You may be surprised to find out how strict drug possession laws in Missouri are, especially for first-time offenders. While each drug possession charge penalties will vary depending on the circumstance, amount, and type of drug, these charges should never be taken lightly. An important first step (if not the most) you can make in fighting a drug possession charge is setting up an appointment for a consultation with a private Missouri drug possession attorney. They will assess your situation by determining the strengths and weaknesses of your specific case while explaining the drug possession laws in Missouri and possible penalties you will face if convicted.
Understanding Drug Possession Laws in Missouri
While drug possession laws and the penalties that they carry are varied and intricate, there are some basic laws you should know about Missouri. Many states offer lighter penalties for first-time offenders, but in Missouri, things are handled a bit differently. With some of the strictest drug possession laws in the United States, you’ll need an attorney well versed in the drug possession laws of the state to fight for you. Two of the most common drug possession charges in Missouri are either for Marijuana or Methamphetamines. While across the United States, the penalties for possession of Marijuana are decreasing (Missouri included), Methamphetamines penalties are on-trend to increase.
Non-Marijuana Drug Possession Laws
Under Missouri law, possession of any amount of Methamphetamine, Cocaine, or other drugs that are not Marijuana, is considered a Class C Felony. To give you some perspective, in other parts of the country, this is usually only a misdemeanor charge for small amounts and first-time offenders. So what does this mean for Missouri residents? To put it simply, it means that even if you have a speck of this drug in your possession, you can be charged to the full extent of the law, even if you’re a first time offender. A Class C Felony carries with it:
- A minimum sentencing of one year jail time and up to 7 years in jail.
- Fines up to $5,000
First-time offenders may be able to forego jail time by attending and completing a drug program that their drug possession attorney and the courts approved.
The sale of or trafficking of drugs in Missouri has severe penalties, both are considered either a Class A or Class B Felonies. Depending on the amount, if it is your first-time offense, or how close you are to a school will affect the penalties placed against you.
- If you are found and convicted of selling or trafficking drugs (Class B Felony), you will face 5-15 years in prison with a chance of parole for first-time offenders.
- If you are found and convicted of selling or trafficking drugs near a school (Class A Felony), the charges you face are anywhere from 10 years in prison to life in prison, depending on the circumstances of your case.
- Repeat offenders are not offered the chance of parole.
With such steep drug possession laws, hiring a drug possession attorney is in your best interest. An attorney who specializes in drug possession laws can help to reduce the charges against you, which, as you can see, could significantly impact the rest of your life.