Your marijuana and drug paraphernalia tickets can be dismissed or reduced to “Littering” with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
An Attorney Can Get Your Marijuana And Drug Paraphernalia Tickets Dismissed Or Reduced To “Littering”
If you hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you for your marijuana and drug paraphernalia tickets, here are the options for the outcome of your case:
- Your marijuana or drug paraphernalia ticket could be completely dismissed after a period of probation
- Your marijuana or drug paraphernalia ticket could be reduced to “Littering”
- The Prosecutor might agree to not file the charges for your marijuana or drug paraphernalia ticket
In many cases involving misdemeanor marijuana and drug paraphernalia tickets, your attorney will handle everything without requiring you to appear in court.
You will have to pay a fine and court costs if your ticket gets reduced to “Littering.”
If your marijuana or drug paraphernalia ticket gets reduced to “Littering,” the conviction for “Littering” will not show up on a standard criminal background check.
If your case involves probation, you won’t have to pay a fine, but you might have to complete a 1-day drug education class or do a few hours of community service. Your attorney will be able to tell you what to expect.
The outcome of your case depends on the following:
- Which court is your case being prosecuted in?
- Do you have any prior drug-related convictions on your criminal record?
- How old are you?
- How much marijuana did you have in your possession?
- Does your attorney have experience handling marijuana or drug paraphernalia tickets?
Penalties For Marijuana And Drug Paraphernalia Possession in Missouri Can Include Jail Time
The penalties for misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) and drug paraphernalia in Missouri are:
- 10 Grams or Less of Marijuana (first-time offender) = $500 fine but no jail time
- 10 Grams or Less of Marijuana (not a first-time offender) = $2,000 fine and 1 year in jail
- Drug Paraphernalia (first-time offender) = $500 fine but no jail time
- Drug Paraphernalia (not a first-time offender) = $2,000 fine and 1 year in jail
- 11 to 35 grams of Marijuana= $2,000 fine and 1 year in jail
What Happens If You Plead Guilty To A Marijuana Or Drug Paraphernalia Ticket
If you plead guilty to any of the criminal offenses listed above, you will have a drug conviction on your criminal record. This applies if you are a first-time offender or repeat offender, and regardless of whether your case is being prosecuted in state court or municipal court.
Having a drug conviction on your criminal record (even a misdemeanor conviction for a small amount of marijuana) can prevent you from getting a job, renting an apartment, or obtaining federal aid for college.
Missouri Marijuana And Drug Paraphernalia Laws
If you want to read Missouri’s law regarding possession of a controlled substance, it is RSMO 579.015
Missouri’s law regarding unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia is RSMO 579.074
To read more about Missouri’s marijuana laws, see my previous blog post, “Marijuana Has Not Been Decriminalized in Missouri.”
How To Get Marijuana And Drug Paraphernalia Tickets Expunged From Your Criminal Record
Missouri’s new expungement law went into effect on January 1, 2018. It allows people to file a petition for expungement to request the removal of old marijuana and drug paraphernalia convictions.
- To qualify for expungement of a misdemeanor, you must have a clean criminal record for at least 3 years.
- You are allowed to expunge a total of 2 misdemeanors during your lifetime
- You can file the petition for expungement yourself, but you are more likely to be successful if you hire an attorney to file the petition for you
Here is a link to the court form to file a petition for expungement.
For more information about Missouri’s new expungement law, you can read my previous blog post, “Missouri’s New Expungement Law Allows Many Misdemeanors & Felony Criminal Records To Be Sealed.”
How Much Will It Cost To Hire An Attorney To Represent You For Your Marijuana And Drug Paraphernalia Tickets?
Before hiring an attorney, you should call around and talk to a few criminal defense attorneys until you find someone you feel comfortable with.
Most criminal defense attorneys offer a free consultation and charge a flat-fee price. An experienced attorney can assess your case and give you an estimate of the outcome, including fines and court costs.
How To Find Out If You Qualify For A Public Defender
Public Defenders don’t represent people charged with misdemeanors in most municipal courts in Missouri. But if your case is being prosecuted in state court and you have no income or assets, you might qualify for a Public Defender.
You can contact the Missouri State Public Defender’s office and fill out an Application for Public Defender Services to see if you qualify. Or you can go to court on your court date and ask the judge to appoint a public defender to represent you.
To get a free consultation about your Missouri marijuana and drug paraphernalia tickets, contact attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or [email protected]