Federal Drug Crimes
Both state and federal drug laws prohibit the possession, sale, manufacture, and delivery of controlled substances. A drug offense can become a federal drug crime if:
- An undercover federal law enforcement officer apprehended the defendant
- The defendant was arrested while committing the drug offense on federal property
- The drug crime crossed from one state to another (such as drug trafficking)
- The drug crime involved other offenses, such as money laundering, gang activity, or firearms
- The circumstances surrounding the drug crime makes it a more serious one and require severe punishment
Drug Charges in Missouri
In Missouri, an individual may be charged with any of the following drug-related offenses:
Under Missouri Revised Statutes Section 579.015, a person commits the offense of drug possession if he or she knowingly possesses a controlled substance, such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, and other synthetic cannabinoids.
Drug trafficking can be described as the unlawful distribution or sale of a controlled substance. Under Missouri Revised Statutes Section 195.222, "a person commits the offense of drug trafficking if he distributes, delivers, manufactures, produces or attempts to distribute, deliver, manufacture, or produce a controlled substance." Unlike other states, drug manufacturing, distribution, delivery, and production are classified under drug trafficking in the state of Missouri.
Drug Schedule Classifications
Furthermore, controlled substances are classified into "schedules" in Missouri. The schedule classifications usually depend on the drug's level of danger, medical use, and potential for abuse. The schedule classifications are defined as follows:
- Schedule I: These are drugs with a high potential for abuse and no widespread medical use. Some common examples include marijuana, heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and MDMA (Molly/Ecstasy).
- Schedule II: These are substances with a high potential for abuse but severe restrictions for medical treatments. Examples include cocaine, methamphetamines, opiates, opium, methadone, and Vicodin.
- Schedule III: These drugs have a lower potential for abuse compared to Schedule I or II drugs and are severely restricted for medical use. Examples include anabolic steroids, weight-loss drugs, ketamine, and antidepressants.
- Schedule IV: These substances have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs. They are suitable for medical purposes. Examples include Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, benzodiazepines, and other sedatives.
- Schedule V: These are drugs with the least potential for abuse and are used for medical treatments. Some common examples include cough syrups, Lyrica, Motofen, Parepectolin, and Lomotil.
If convicted of a drug crime in Missouri, the severity of the penalties will depend on the quantity of the drug found in the defendant's possession and the person's criminal history. Possible penalties for different offenses include:
- Possession of fewer than 10 grams of marijuana: This is a Class D misdemeanor. Punishable by a fine of up to $500.
- Possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana (with a previous drug conviction): This is a Class A misdemeanor. Punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
- Possession of between 10 grams and 35 grams of marijuana: This is a Class A misdemeanor. Punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
- Possession of more than 35 grams of marijuana: This is a Class D felony. Punishable by up to 7 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Possession of any controlled substance (apart from marijuana): This is a Class D felony. Punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Drug Trafficking or Distribution
- Distribution of less than five grams of marijuana: This is a class C felony. Punishable by between three to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Distribution of any controlled substance (except less than five grams of marijuana): This is a class B felony. Punishable by five to 15 years imprisonment.
- Distribution of a controlled substance within 2000 feet of a school: This is a class A felony. Punishable 10 to 30 years or life imprisonment.
Work With an Experienced
Criminal Defense Attorney
Trying to defend your drug crimes charges on your own, without proper guidance or legal representation, can increase your risk of being convicted and suffering the maximum penalties. If convicted, you could face massive fines, lengthy jail time, a criminal record, and other life-changing consequences. Therefore, when facing drug crimes charges, hiring a knowledgeable Missouri criminal defense attorney is crucial to help defend your rights and craft your defense strategy.
At the Doskocil Law Firm, I have devoted my career to offering reliable legal services and handling drug crimes cases. As your legal counsel, I will investigate every detail of your case and help you understand the available legal defenses for your situation. Using my extensive knowledge, I will help you navigate the Missouri criminal justice system and offer you the comprehensive representation you need in your case. Having me on your side can help increase your prospects of getting the best possible outcome for your situation.