying up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. If you are found with more than 35 grams you will face felony charges. Up to 30 kg of pot carries up to 7 years in prison, a pretty serious sentence for a marijuana possession charge.
Fighting a Missouri Drug Possession Charge
When you are charged with a criminal defense, it’s normal to feel like your situation is somewhat hopeless. This isn’t always true. A defense lawyer is there to ensure your rights are protected and that you get the best results possible on your day in court.
If there is any indication that your rights were violated in your arrest or the search that led to your arrest, your attorney can motion the court to suppress the evidence against you and dismiss the case. Even if it looks like the prosecution could gain a conviction, your attorney can work with them to try and compromise on a mutually beneficial plea agreement.
There are options. And the best way to know for certain what your options are is to discuss your case with a local defense lawyer. Contact us to speak with a Missouri defense attorney who can offer you some advice in a free case evaluation.