Criminal Defense Attorney Helps Keep Drug Possession off Record


Having a criminal defense attorney in a drug possession case is the only way to go about it. Craig M. Divine with Divine Law Office, LLC is a criminal defense attorney that can help you with your drug possession case; even offering free consultations! A good criminal defense attorney will tell you that every crime is defendable, but there are many layers to drug charges, and the penalties usually carry stiff sentences and often extended time in jail.

Charges for drug crimes cover a wide range and could be a minor in possession – which typically results in a misdemeanor, or possession with intent to distribute – which is always a felony. If you are charged with any kind of drug crime, the first thing you need to do is call a criminal defense attorney who will advise and guide you throughout the entire process, start to finish. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can explain the degree of the charges filed, defenses available to you, what plea bargains are going to be offered and what you can expect after trial or conviction. A criminal defense attorney can help keep drug crimes off your record through a variety of legal strategies and techniques, such as:

  • Negotiating a plea bargain: by negotiating with the prosecutor to reduce the charges or reach a plea bargain that avoids a conviction for drug crimes.
  • Challenging the evidence: this can be done by arguing that the evidence was obtained through an illegal search and seizure, or that the evidence is unreliable.
  • Proving legal justification: you may be able to show that you had a valid legal justification for the drug-related activity, such as medical necessity or prescription drug use.
  • Diversion programs: you may be able to qualify for a diversion program, such as drug court or probation, which allows you to complete treatment or other requirements in exchange for avoiding a criminal conviction.
  • Expungement: your lawyer may be able to help you get your drug-related charges expunged from your record after completing certain requirements, such as probation or community

Drug crimes are one of the most prosecuted in the states of Missouri and Kansas, and you need an attorney who specializes in these types of charges to evaluate and defend your case. There are several types of possession charges, and each carries its own potential fines and punishments.

  1. Possession: Simple possession is often just a misdemeanor, and you may think it’s easier to just pay a low fine and not have the costs associated with hiring a criminal defense lawyer, but paying the fine is a plea of guilty to a misdemeanor, and a 3rd plea on a misdemeanor charge could result in felony charges should you ever be cited a 4th time. With assistance from a criminal defense lawyer, it is often possible to keep a misdemeanor possession off your criminal record. Kansas City has recently changed its laws regarding marijuana – don’t be fooled though! A relatively harmless outcome may result in a criminal record. Quantities above 35 grams and for all schedule 1 narcotics possession is a felony and can carry with it significant jail time.
  2. Possession with Intent to Distribute: This charge will land you with a felony and significant jail time, if convicted. Often the determination for this charge is based on an officer’s perception of intent, as well as the quantity and packaging of the drugs and whether any other items used for measuring or packaging drugs are present. A criminal defense lawyer is knowledgeable on how to fight this charge.
  3. Trafficking: This is just the older sibling to ‘intent to distribute’. This charge often involves very large quantities found within a vehicle while in transport. You are especially vulnerable if you were in a vehicle from out of state when you were arrested.
  4. Paraphernalia: This is usually charged as a combination with ‘possession’ and ‘intent to distribute’, however it can be charged solely on its own. Residue in a pipe or hypodermic needle will often result in a possession of paraphernalia charge. Sometimes even common household items like tinfoil can be classified as paraphernalia if near illicit drugs. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can ensure that your rights have not been violated. A lawyer may also be able to negotiate a plea agreement to lesser charges.
  5. Asset Forfeiture: Due to the rise in credit and debit transactions and ecommerce payment apps such as Venmo, simply carrying large amounts of cash can raise suspicion of a law enforcement officer. Even worse if drugs are found on you as well. In situations like this, officers may seize your money and vehicle and initiate an asset forfeiture case. If the state convinces the judge your money was related to illegal drug activity – the state gets the money. Local law enforcement also may get benefits from this so there’s financial incentives from this type of case. A skilled criminal defense lawyer knows how fight back and return your money to its rightful owner.
  6. Minor in Possession: This is typically a companion case to possession when the cops show up to end a party that minors are attending. Even just attending a party where minors are drinking can be charged with minor in possession of alcohol. While this seems like a small thing, in Kansas a conviction for this offense can result in the loss of your driving privilege for one year even if you weren’t operating a motor vehicle. In both Kansas and Missouri offenders must take a series of drug and alcohol classes in addition to fines and court costs in these types of cases.

Craig Divine is a licensed criminal defense attorney in both Kansas & Missouri, representing clients from all over the Kansas City metro as well as the surrounding counties in both states. He also offers FREE consultations! If you need a lawyer that will handle your case with ease, call Divine Law Office LLC today at (816) 474-2240. You can also contact us online!

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