Most drug crimes are charged as felonies in Missouri. The seriousness of the charge will depend on a wide range of factors, including type of drug, weight, presence of paraphernalia, proximity to a school, and previous criminal record. The variables make it difficult to make blanket statements when it comes to consequences. But the potential penalties are typically very serious. Some of the most common scenarios include:
The opioid epidemic has brought a drastic increase in the number of people charged with various prescription drug crimes.
There are a number of charges and potential consequences, depending upon the facts and circumstances of your case and the drugs involved.
The United States Controlled Substance Act divides drugs into 5 schedules, with Schedule 1 being the most serious, including crack, ecstasy, heroin and cocaine.
Many Class II drugs involve opioids or prescription painkillers. Class III also includes several abused painkillers, like codeine and morphine.
Consulting an experienced St. Louis criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible is the best thing you can do to protect your rights, your freedom and your future.
There are many defenses to drug charges, including seeking a reduction in charges that eliminate allegations of sales, intent to distribute or drug distribution; seeking a reduction or dismissal based on numerous legal grounds such as illegal search or seizure; seeking a reduction or dismissal based on a defendant’s criminal record; or seeking diversion or alternative sentencing such as a Sentence in Suspension or drug court, which can significantly reduce the consequences. In some cases, these options may even keep a criminal conviction off your permanent record.
Unfortunately, drug charges are increasingly targeting addicts who have never been in real trouble. In too many cases, they try to cooperate with law enforcement in an attempt to get themselves out of trouble. This is always a mistake. Regardless of what police tell you, their job is to make an arrest. They have no power to negotiate any sort of a reduction in penalties.
In other cases, defendants fail to understand the consequences of a drug conviction. Nor do they understand the serious additional penalties they may face in the event of a future drug charge with a drug conviction already on their criminal record.
In still other cases, defendants fail to understand all of the requirements of probation or suspended sentencing options, which can result in very significant periods of incarceration for any future violations. Probation officers are granted broad powers when it comes to drug searches, warrantless searches of your residence and personal property, and communications with your employer and family members.
As a veteran St. Louis defense attorney experienced in handling all types of drug charges, Bert W. Fulk understands how to minimize consequences, avoid many of the common pitfalls, and help clients reach a resolution that will allow them to successfully move on with their life.
If you need an experienced St. Louis defense attorney, call Bert Fulk Attorney at Law today at 314-804-1853 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
A frequent location for drug arrests is the traffic stop. Often, police officers stop a motorist on an unrelated issue, such as speeding or a non-functioning brake light. The police officer then asks to can search the vehicle. They need probable cause to conduct a search of a vehicle, but, unfortunately, most drivers consent to a search without knowing they have the option to say no. If you refused to consent to the search and the police officer performed one anyway, contact me immediately. Moreover, if your passenger had drugs in the vehicle without your knowledge and you were arrested because drugs were found, I fight to protect your rights and seek to have the charges dismissed.