Missouri Drug Possession Lawyer St. Louis, MO. While Missouri still has some of the strictest drug possession laws in the United States, our country is in the midst of a sea-change in how certain drugs are viewed under the law and Missouri is not immune to these changes. Between the adoption of medical marijuana in Missouri, the election of reform-minded local prosecutors, and the legalization of adult-use cannabis in neighboring Illinois, the knock-on effects on drug-possession laws in Missouri and how they affect St. Louis residents have been nothing short of massive.
Given these changes, it is a good idea to be fully aware of Missouri’s drug possession laws, how they might affect you, and what to do if you have been charged with drug possession. Combs Law Group is here to serve St. Louis residents who have been charged with drug possession and work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for their case. Call them today at (314) 900-HELP to speak with an attorney and schedule a free consultation about your drug possession case.
Drug Possession in Missouri–The Basics
With one crucial exception, the vast majority of drug possession cases in Missouri are prosecuted as class D felonies. Not only do these charges come with serious punishments (anywhere from one year in county jail to seven years in state prison, plus a fine of up to $10,000), it means that life for someone convicted of St. Louis drug possession charges will change drastically following their release. Felons in Missouri cannot vote until the completion of their sentence, cannot run for public office or hold certain jobs, cannot own a gun unless it is strictly for hunting, and must disclose their conviction history on most applications for jobs or rent.
Additionally, the possession of a “controlled dangerous substance” is also a felony. These are listed here, and is a comprehensive list divided into five different classes. The minimum charge for possessing a CDS without a legal prescription is a class C felony, which carries along with it between two to seven years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
The lone exception to Missouri’s felony drug possession laws is marijuana. In 2017, Missouri state law changed the possession of ten grams (or roughly a third of an ounce) of cannabis to a class D misdemeanor, which is punishable with a maximum $500 fine but, more importantly, no jail time. Possession of anywhere from 10 to 35 grams of marijuana (up to slightly more than one ounce) is now a Class A misdemeanor, which has a maximum punishment of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine. It should be noted that if you have a previous drug record, the possession of ten grams or less of cannabis is a class A misdemeanor as well.
What’s Changing About Drug Possession In Missouri
Opinions about drug possession–and marijuana in particular–are rapidly changing in the United States, and the St. Louis region is at the forefront of these changes and what it means for those facing drug possession charges in Missouri. Since 2018, the prosecutors in both St. Louis city and St. Louis County have instructed their staff to not lay drug possession charges on anyone caught with up to 100 grams, or a little more than three ounces, of marijuana on their person. This does not apply, though, if the accused is facing additional charges along with drug possession–there prosecutors are given free rein to charge them with possession.
The effort to legalize marijuana has also found fertile ground in Missouri, with medical marijuana approved by Missouri voters in 2018 by a nearly 2-1 margin. Now, those in possession of a valid MMJ card from a doctor can go to a dispensary and legally purchase and possess cannabis products. Across the Mississippi River in Illinois, cannabis was fully legalized by state government in 2020 for adults 21 and older. It has already proven a massive boost to local economies: Collinsville, which had the first legal dispensary in the Metro East, recorded brisk sales throughout 2020 and estimated that they would receive anywhere from $1.5 million to $2 million in additional sales tax revenue. Already multiple Missouri lawmakers and pressure groups are considering proposals to put adult-use cannabis on the ballot at an upcoming state election, which would doubtlessly change Missouri’s drug possession laws even further.
A Knowledgeable Missouri Drug Possession Lawyer Is Your Best Bet
With such a large hodgepodge of drug possession laws in Missouri, as well as differences in attitudes regarding drugs in different parts of the state, if you are ever facing drug possession charges in Missouri, you will likely be overwhelmed by what you may be up against. Hiring a St. Louis criminal defense attorney with a proven track record of getting the best outcomes for their clients is an important decision that can be the difference between you spending time behind bars and you being able to keep your freedom and put a troubling incident behind you.
Combs Law Group has an unparalleled track record of getting positive results for their St. Louis drug possession clients. We are well-versed in Missouri’s drug possession statutes, as well as how St. Louis-area prosecutors interpret said statutes. Our firm’s holistic approach to criminal defense means that we will prepare a proven, unique defense strategy for your case using the entirety of evidence surrounding your case, all while keeping the lines of communication between you and your attorney open at all times. Contact us today for a free document review, but before you do so take a look at what some of our previous clients have had to say about their experience working with the reputable St. Louis criminal defense attorneys at Combs Law Group.