Have You Been Charged With a Drug Crime?
Drug laws are aggressively enforced by police agencies, prosecutors, and courts in the State of Missouri. If you are charged with a violation of this state’s drug laws, you will need to schedule a consultation – as quickly as possible – with a Jefferson County drug crimes attorney.
Drug crimes are not unusual in Missouri, but every drug case is different. The way a drug case is handled in this state depends on the type of drug, the amount, the offender’s prior convictions (if any), and whether the drugs were intended for sale or for personal use.
What Are the Different Types of Drug Crimes?
Generally speaking, the possession, sale, distribution, and manufacturing of illegal drugs are against the law in Missouri:
- Possession: If you possess an illegal drug on your person, your property, or in a space that you control (your vehicle or your storage space, for example), you may be charged with drug possession. It’s illegal in Missouri to possess any amount of any illegal drug.
- Possession with intent: If you are found to have a substantial quantity of an illegal drug, the police and the prosecutor may presume that you intended to sell the drug.
- Manufacturing or cultivation: Making or attempting to make illegal drugs (or to make legal drugs illegally) is charged as drug manufacturing. Drug cultivation is illegally growing and harvesting cannabis or another plant-based drug.
- Distribution or trafficking: Moving or transporting illegal drugs (or legal drugs through illegal channels) may be charged as distribution. Trafficking is the charge for moving large quantities of drugs or moving drugs over state or national borders.
Selling drugs you have purchased with a prescription, or using prescription drugs in some way other than what has been prescribed, may also constitute a crime in Missouri. In the last several years, prescription drug crimes have been on the rise in this state and across the nation.
Is Cannabis Legal in Missouri?
For adults, cannabis for recreational purposes is legal in the State of Missouri, but its sale and use is strictly regulated by Missouri law. Adults who are 21 or older may legally possess up to three ounces of cannabis for recreational purposes.
Selling cannabis to a minor is a felony, and any sale of cannabis by any party other than a state-regulated dispensary remains illegal. Adults may apply for a license to grow up to eighteen cannabis plants on their own property in an area that is locked and not visible to the public.
Adults may consume cannabis in private residences, although it is illegal to smoke cannabis on a sidewalk, in a park, in a moving vehicle, or on the grounds of any public or private school. A renter may smoke cannabis in his or her home only if the landlord consents.
If you’re charged with any violation of Missouri’s cannabis laws and regulations, contact the law offices of a Jefferson County drug crimes lawyer immediately for the legal help you will need.
What Are The Penalties for Drug Crime Convictions?
Missouri’s drug laws are exceedingly extensive and complicated, and every case is unique, but these are some of the charges that may be filed and some of the penalties that may be imposed for certain drug crimes:
- The possession of any quantity of methamphetamine in Missouri is a Class C felony, punishable upon conviction with a lengthy prison term and thousands of dollars in fines.
- The possession of any quantity of cocaine is also a Class C felony.
- The possession of more than nine grams of pseudoephedrine in a thirty-day period, or the possession of 3.6 grams or more of pseudoephedrine in a single day, is usually charged as a Class A misdemeanor which may be penalized on conviction with jail time and a fine.
In some cases, first-time offenders who face drug charges in Missouri may be offered a treatment program and probation, and successful completion of the program can result in having the charge dismissed.
What Are Actual, Constructive, and Joint Possession?
In order to convict a defendant of illegal drug possession, the state must prove that the defendant illegally possessed drugs in one of three ways: actually, constructively, or jointly.
“Actual” possession is when drugs are found on someone’s “person” – someone’s purse, pocket, shoes, or underwear, for example, or when the drugs have been swallowed. If the state proves that a defendant was in actual possession of illegal drugs, a conviction is likely.
“Constructive” possession is presumed if drugs are found in a defendant’s residence, vehicle, or private storage facility. “Joint” possession is when more than one person has actual or constructive possession, such as a married or cohabiting couple having drugs in their residence.
What Should You Do if You’re Charged With a Drug Crime?
If you are charged with any drug-related crime in the greater St. Louis area or anywhere in the state, you must be advised and represented by a Jefferson County drug crimes attorney, and you must schedule a consultation with that attorney as quickly as possible.
Your defense attorney may seek to have the charge against you dropped or dismissed. If that’s not possible, your attorney may negotiate a plea deal for a reduced or alternative sentence. Of course, if you are innocent, you should insist on your right to a trial by jury.
If your case goes to trial, your attorney will cast doubt on the state’s evidence and explain to the jurors why they should find you not guilty. But how can you find the right Jefferson County drug crimes lawyer – someone who will fight aggressively and effectively for justice on your behalf?
Why Should You Take Your Case to Grafe & Batchelor?
Call Grafe & Batchelor immediately if you are charged with a drug crime, and we will provide a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case. Grafe & Batchelor has more than three decades of combined criminal defense experience, and we put that experience to work for every client.
Your attorney at Grafe & Batchelor will prepare an aggressive, effective defense and bring your drug case to its best possible resolution. If the drugs were not yours, or if your rights were violated in a search or an arrest, we will ensure that the court understands what happened.
If you are charged with a drug crime – now or in the future – contact the law offices of Grafe & Batchelor immediately by calling (636) 220-5934. When you become our client at Grafe & Batchelor, your case becomes our priority.