Drug Charges

Whether charged with possession, delivery, or manufacture of a controlled substance, you face serious consequences. In all instances with drug crimes the charges and punishment you face depends on type and amount of drug you possessed. It is important to talk to an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options and to ensure certain constitutional rights were protected during the arrest process. If not, you may have a valid defense to your case in addition to an opportunity to negotiate a plea deal. 

Drug Schedules

Controlled substances are categorized into five schedules based on risk of abuse or harm. Schedule I drugs have the highest risk for abuse or harm and no indicated medical use while Schedule V drugs have a relatively low potential for abuse or harm. Penalties for drug crimes depend on the schedule of drug that you possessed. Examples of each include:

  • Schedule I – Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse
  • Schedule II – Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.
  • Schedule III – Schedule III drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.
  • Schedule IV – Schedule IV drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence
  • Schedule V – Schedule V drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics.

Possession of a Controlled Substance

You can be charged with possession if you knowingly have a controlled substance. Know that marijuana is a controlled substance in the state of missouri despite recent changes to the law in other states. Possession of a controlled substance is a serious felony charge which may mean up to seven years in prison and fines up to $10,000.

Distribution of a Controlled Substance

Delivery in the state of Missouri includes delivery of a controlled substance, attempting to deliver a controlled substance, and even includes possessing a controlled substance with the intent to deliver the drug.

Delivery is a more severe charge and, as a result, has a harsher punishment. Delivery is a felony with prison time of three to ten years and fines up to $10,000.

Manufacture of a Controlled Substance

Manufacture of a controlled substance in Missouri is a crime and includes the attempt to manufacture, produce, or grow the substance as well as possession of the drug with the intent to manufacture, produce, or grow. The most serious of the drug offenses, conviction for manufacture is a Class B, or even Class A, felony in some cases. A Class B felony means prison time of five to fifteen years, while a Class A felony means ten to thirty years in jail or even life imprisonment.

Federal Penalties for Drug Crimes

Drug offenses are crimes under state as well as federal law. There are several ways a drug crime can be prosecuted federally including being arrested by a federal officer. Being prosecuted in the federal court system likely means more severe penalties. Talk to an attorney knowledgeable in drug crimes defense to help you understand whether the charges against you are pending in state or federal court and the consequences of both.