Drug Crimes Attorney in Chesterfield, Missouri
If you’ve been arrested for a drug crime in the state of Missouri, there’s a lot you need to know about the charges themselves and the potential penalties. Drug charges can cover a broad range of crimes—from a simple misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession to much more serious felonies involving distribution or manufacturing of drugs. Furthermore, some charges may fall into both state and federal jurisdiction. Because of the complex nature of such charges, you should work with a skilled criminal defense attorney when accused of a drug crime.
No matter your individual situation, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. Reach out to me at Walker Law LLC to start discussing your options. From my office in Chesterfield, Missouri, I can represent clients in Town and Country, Cottleville, and throughout St. Louis County and Charles County. Set up a one-on-one consultation today.
Federal Drug Crimes
The first thing you’ll need to understand about your charges is whether or not they will be classified as federal drug crimes since this will have a significant effect on the consequences you may face. There are a few different factors that can lead to a federal charge, but they’re almost always reserved for the most serious offenses such as drug trafficking (which could include possession with intent to sell), cultivation, manufacturing, or any offense where you’ve crossed state lines or were arrested while on federal property. Facing these charges can make your defense more complicated because you could be charged with both state crimes and federal crimes. No matter what, you’ll need an experienced attorney representing you.
Drug Charges in Missouri
Each state sets their own laws and penalties for drug charges. Missouri continues to hold rather harsh laws and punishments for those found guilty. A manufacturing charge can apply to any cultivation or production of a controlled substance and includes knowingly manufacturing drugs, attempting to manufacture drugs, and having the intent to manufacture drugs. In general, the larger the amount of drugs you are caught manufacturing, the more severe the crime.
You may also be arrested for selling, delivering, or distributing a controlled substance which includes either knowingly doing so, attempting to do so, or intending to do so. You can also be arrested for knowingly allowing a minor to purchase or transport drugs. It’s worth noting that these crimes will look slightly different for marijuana than they look for other controlled substances.
Possession charges in Missouri are also rather severe when compared with other states. In fact, the majority of possession crimes aside from marijuana are typically tried as felonies instead of misdemeanors. The law states that possession of any controlled substance is a felony. Because the penalties for a felony conviction can be so high, you need to take any drug charge seriously, even if you were only caught with a small amount of drugs in your possession.
The scope of your charges will also be influenced by the type of drug in question, and this is best understood in terms of drug schedules. This is a classification system used at both the state and federal level that rates different controlled substances in terms of their accepted medical usage and their propensity for abuse or addiction. Importantly, not all of these drugs are considered illegal and some can be obtained through a doctor’s prescription or even over-the-counter.
The system divides drugs into five schedules, from I to V. Schedule I drugs are described as having no known medical usage and a high rate of dependence and abuse. Examples of Schedule I drugs are LSD, methamphetamines, marijuana, and heroin. Schedule III drugs have a lower than average risk of abuse or dependency and include ketamine, some drugs with codeine, or testosterone.
The possible penalties for drug crimes in Missouri will depend on a number of factors such as the type of drug you were caught with, whether you have any prior convictions, whether you had committed other crimes at the same time, and who else was involved in the crime. For example, if you were caught selling drugs to a minor on school grounds, your penalties may be more severe than if you were selling to an adult.
Common penalties include fines, jail time, probation, community service, or being required to attend a rehabilitation program. Additionally, even after you’ve served your time, you may be barred from certain privileges such as being able to vote or own a firearm.
Drug Crimes Attorney in Chesterfield, Missouri
If you’re in the Chesterfield, Missouri area and have recently been arrested on a drug charge, you need to contact a lawyer immediately. At Walker Law LLC, I’m committed to truly listening to my clients’ concerns and providing them with knowledgeable and honest legal advice. Call me today to schedule a consultation and start working on your defense.