Having a criminal defense lawyer in a drug possession case is the only way to go, it’s not as simple as it may seem. Craig M. Divine with Divine Law Office, LLC is a criminal defense lawyer that can help you with your drug possession case; he even offers free consultations! One of the most common criminal charges in Missouri is possession of an illegal controlled substance, such as marijuana, cocaine, opioids, and heroin, as well as chemicals that are used to cultivate and manufacture drugs. Get a criminal defense lawyer if you think you might be in a drug possession situation.
Drug crimes are one of the most prosecuted in the states of Missouri and Kansas, and you need a lawyer who specializes in these types of charges to evaluate and defend your case. Drug possession charges can come about in several ways, sometimes through no fault of your own. You could be at a party and have no idea there were drugs present, and still get in trouble just for being there! Even evidence of someone else’s drugs in your car can lead to criminal charges. Thankfully a criminal defense lawyer knows the laws and can help you with a drug possession charge. There are several types of possession charges, and each carries its own potential fines and punishments.
- Possession: Simple possession is often just a misdemeanor, and you may think its 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
If you have been charged with drug possession or another drug-related crime, you need a qualified, knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. A criminal record can affect your whole future, don’t let it take your future away from you! Call Craig Divine of Divine Law, LLC at (816)474-2240 or visit our website. We look forward to aiding in your case!