Drug Crimes Attorney in St. Louis, Missouri
If you’ve recently been arrested for a drug-related offense, you need to seek legal representation immediately. You may be angry or in denial about your drug charges, you may feel overwhelmed with the complexity of the criminal justice system, or you may feel discouraged from taking any steps to defend yourself.
The truth is that anyone can benefit from working with a criminal defense attorney, regardless if you feel you’re guilty, innocent, or somewhere in between. The possible penalties for drug crimes can be extensive and an experienced lawyer can help you understand your options to help minimize them. If you’d like legal help in St. Louis, Missouri, or throughout St. Louis City and St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin counties, call Bretz Legal, LLC to schedule a consultation.
Federal Drug Crime
It’s common to be confused about what you’ve been charged with, especially knowing when a state drug becomes a federal drug crime. Certain crimes can be bumped up to the federal level which typically means harsher penalties.
One way this can happen is if you are charged with the selling or distribution of drugs and you crossed state lines to do it. Many times, drug offenses that occur entirely within the borders of one state will only be charged at the state level. Another way that you could face a federal charge is if you were charged with drug possession and the amount you were caught with exceeded a certain limit. You may also see federal charges if the crime you were charged with happened on federal property such as a national park or reservation.
In some cases, you may be facing state and federal charges simultaneously, which makes working with a qualified attorney in your area even more important.
Drug Charges in Missouri
Drug charges occur for many different reasons, and your specific charges will inform your defense and your potential penalties. They can also be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony and, in general, felonies carry with them harsher penalties including jail time of over a year.
Drug manufacturing can cover any production, cultivation, or manufacture of a drug such as growing marijuana, mushrooms for psilocybin, or cooking methamphetamine. Manufacturing charges could also include drug trafficking which are charged as Class A, B, or C felonies in Missouri.
Drug selling or attempting to sell a drug are charges with varying levels of consequences. The severity will depend on the type of drug and the amount. You will also see more severe charges if you were caught selling drugs to someone who is under the age of 17 and at least two years younger than you.
Drug delivery charges are typically less harsh than a charge for a drug sale. This is because a delivery charge only means that you gave or transferred drugs to someone else, not necessarily sold them. However, the amount of drug you were caught delivering will have a substantial impact on the consequences.
Drug possession refers to willfully possessing illegal substances. A simple possession charge will often be classified as a misdemeanor in Missouri, but more serious charges, like possession with intent to sell, can be classified as felonies. Marijuana possession charges are usually classified at a lower level than other drugs.
Controlled substances are classified into one of five schedules, with Schedule I being the most serious and Schedule V being the least serious.
Schedule I drugs are considered to be highly dangerous and addictive and have no known medical purpose. Common examples of this are LSD, marijuana, and heroin.
Schedule II drugs also have a high risk for abuse and dependence, but have more agreed-upon medical uses. These include cocaine, morphine, oxycodone, and methylphenidate.
Schedule III, IV, and V drugs are believed to have a very low incidence of abuse and addiction, have commonly known medical uses, and include many prescription and over-the-counter drugs such as Robitussin AC, anti-anxiety drugs like diazepam and alprazolam, or acetaminophen with codeine.
The penalties for a conviction for a drug-related crime can be far-reaching. Of course, the specific consequences you’ll face will be dependent on the actual crimes you were charged with and the quality of your legal defense. That said, many individuals who are convicted could face:
Many of those with drug convictions will also be barred from owning or purchasing a firearm. In some cases, you may receive an alternative sentence such as being required to attend a treatment program, though these are typically reserved for first-time offenders or minors.
Drug Crimes Attorney Serving St. Louis, Missouri
If you’re facing drug charges of any kind and are in the St. Louis, Missouri, area, you need a knowledgeable and motivated attorney who can help. When you work with Bretz Legal, LLC, you have a skilled and understanding lawyer on your side who will listen to your story and build your best possible defense. Call now to set up an appointment.