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St. Louis Criminal Defense Law Blog

Monday, August 17, 2015

Missouri Drug Possession Cases

Perhaps the most common case I see is felony drug possession.  In Missouri, most drug possession cases are classified as a “C Felony.” 

The exact language that Missouri courts use is “Possession Of Controlled Substance Except 35 Grams Or Less Of Marijuana,” which tends to confuse people.  Under Missouri criminal law, possession of 35 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor.  Possession of marijuana becomes a felony if the quantity exceeds 35 grams (about 1¼ ounces).  Possession of other controlled substances – such as heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and prescription drugs for which there is not a valid prescription – is always a felony.  And possession of other controlled substances is classified as the same offense as possession of more than 35 grams of marijuana.  That’s why a defendant’s warrant, bond, or other paperwork will indicate that the charge is “Possession Of Controlled Substance Except 35 Grams Or Less Of Marijuana” – even if the drug in question was heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, or something else.

              Courts are becoming more understanding about drug cases, and Missouri state courts usually emphasize treatment.  Sometimes a case may have a constitutional issue, such as a stop without a valid basis or a search without consent or probable cause.  Other times there is a legal defense, such as an allegation that the police planted the drugs, the drugs belonged to someone else (either a co-defendant or someone who was not charged), or the defendant was unaware that the drug was there.  But usually the focus of the case will be to help the defendant obtain treatment and address his or her drug problem. 

              If you have been arrested for possession of an illegal drug, or if there is a warrant for your arrest, please call criminal defense attorney W. Scott Rose at (314) 812-4700.  I represent clients in drug possession cases in Saint Louis County, Saint Louis City, Jefferson County, and Saint Charles County.




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