Hearing that you have been charged with a crime can bring a feeling of dread. The first step is to understand what you are facing. Our Missouri attorneys for drug possession defense explain what you should know if you are charged with possession of a controlled substance in Missouri.
What are the penalties for possession of a controlled substance in Missouri?
Possession of a controlled substance in Missouri is a violation of Missouri law § 579.015. Depending on the facts involved in the case, it may be a Class D felony, punishable by up to seven years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine. A prior conviction may elevate the offense classification and range of punishment. There are different rules for marijuana possession.
Can you lose your license for possession of a controlled substance in Missouri?
Possession of a controlled substance may result in the suspension of your driver’s license. Even if you are not under the influence, the state may revoke your driver’s license if you are found with a controlled substance while driving. In addition to your driver’s license, a conviction for possession of a controlled substance in Missouri may ultimately lead to the revocation of any other professional license that you may hold.
Are constitutional defenses possible for possession of a controlled substance?
If you are facing possession of a controlled substance, constitutional defenses may be available to you. The police must have valid grounds to conduct a traffic stop. Then, they must have a reason to detain you and conduct a search. They may not entrap you. In addition, the police may not coerce you into giving a statement in violation of your right to an attorney.
When the police violate your constitutional rights, the court may throw the case out or suppress certain evidence. However, you must bring the issue to the court’s attention. An experienced attorney can help you understand if a constitutional defense is an option for you.
Is drug court an option for possession?
Drug courts are growing in popularity in Missouri. If you are a non-violent, first-time offender, you may qualify to participate. There are program fees, regular court appearances, and drug testing. You can expect a personalized treatment program with significant requirements.
If you complete the drug court program, the court may dismiss the felony charge. If you fail to complete the program, the court may enter a conviction. Drug court can be a great way to avoid serious criminal charges on your record and significant jail time. However, it is not appropriate in all cases. An experienced attorney can help you determine if drug court is right for you.
Can you have a trial on drug possession charges in Missouri?
If you are charged with drug possession in Missouri, you have the right to contest the charges. The state must prove their case. There are several ways to attack the charges, including challenging whether you were the one in possession of the controlled substance and whether it was properly tested as a prohibited substance.
You have a right to a trial if you choose to have one. Your attorney can help you determine if going to trial is the best option for you.
What are your options if you are charged with possession of a controlled substance in Missouri?
If you are charged with possession of a controlled substance in Missouri, you have several options. You can plead not guilty and take your case to trial. That may be the best option. However, you may also pursue a plea agreement to reduce charges. The charge of possession itself may be a felony. Depending on the circumstances, an attorney may help you negotiate down to a misdemeanor and avoid exposure to significant consequences.
Missouri also offers a range of diversion and deferment programs. If you qualify and want to take advantage, these programs may help you achieve your objectives. There is no one clear best option in every case. It depends on the strength of the state’s case, the circumstances at the time of the events in question, your criminal history, your personal situation and what you want to do.
How our Controlled Substances Possession Attorneys Can Help You
Are you charged with possession of a controlled substance? Our attorneys can help you evaluate your options. There are many ways to respond to drug charges. What you should do depends on many factors. Let our lawyers put our experience to work to help you achieve the best possible result. Contact us today to talk about your case.