If you’ve been caught for drug possession in Missouri, it’s important you take action right away. Missouri has some of the most severe drug possession penalties in the whole of the US, but punishments can also vary drastically from courtroom to courtroom. For this reason alone, you need a drug possession attorney who has established relationships in the area you are being charged and will know the history of cases like yours with those prosecutors and judges.
Drug possession charges are some of the most common we deal with here at Combs Law Group, so we are familiar with the common questions and queries people have when facing a drug possession charge.
Here’s what you need to know to defend and protect yourself.
What constitutes drug possession in Missouri?
As you may be aware, the definition of “drug possession” in Missouri doesn’t simply cover being caught with illegal substances on your persons, but in any other scenario where you can be considered to be in possession of an illegal substance.
For example, if you and a friend are transporting cocaine in your vehicle (or if a friend leaves an illegal substance in your vehicle) when you are pulled over for a traffic offense and the attending officers have reason to search your vehicle and find it, you are still considered “in possession” of that substance.
Are drug possession laws the same all over the US?
Yes and no. The DEA determines how “serious” an illegal substance is throughout the US. The Controlled Substances Act outlines 5 Schedules (essentially levels of seriousness), with Schedule 1 being the most serious or harmful, such as heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine, and decreasing in the likelihood of dependency to Schedule 5. These schedules define the severity of the punishment.
However, Missouri decides what punishment will be given for possession of each type of drug. With the exception of marijuana, most drug possession charges are felonies. Felony charges come with serious legal ramifications, fines, prison time, and sends shockwaves through other areas of your life, so it’s vital you find a drug possession lawyer as soon as possible.
If you’re facing federal drug charges, like federal drug trafficking or distribution, then it’s even more important you find a good St. Louis drug possession attorney who knows federal drug laws. Federal drug laws typically have more severe penalties, so if the federal government is trying to put you behind bars you need to get a St. Louis criminal lawyer right away.
Are the punishments for marijuana possession different?
In most cases, yes. In Missouri, most drug possession cases will result in a felony charge, but the laws surrounding marijuana have softened and if you possess 35 grams or less, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. If you would like to learn more about marijuana laws in Missouri, you can read our guide here.
Is there any way to avoid jail time?
Your ability to avoid jail time for your drug possession charge will depend on the severity of your charge, the circumstances in which you were charged, the skill of your attorney, and primarily, whether or not you are willing to get help for your addiction. Prosecutors and judges may choose to be sympathetic if you are willing to get help for your addiction and if the quantity you had in your possession was minimal. To find out more about these programs you can read our guide on drug possession laws in Missouri.
What should I look for in a drug possession lawyer?
When you look for a drug possession lawyer you should ensure they:
- Have experience in the location you were charged
- Have experience with cases like yours
- Will aggressively defend you and the life you’ve built
- Offers a free consultation
- Won’t make you feel like a number on a list
- Make you feel reassured and at ease
- Has numerous testimonials and good reviews
Chris Combs is one of the top St. Louis drug possession lawyers and has experience with a wide range of drug possession charges. If you want to find out more about what we can do for you click here or contact us directly today and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible – most inquiries receive a reply in less than two hours, so it will be no time at all until you can relax knowing you have the best on your case.