About Drug Possession
St. Louis Drug Crime Lawyer
Have you or someone you love recently been arrested for drug possession? At The Sumner Law Group, we sympathize with what you are going through right now. While drug possession and use is generally a personal choice, the act of illegally possessing a controlled substance is criminalized in Missouri and carries harsh consequences under Missouri's criminal justice system.
The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) was put into effect by Congress as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. The CSA is the federal U.S. drug policy in which the possession, manufacture, and distribution of controlled substances is regulated. The CSA has 5 Schedules (classifications), with differing qualifications for a substance to be included in each category. It is the responsibility of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration to decide upon which substances are to be added or removed from each schedule.
Schedule I substances are the most serious and have the highest potential for abuse, they don't currently have an accepted medical use in the U.S., and there is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision.
The term "controlled substances" strictly refers to substances that are included under Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V of the CSA, and no prescriptions can be written for Schedule I substances. Schedule I drugs include but are not limited to:
- Benzyliperazine (BZP)
- MDMA "ecstasy"
Schedule II substance include: Cocaine, Opium, Oxycodone, Methadone, Ritalin, Adderall, Hydrocodone and others.
Possession of a Controlled Substance in Missouri
Drug possession is covered under Chapter 195, Drug Regulations, Section 195.202 of the Missouri Revised Statutes. Under § 195.202, it is unlawful for any person to possess or have under their control a controlled substance. Anyone who violates this section with the exception of 35 grams or less of marijuana or any synthetic cannabinoid is guilty of a Class C felony.
Any person who violates this section in respect to possessing no more than 35 grams of marijuana or any synthetic cannabinoid is guilty of committing a Class A misdemeanor.
In the State of Missouri, the penalties for a Class C felony include a maximum $5,000 fine and a maximum term of imprisonment of 7 years.
In Missouri, the penalties for a Class A misdemeanor includes a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to one year in jail.
Defending You Against Possession Charges
There is no question that we want to do whatever we can to avoid a conviction for drug possession, especially if you are facing felony charges. At The Sumner Law Group, one way that we defend clients against drug possession charges is to find out if their search and seizure rights have been violated.
Search and Seizure refers to when the police or other members of law enforcement search someone's property and confiscate evidence they believe is relevant to a crime. In some cases, law enforcement is required to obtain a search warrant before they can engage in any form of a search and seizure. At times when evidence has been seized illegally in a search, a criminal defense attorney may be able to get the evidence rejected by filing a motion to suppress the evidence under the exclusionary rule.
Under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, citizens have the right to secure their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. These rights shall not be violated and no warrants shall be issued unless there is probable cause, supported by Oath of affirmation describing the location to be searched and the persons or items to be seized. If we can determine that evidence was obtained in violation of your search and seizure rights, then we may be able to get the evidence against you suppressed, which may lead to getting your charges dropped.
The state and federal drug laws are complex; however, with the help of an aggressive St. Louis drug crime lawyer from our firm, you may be able to reach a highly favorable outcome in the drug charges against you.