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Drug Offense Lawyer in St. Charles

As a criminal defense attorney, l represent individuals accused of nonviolent and violent offenses, including drug crimes, gun and weapons crimes, and assault and battery. Whenever possible, I aim to have charges dismissed or reduced.

Drug Offense Attorney Delivering Strong Advocacy in St. Charles and St. Louis

Drug crimes are among the most commonly filed criminal charges in St. Charles. Enforcement is often arbitrary and unfair. Convicted offenders are much more likely to be targeted and re-arrested. Conditions of probation and parole can last for years and frequently result in a return to detention.

Convictions follow offenders throughout their adult lives, resulting in many consequences, including making it more difficult to obtain housing and employment.

An experienced St. Charles drug offense lawyer should be consulted as soon as possible after arrest. Those accused should always take full advantage of their right to remain silent. You will not talk your way out of criminal charges. Even if you believe statements you make to police are in no way incriminating, your words may be twisted, your statements may conflict with existing evidence, or the information you provide to police may impact your defense lawyer’s ability to argue any number of defenses on your behalf.

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Missouri Drug Possession Laws

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:

  • Drug possession: With the exception of small amounts of marijuana, most drug possession charges in St. Louis are Class D or C felonies, punishable by 1 to 7 years in prison and fines up to $5,000, or up to 10 years and a $10,000 fine. This includes charges for possession of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
  • Possession with intent: Under MO RS 579.020, knowingly possessing a controlled substance with intent to distribute is a Class C felony, punishable by 3 to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. For those with less than 35 grams of marijuana, the charge is a Class E felony, with up to 4 years imprisonment. These charges often rely on circumstantial evidence, such as the amount of drugs found in your possession, and the presence of paraphernalia such as bags and scales.
  • Drug sales or trafficking: In most cases, these charges are considered either a Class A or Class B felony, depending on amount, your criminal record, and whether the alleged crime occurred near a school. Class B felonies are punishable by 5 to 15 years in prison. Class A felonies are punishable by 10 years to life behind bars. Repeat offenders are not offered the chance for parole.
  • Distribution: In most cases, charges of drug distribution in St. Louis are considered a Class B felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Those charged with distribution within 2,000 feet of a school face a Class A felony, punishable by up to life in prison unless the charge involves less than 5 grams of marijuana, in which case a defendant faces up to 7 years behind bars.
  • Manufacturing: Drug manufacturing charges are very serious criminal charges. Penalties depend upon type and weight of drugs. Charges of intent to distribute are often coupled with manufacturing charges, significantly increasing potential penalties. Property and asset seizures are also common.

Prescription Drug Crimes

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.

Drug Charges Defenses

Consulting an experienced St. Charles drug offense attorney 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 drug offense 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. Charles defense attorney, call Bert Fulk Attorney at Law today at 314-804-1853 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

Drug Offense Attorney Assisting Clients Facing Serious Legal and Personal Consequences

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.

Let me be your best defense

If you have been arrested for a drug-related offense in St. Charles or St. Louis or are afraid that you may be arrested, call Bert Fulk, Attorney at Law at 636-336-0749 or contact me online to schedule your initial consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

In Missouri, drug offense penalties can range from fines to imprisonment, depending on the substance, amount, and your criminal history. It's essential to understand the severity of these charges and how a conviction could affect your life, including employment opportunities and personal freedom. Our legal team is dedicated to guiding you through this challenging time.
If you're facing drug charges in St. Louis, it's crucial to consult with a drug offense attorney immediately. Our expertise in Missouri law helps us navigate the complexities of your case, aiming to reduce or dismiss charges where possible. Early legal advice can significantly impact the outcome of your case.
With a deep understanding of Missouri's legal system and a commitment to our clients' best interests, we strive to provide the most effective defense for those accused of drug offenses. If you or a loved one is in need, reach out to us for a consultation where we can discuss your case and how we can help.

Additional Information in St. Louis, Missouri

Missouri Revisor of Statutes - Section 579.015: This page details the penalties for possession or control of a controlled substance in Missouri. It explains the classifications and consequences for possessing different amounts and types of drugs, including marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids.
Most Policy Initiative - Drug Court:  An overview of Missouri's adult drug court system and its implications on participants, costs, and outcomes
Missouri Mental Health Foundation - Resources:  Comprehensive resources for substance use disorder services available in Missouri for those dealing with drug abuse issues.

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The information contained within this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Merely contacting an attorney does not immediately create an attorney/client relationship.

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