If you plead guilty to a marijuana ticket (even if it’s just a tiny amount), it will stay on your criminal record forever unless you get it expunged.
How To Get A Marijuana Ticket Expunged From Your Criminal Record
Expungement (removal) of marijuana and drug paraphernalia convictions is now possible in Missouri since the law changed in January 2018.
You have to wait 3 years after the conviction date to file a petition for expungement, and you must have a clean criminal record during that 3-year period of time.
You can file a petition for expungement yourself without hiring an attorney, but it is a complicated procedure. If your petition is rejected because you made a mistake, you will have to wait 1 year before re-filing.
There is a lifetime limit of 2 misdemeanors that you are allowed to get expunged in Missouri.
I discuss Missouri’s new expungement law in more detail in my previous blog post, “Missouri’s new expungement law allows many misdemeanor and felony records to be sealed.”
Jail Time Is Possible If You Plead Guilty To A Marijuana Ticket
Possession of 35 grams or less of marijuana is a class A misdemeanor in Missouri. The maximum possible penalty is 1 year in jail and a fine of $2,000.
First-time possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana is a class D misdemeanor in Missouri. The maximum possible penalty is a fine of $500 but no jail time. If you are NOT a first-time offender, a marijuana ticket for 10 grams or less is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of 1 year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Click here to read Missouri’s marijuana law, RSMO 579.015.
You can read more about why you should not plead guilty to a marijuana ticket in my blog post, “How To Keep Possession Of Marijuana Charges Off Your Criminal Record.”
Hire An Attorney To Fight Your Marijuana Ticket
An experienced attorney can help you avoid having a marijuana ticket on your criminal record.
In many cases, a marijuana ticket can be reduced to “Littering” and the defendant only has to pay a fine and court costs, with no court appearance required. In other cases, a marijuana ticket can be dismissed after probation is completed with no fine payment required.
Your attorney will discuss your case with you and give you an estimate of what kind of plea bargain deal is possible, including the amount of the fines and court costs that you will have to pay.
Criminal defense attorneys who have experience handling marijuana tickets usually offer a free consultation and can give you a flat-fee price quote for how much they will charge to represent you.
How To Find Out If You Qualify For A Public Defender For Your Marijuana Ticket
Unfortunately, public defenders don’t represent people for marijuana tickets in most municipal courts in Missouri.
But if your marijuana ticket is being prosecuted in state court (county circuit court) and you can prove you have no income, you might qualify. You will have to contact the public defender’s office in the county in which your case is being prosecuted and fill out an application to see if you qualify to have a public defender represent you.
Call St. Louis marijuana attorney Andrea Storey Rogers for a free consultation about your Missouri drug charges. Call Andrea at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected]