Possession of a Controlled Substance in Missouri

An open pill bottle of a person who may be charged with possession of a controlled substance in Missouri.

Missouri is known for having some of the toughest penalties for possession of a controlled substance in the U.S. If you’re arrested on possession in Missouri, unless it is a small amount of marijuana, you face prison time. Not all Missouri drug charges are handled the same. Some are more serious than others. 

Regardless of the circumstances of your arrest for possession of a controlled substance, it’s in your best interest to consult with a criminal defense lawyer in Jefferson City, Missouri, as soon as possible. 

Don’t gamble with your future. Contact Kirsch & Kirsch at 573-222-0826 today for your free initial consultation. 

Learn more about possession of a controlled substance in Cole County below. 

What is Possession of a Controlled Substance in Missouri?

Controlled substances are drugs that are only legal if a licensed medical professional prescribes them. In Missouri, “possession” doesn’t just mean the drugs in your hand or your pockets at the time of the arrest. 

If you have the ability to handle or control the drug (i.e., drugs your friend left in your car), then you may be considered to be in possession. Under the Controlled Substances Act, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) sets forth regulations and guidelines on all legal and illegal drugs. 

Missouri judges use these guidelines when determining penalties. There are five drug schedules; they include: 

  • Schedule I: These drugs typically have no medical purpose and are high-risk for potential abuse. They include drugs like heroin, meth, ecstasy, cocaine, marijuana, etc. 
  • Schedule II: Drugs with a specific medical purpose but have a higher than average abuse and substance dependence rate. Adderall, Methadone, Fentanyl, and other opiate derived drugs. 
  • Schedule III: Like Schedule II, Schedule III drugs have a medical purpose but are not as likely to be abused or cause dependency issues. A popular example of a Schedule III drug is codeine with Tylenol. 
  • Schedule IV: Drugs that have a lower likelihood of abuse or dependency. However, they can still become addictive. Examples include drugs like Xanax, Valium, and Tramadol. 
  • Schedule V: The least likely to cause serious issues, dependencies, or addictions, but they can still be dangerous if misused. This can include cough syrup and allergy medications. 

Penalties For Possession of a Controlled Substance

Exact penalties if convicted of possession of a controlled substance in Jefferson City depends on many factors and whether there were aggravating factors. Generally, the penalties for illegally possessing drugs in Missouri include: 

  • Class D misdemeanor: Fines up to $500
  • Class A misdemeanor: Potential jail time (up to one year) and fines up to $2,000
  • Class D felony: Up to 7-years in prison 

Jail time and fines are not the only consequences of a conviction. If convicted, it can be challenging to get a job in certain fields, find housing, vote, or own a firearm. 

If you are charged with the sale or distribution of a controlled substance, you face much harsher penalties. 

Potential Defenses to Drug Possession Charges

An experienced criminal defense attorney in Jefferson City, MO, will investigate the details of your case, comb through the evidence, and identify potential defenses. Common defenses can include: 

  • Illegal search and seizure 
  • You did not know that you possessed the drugs
  • The drugs belong to another person 
  • Unreliable witnesses 
  • Challenging the chain of custody
  • Unlawful reason for the traffic stop 

The prosecutor and arresting law enforcement agency may tell you that you have no chance. They might also bring additional charges against you to get you to plead guilty to some while they drop others. 

An experienced attorney in Jefferson City can see right through this. Don’t face a high-powered and experienced prosecutor alone when you don’t have to. Contact a proven criminal defense lawyer in Cole County today. 

Contact Kirsch & Kirsch Today

If you are charged with possession of a controlled substance in Jefferson City or surrounding areas, it’s recommended that you consult with a proven criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. 

An arrest doesn’t always mean a conviction. Before you accept a plea bargain or plead guilty to your charges, remember the consequences of doing so. Our dedicated team at Kirsch & Kirsch is here to help you through this time.

We have successfully helped countless clients to avoid convictions and receive lighter penalties. We get results. Give us a call today at 573-222-0826 for your free initial consultation.