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Drug Offenses

Criminal Law
Drug Offenses

Jefferson City Drug Charges Lawyer

Drugs can have harmful, even deadly side effects. This is partly why laws exist to attempt to control who can obtain drugs, such as doctors and pharmacists. The goal of these laws is also to control how much of a certain drug a person can ingest, which is why drugs are prescribed by medical professionals. Generally, drugs are known as controlled substances.

Unfortunately, drugs are sometimes abused by taking more than prescribed or taking drugs that are prescribed to a different person. Other people violate the law by making their own drugs or buying drugs from unauthorized people. Missouri has enacted many criminal laws that make it illegal to possess or distribute controlled substances. These criminal laws have a variety of consequences, some of which are severe. These criminal laws are known as drug offenses.

What is a Drug Offense?

It’s illegal to deliver, make, possess, and sell most types of drugs. Many drugs are difficult to obtain because they are generally found only in hospitals and pharmacies. There are, however, a few types of drugs that are commonly seen in the criminal justice system. Some of these include cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, and occasionally opioids (pills). The main types of drug offenses are possession of a controlled substance, delivery of a controlled substance, manufacture of a controlled substance and drug trafficking.

One of the most common drug offenses is the possession of a controlled substance. It is important to note that persons can commit a drug offense without having the drug on them. Drug offenses can be charged based upon actual possession or constructive possession. Actual possession indicates that the offender had drugs on their person, or within their reach and control. For example, drugs found in the center console of a car are likely within the reach and control of the driver. Constructive possession indicates that the drugs are or were in the dominion or control of a person. Drugs located in a person’s house may be under that person’s dominion and control even though the person may not have been in the house when the drugs were found.

Another common category of drug offense is the delivery of controlled substances, which can include possessing a drug with the intent to distribute or sell it. The larger the quantity or amount of drugs that a person possesses, the more likely it is that a law enforcement officer will conclude that the drugs were intended to be sold. The penalty for a drug offense involving the distribution of a controlled substance or possessing a drug with the intent to sell it can be severe.

What is the Punishment for a Drug Offense?

The punishments for a drug offense vary depending on the type of offense. For example,  the punishment for the drug offense involving the delivery or distribution of a drug is usually more severe than simply possessing the drug. But, the amount of the drug and the type of drug can also influence the consequence. Some drug offenses are felonies and some are misdemeanors. A more detailed discussion of felonies and misdemeanors can be found here.

The punishment can be even more substantial if a firearm is discovered in connection with the drug offense. The possession of a firearm in conjunction with a drug offense can also result in separate criminal charges. The severity of the offense where a firearm was involved can also vary depending on whether the firearm was brandished or discharged.

Is Marijuana a Drug Offense?

It is illegal to possess marijuana in Missouri unless you have a medical marijuana card. There are also strict rules regarding the legal possession of marijuana by cardholders. Currently, Missouri has legalized medical marijuana only and has not yet legalized marijuana for all purposes. In addition, it is unlawful to possess edible marijuana, even if you legally purchase the edible marijuana in another state.

What Do I Do if I Have Been Arrested for a Drug Offense?

If you have been arrested for a drug offense it is essential to call our office and speak with an experienced Jefferson City criminal law attorney. Scott Hamblin has more than twenty years of experience handling criminal drug offense cases. It is also important to avoid discussing the offense with anyone prior to meeting with an attorney.  Scott Hamblin is a former Cole County prosecuting attorney that now utilizes that experience to assist his clients. Scott has been selected as one of the Top 100 lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association in the area of criminal defense, including drug offense cases. He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. If you have been arrested for a drug offense in the areas of Boone, Callaway, Camden, Cole, Maries, Moniteau, Miller, Morgan and Osage counties, contact attorney Scott A. Hamblin for help today.

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Scott will keep you up to date on all important developments in your case. When you need to get in touch with him, he will be there to answer your call or return it promptly.

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