How To Get Your Marijuana And Drug Paraphernalia Tickets Dismissed Or Reduced To “Littering”

marijuana and drug paraphernalia tickets

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.

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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]

A Marijuana Ticket Stays On Your Criminal Record Forever Unless You Get It Expunged

marijuana ticket

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.
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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]

Penalties For Possession Of Marijuana In Missouri

marijuana and drug paraphernalia tickets

Penalties for possession of marijuana in Missouri range from a $500 fine and no jail time (for first-time possession of 10 grams or less) to 7 years in prison and a $10,000 fine (for felony possession of more than 35 grams).

Here is a link to a chart showing Missouri penalties for possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, hash and concentrates, as well as the penalties for the sale, trafficking, distribution, and cultivation of marijuana in Missouri.

Possession of Marijuana Has Not Been Decriminalized in Missouri

Missouri law regarding marijuana possession considers marijuana a controlled substance, which is illegal to possess, use, grow, or sell in Missouri.

In 2017, the penalty for first-time possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana was decreased to just a fine of $500 and no possibility of jail time. Regardless of that fact, marijuana has not been decriminalized in Missouri.

Therefore, if you plead guilty to unlawful use of drug paraphernalia or possession of marijuana (even 10 grams or less), you will end up with a drug conviction on your criminal record. Having a drug conviction on your record will make it very difficult to find a job, rent an apartment, or get federal financial aid for college.

How To Avoid Getting Caught With Marijuana

The best way to avoid getting caught with weed is to restrict yourself to smoking it in your own home. If you smoke pot at home and decide to go out later, you should take a shower and change your clothes before leaving your house, and don’t bring any weed or paraphernalia with you. If you do bring weed or paraphernalia with you in your car, don’t leave it out in the open where a police officer could easily see it.

Of course, if you feel impaired in any way, do not drive, or else you risk getting charged with DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs).

Even if you are not impaired, if a police officer pulls you over for a traffic violation and smells marijuana on your clothes or in your car, the officer can search your car without your consent. If the officer finds a baggy of weed or a one-hitter in your car, the officer may arrest you but will more likely just give you a ticket for possession of marijuana and/or drug paraphernalia and let you go.

For more helpful tips for avoiding a drug conviction, see my previous blog post “Best & Worst Places to Smoke Weed in Missouri.”

An Attorney Can Keep Marijuana Charges Off Your Criminal Record

You will need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you if you want to keep marijuana or drug paraphernalia charges off your criminal record.

It is very common for my clients to never have to appear in court. However, the outcome of your case depends on many factors, such as:

  • How old are you?
  • Do you have any prior drug-related arrests, charges, or convictions?
  • Which court is your case being prosecuted in?
  • How much marijuana were you caught with?
  • Were you cooperative and polite to the police officer?

Most attorneys offer a free consultation and can give you a flat-fee price quote for how much they will charge to represent you, including an estimate of the fines and court costs you will have to pay to the court to get your charges reduced.

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Contact St. Louis marijuana lawyer Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or [email protected] for a free consultation about your Missouri marijuana or drug paraphernalia charges.

How To Keep Possession Of Marijuana Charges Off Your Criminal Record

medical marijuana card

Keep possession of marijuana charges off your criminal record by hiring an attorney to get them dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense.

Missouri Marijuana Penalties Can Include Jail Time

The maximum penalties for misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) or 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

If you plead guilty to any of the criminal offenses listed above, you will have a drug conviction on your criminal record, regardless of whether your case is prosecuted in state court or municipal court. This is true even if you are a first-time offender charged with a crime for which there is no possibility of jail time.

Missouri’s law regarding possession of a controlled substance is RSMO 579.015

Missouri’s law regarding unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia is RSMO 579.074

For more information about Missouri’s marijuana laws, you can read my previous blog post, “Marijuana Has Not Been Decriminalized in Missouri.”

How Long Does Possession Of Marijuana Stay On Your Criminal Record?

If you plead guilty to possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia, the conviction will stay on your criminal record forever unless you get it expunged.

Missouri’s new expungement law that went into effect January 1, 2018 provides people with the opportunity to expunge misdemeanor marijuana and drug paraphernalia convictions. You must have a clean record for 3 years before filing the petition for expungement, and there is a lifetime limit of 2 misdemeanors that you can get expunged.

I discussed Missouri’s new expungement law in my previous blog post “Missouri’s New Expungement Law Allows Many Misdemeanor & Felony Criminal Records To Be Sealed.”

Why You Should Not Plead Guilty To Possession Of Marijuana

Even if you were caught with just a pipe or a very small amount of pot, you will have a drug conviction on your permanent criminal record if you plead guilty.

Having a conviction for misdemeanor marijuana or drug paraphernalia can prevent you from getting a job, renting an apartment, getting a scholarship, or obtaining federal student aid. Drug convictions can also cause you to be evicted from government subsidized housing.

An Attorney Can Get Your Marijuana & Drug Paraphernalia Charges Dismissed Or Reduced To A Less Serious Offense

If you have been charged with possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia, here are your options:

  • Go to court on your own without an attorney and plead guilty (not recommended)
  • Go to court and plead not guilty and have a trial (expensive, and you risk being convicted)
  • Go to court and ask the judge for a continuance of the court date (this gives you more time to hire an attorney)
  • Hire an attorney to get your drug charges dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense, such as “Littering”

Pleading guilty to possession of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia is a bad idea because you will end up with a drug conviction on your permanent criminal record.

Going to trial for drug possession is risky and expensive, and you lose the opportunity to get a favorable plea bargain deal.

Having an experienced attorney represent you is your best option if you want to avoid having a drug conviction on your criminal record. Your attorney will advocate for you and negotiate the best possible plea bargain deal for you.

The outcome of your case depends on many factors, but your attorney may be able to get your charges completely dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense, such as “Littering.”

What To Do If You Can’t Afford An Attorney To Represent You For Your Marijuana Ticket

In most counties in Missouri, public defenders do not represent people charged with misdemeanor marijuana or drug paraphernalia in municipal court.

If your marijuana or drug paraphernalia case is being prosecuted in state court instead of municipal court and you can’t afford to hire a private attorney, you can contact the Missouri public defender’s office in the county in which you were charged to see if you qualify for a public defender.

You will have to fill out an application and provide proof of your finances before the public defender’s office will consider representing you. If someone paid your bond for you, or if you have any assets, the public defender may refuse to represent you. You could also go to court and ask the judge to appoint an attorney to represent you, but that option is not available in all courts.

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For a free consultation about your Missouri marijuana or drug paraphernalia ticket, contact criminal defense attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email Andrea at [email protected]

Marijuana Has Not Been Decriminalized in Missouri

marijuana ticket

Contrary to popular belief, marijuana has not been decriminalized in Missouri. Pleading guilty to marijuana possession will cause you to have a drug conviction on your criminal record, even if you were not arrested and there was no possibility of jail time.

What Does Decriminalization Mean?

“Decriminalization” means something that used to be considered a crime is no longer a crime. So, when people hear marijuana has been decriminalized, they think that means it’s no longer illegal.

Here’s the true story about “decriminalization” of marijuana:  Missouri law changed a few years ago so that first-time offenders caught with drug paraphernalia or 10 grams or less of marijuana face a maximum penalty of only a $500 fine with no possibility of jail time.

That doesn’t mean possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia is now legal; you will still end up with a drug conviction on your criminal record if you plead guilty. But there is no jail time for first-time possession of drug paraphernalia or 10 grams or less of marijuana.

PLEASE NOTE:  If you have prior drug-related convictions, that means you are not a first-time offender, so the maximum penalty would be 1 year in jail and a fine of $2,000 for possession of drug paraphernalia or 10 grams or less of marijuana.

Marijuana And Drug Paraphernalia Tickets Are Not The Same As Traffic Tickets

This is what I wish more people understood about marijuana and drug paraphernalia tickets in Missouri:  A ticket for possession of drug paraphernalia or a small amount of marijuana is NOT the same as a traffic ticket.

I’ve had many clients tell me that the police officer who issued their marijuana or paraphernalia tickets told them all they have to do to resolve their case is pay the fine because it’s just like a traffic ticket. This is not true. There are long-term negative consequences of pleading guilty to even a small amount of marijuana.

I’m sure many people who plead guilty to marijuana possession know they will end up with a conviction, but they plead guilty anyway because it’s cheaper than hiring an attorney to represent them in court. However, I believe some people plead guilty to possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia without knowing their guilty plea will result in a drug conviction on their criminal record.

Consequences of Having a Drug Conviction On Your Criminal Record

Here are some of the consequences of having even just a misdemeanor conviction for a small amount of weed on your criminal record:

  • The drug conviction will show up on your criminal record and will prevent you from getting a job
  • You may be denied federal student aid for college
  • Most landlords will be unwilling to rent an apartment to you
  • You could be evicted from government-subsidized housing

You can avoid a drug conviction if you hire an attorney to get your charges dismissed or reduced to a less serious crime, such as “Littering.”

Penalties For Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession In Missouri

As I stated previously, marijuana has not been decriminalized in Missouri. It is still illegal to possess marijuana or drug paraphernalia in Missouri.

If you get charged with misdemeanor marijuana or drug paraphernalia possession in Missouri, here are the maximum potential penalties:

  • Maximum penalty for possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana = $500 fine but no jail time (for first-time offenders)
  • Maximum penalty for possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana = $2,000 fine and 1 year in jail (if you have prior convictions)
  • Maximum penalty for possession of drug paraphernalia = $500 fine but no jail time (for first-time offenders)
  • Maximum penalty for possession of drug paraphernalia = $2,000 fine and 1 year in jail (if you have prior convictions)
  • Maximum penalty for possession of 35 grams or less = $2,000 fine and 1 year in jail

Even if you were not arrested and jail time is not a possibility in your case, you will still end up with a misdemeanor drug conviction on your criminal record if you plead guilty to:

  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  • Possession of Marijuana (10 grams or Under)
  • Possession of Marijuana (35 grams or Under)

This is true whether your drug charge is a municipal ordinance violation prosecuted in municipal court or a state violation prosecuted in circuit court.

Hire an Attorney To Help You Avoid a Marijuana Conviction

Instead of pleading guilty to drug charges, you can hire a criminal defense attorney to get your marijuana or drug paraphernalia charges dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense, such as “Littering.”

When facing drug charges, your options are:

  • Plead guilty (The judge will sentence you and you will have a drug conviction on your criminal record)
  • Go to trial (This option is expensive, and you risk losing at trial and having a drug conviction on your criminal record)
  • Get drug charges reduced to a less serious offense, such as “Littering” (No drug conviction on your criminal record)

In some courts, the Prosecutor might agree to one of the following plea bargain deals:

  • Deferred Prosecution
  • Diversion Program
  • Dismissal of Charges After Probation
  • Dismissal of Charges After Completing a Drug Education Class and Community Service
  • Reduction of Charges to “Littering” After Paying a Fine

There are many options available when you are facing drug charges. The outcome of your case depends on your criminal history, your age, the specific details of your case, which court your case is being prosecuted in, and whether you have an experienced attorney representing you.

If you can’t afford to hire a private criminal defense attorney, you can contact the public defender’s office in the county in which you were charged and apply for a public defender.

 


Contact St. Louis marijuana lawyer Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or [email protected] for a free consultation about your Missouri marijuana or drug paraphernalia tickets.

How To Fight Your Marijuana or Drug Paraphernalia Ticket

medical marijuana card

Fight your Missouri marijuana or drug paraphernalia ticket by hiring an experienced attorney to get your drug charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, such as “Littering.”

The outcome of your case depends on many factors, including the following:

  • Which court is your marijuana or drug paraphernalia ticket being prosecuted in?
  • Do you have any prior drug-related arrests, charges, or convictions?
  • Did you confess to the police officer that you were in possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia?
  • How old are you?

An Attorney Can Fight Your Marijuana or Drug Paraphernalia Charges

Most criminal defense attorneys offer a free consultation, in which they will discuss your case and help you determine whether you should go to trial or negotiate a plea bargain deal to get your marijuana or drug paraphernalia ticket dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, such as “Littering.”

If you choose the plea bargain option, your attorney will negotiate a plea bargain deal with the Prosecuting Attorney, guide you through the entire court process, and appear in court with you if a court appearance is required. Some of the possible plea bargain deals your attorney could negotiate on your behalf include:

  • Dismiss your marijuana or drug paraphernalia ticket after completion of a Diversion Program
  • Reduce your marijuana or drug paraphernalia ticket to a lesser offense, such as “Littering”
  • Dismiss your marijuana or drug paraphernalia ticket after completion of a drug education class and/or community service
  • Dismiss your marijuana or drug paraphernalia ticket after completion of a period of probation

Punishment for Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession or Drug Paraphernalia

Here is a list of the maximum potential penalties in Missouri for misdemeanor marijuana or drug paraphernalia tickets:

  • 1st-time offense – 10 grams or less of marijuana:  $500 fine & no jail time
  • 1st-time offense – drug paraphernalia:  $500 fine & no jail time
  • 2nd-time offense – 10 grams or less of marijuana:  $2,000 fine & 1 year in jail
  • 2nd-time offense – drug paraphernalia:  $2,000 fine & 1 year in jail
  • Possession of 11 to 35 grams of marijuana:  $2,000 fine & 1 year in jail
  • Possession of 36 grams – 30kg is a felony:  $10,000 fine & 7 years in prison

*It is highly unlikely that you will face any jail time for possession of a small amount of weed or drug paraphernalia if you have an experienced attorney representing you.

Click here for more information about Missouri possession of controlled substances law.

Marijuana or Drug Paraphernalia Possession Has NOT Been “De-Criminalized”

Possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana or drug paraphernalia are still considered crimes, and if you plead guilty, you will end up with a drug conviction on your criminal record.

A recent change in Missouri law removed the possibility of jail time for a first-time offense of possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana or a first-time offense of possession of drug paraphernalia, so that’s why some people believe possession of a small amount of marijuana or drug paraphernalia has been “de-criminalized.” However, this is misleading because you will still be considered a criminal with a drug conviction on your record if you plead guilty to 10 grams or less of marijuana or drug paraphernalia in Missouri.

If you have any prior drug-related arrests, charges, or convictions on your criminal record and you get caught with 10 grams or less of marijuana or drug paraphernalia, you are NOT considered a first-time offender, so the maximum penalty would be a $2,000 fine and 1 year in jail, instead of a $500 fine and no jail time.

Don’t Plead Guilty to a Marijuana or Drug Paraphernalia Ticket

Police officers often tell defendants that a marijuana or drug paraphernalia ticket is just like a speeding ticket, and all the defendant has to do is go to court and pay the fine.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Don’t take legal advice from the police officer who is giving you a ticket.
  • A ticket for 10 grams or less of marijuana is NOT the same as a speeding ticket.

It may be tempting to plead guilty and pay the $150 fine for a marijuana or drug paraphernalia ticket you received at a concert in Maryland Heights (for example) instead of hiring a lawyer to get you a better deal. But if you plead guilty, you will end up with a drug conviction on your permanent criminal record, which will prevent you from getting a job, renting an apartment, or obtaining federal financial aid for college. You may also be evicted from government-subsidized housing if you plead guilty to a marijuana or drug paraphernalia ticket.

In the short term, it is much cheaper to just pay the fine for a marijuana or drug paraphernalia ticket and be done with it, but having a drug conviction on your criminal record will cost you much more in the long run.

 


To fight your Missouri marijuana or drug paraphernalia ticket, call St. Louis marijuana attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected] for a free consultation and a flat-fee price quote for legal representation.

No Jail Time For 10 Grams or Less of Marijuana in Missouri

As of January 1, 2017, possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana in Missouri is punishable by a $500 fine but no jail time.

New Missouri Law Eliminates Jail Time For Possession of Small Amount of Marijuana by First-Time Offenders

According to a new Missouri law, possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana by a first-time offender (with no prior convictions for drug possession) is a Class D misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500 but no possibility of jail time.

In the past, there was no separate misdemeanor class for possession of 10 grams or less, so it was considered a Class A misdemeanor.

Pleading Guilty to Possession of 10 Grams or Less of Marijuana Will Show Up As a Drug Conviction On Your Criminal Record

Many people think this new Missouri law “decriminalizes” possession of  a small amount of pot, but that’s not true. Others say getting caught with pot is now like getting a speeding ticket, but that’s also not true.

If you plead guilty to possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana in Missouri, you will have a drug conviction on your permanent criminal record. The only difference is that the new law eliminates the possibility of jail time for possession of 10 grams or less for first-time offenders.

You Can Be Arrested For Possession of 10 Grams or Less of Marijuana

Even though you can’t be sent to jail for possession of 10 grams or less of weed under Missouri’s new law if you are a first-time offender, you can still be arrested, and the record of that arrest will show up on your criminal record.

New Missouri Marijuana Law Applies to First-Time Offenders Only

If you are a first-time offender and you plead guilty to possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana in Missouri, there is no possibility of jail time, but you can be fined up to $500 and you will have a drug conviction on your permanent criminal record.

Keep in mind that having a drug conviction on your criminal record can prevent you from getting a job, renting an apartment, getting federal student loans for college, etc.

Higher Fine For Repeat Offenders Caught With 10 Grams or Less of Marijuana

The new Missouri law applies to first-time offenders only. If you have prior convictions, that means you are not a first-time offender, so if you are caught with 10 grams or less of marijuana, you will be charged with Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana with a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Fine Increases for Possession of More Than 10 Grams But Less Than 35 Grams of Marijuana in Missouri

The fine for possession of more than 10 grams but 35 grams or less of marijuana has increased. The previous law allowed a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine for possession of 35 grams or less. The new law increases the fine to $2,000 but the maximum potential jail time remains 1 year.

Hire an Attorney To Get Your Marijuana Charges Dismissed or Reduced to a Lesser Offense

If you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you, it’s very likely they can get your marijuana case dismissed or amended to a lesser offense. The outcome of your case depends on several things:

  • How old are you?
  • Do you have any prior convictions?
  • Which court is your case being prosecuted in?
  • Were you polite and respectful to the police officer?
  • Does your attorney have experience handling drug charges?

No matter what, don’t just plead guilty to possession of 10 grams or less of weed in Missouri. It may seem like a minor offense, but it’s not. An experienced attorney can help keep this off your permanent criminal record.

 

For information about how to avoid getting charged with marijuana possession, see my previous post “Best & Worst Places to Smoke Weed in Missouri.”


Call St. Louis marijuana attorney Andrea Storey Rogers if you want to get your charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. Call Andrea at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected] for a free consultation and a price quote for legal representation.

 

Penalty Reduced for Illinois Marijuana Possession

Possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana in Illinois is now punishable by just a citation and a fine of $100 to $200, but no jail time.

Penalty for Possession of Marijuana in Illinois

In the past, possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana in Illinois was a class B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $1,500 and up to 6 months in jail.

Expungement of Illinois Marijuana Possession Tickets

If you plead guilty to an Illinois pot possession ticket, you will have a drug-related conviction on your criminal record, which can prevent you from getting a job, renting an apartment, and obtaining federal student loans for college.

However, Illinois will automatically expunge pot possession tickets twice a year, on January 1st and again on July 1st.

New Illinois Marijuana Law Reduces Possibility of Getting DUI After Smoking Weed

In the past, if you were caught driving in Illinois with even a trace of marijuana in your blood, you could be charged with a DUI, regardless of whether or not your driving skills were impaired.

Under the new Illinois law, if you are caught driving while under the influence of marijuana, police won’t charge you with a DUI unless 5 nanograms or more of THC in your blood (or 10 nanograms or more in your saliva) is detected.

Illinois Municipalities Can Increase the Penalty for Marijuana Possession

Cities and towns throughout Illinois can increase the fine amounts for marijuana possession, or they can add additional penalties, such as a requirement that defendants complete a drug education class in addition to paying the fine.

For more information, click here to read a recent Chicago Tribune article about the new Illinois marijuana law.


If you have been charged with possession of marijuana in MISSOURI and would like to get the charge dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, call MISSOURI marijuana attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected]

 

Best & Worst Places to Smoke Weed in Missouri

Here are the best and worst places to smoke weed in Missouri if you want to avoid marijuana or drug paraphernalia possession charges:

WORST PLACES TO SMOKE WEED IN MISSOURI:

In Your Apartment – your neighbors can smell the marijuana smoke coming from your apartment and may call the police

Camping at a State Park – park rangers patrol campsites and can issue tickets for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Your case will be prosecuted in state court, which is much more strict than if your case were in municipal court.

On a Float Trip – park rangers patrol the rivers and sandbars and issue tickets for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Your case will be prosecuted in state court.

At a Park – police patrol parks because it’s a common place where people go to sit in their cars and smoke marijuana at night

In a Car Parked on the Street at Night – nearby homeowners will call the police if they see an unfamiliar car parked on their street at night and they suspect criminal activity

At the St. Louis Arch – the Arch is a national monument located in a national park, so if you get caught with weed or a pipe, your criminal charges will be prosecuted in federal court instead of state court or municipal court

In the Parking Lot Before a Concert at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis – plain clothes police officers patrol the parking lot before concerts and issue numerous tickets to people who don’t realize everyone can see (and smell) them smoking weed in their car

Driving in Your Car – don’t drive if you are high or feeling buzzed. You could crash your car and injure yourself or others, and you could be charged with DUID (driving under the influence of drugs), possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. 

BEST PLACE TO SMOKE WEED IN MISSOURI:

In the privacy of your own home.

GENERAL TIPS FOR MARIJUANA SMOKERS:

  • Having a prescription for medical marijuana from a state in which marijuana is legal will not help if you get caught with weed in Missouri, where it is illegal.
  • After smoking marijuana, shower and change clothes before leaving home or driving in your car. If you are pulled over by a cop and they smell weed when you roll down the car window, the cop can search your car without your consent and without a warrant.
  • Don’t hide weed or a pipe in your luggage or on your body if you are flying somewhere. If TSA agents find your one-hitter or baggie of weed in your luggage or on your body, you can be charged with possession of marijuana or paraphernalia, and the criminal charges against you could be prosecuted in federal, state, or municipal court.

Jail Time is a Possible Punishment for Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession in Missouri

The maximum potential penalty for misdemeanor (35 grams or less) possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia in Missouri is a $1,000 fine and 1 year in jail.

It is highly unlikely that you will face any jail time if you hire an attorney to represent you for your misdemeanor drug charges. 

Drug-Related Convictions Stay On Your Criminal Record Forever

Drug convictions stay on your criminal record forever and can not be “expunged” (removed). If you plead guilty to charges of marijuana or drug paraphernalia possession, you will have a very hard time finding a job, renting an apartment, or getting federal student loans for college.

In addition, you could lose your federally subsidized housing if you are convicted of a drug-related misdemeanor.

Hire a Lawyer to Get Your Drug Charges Dismissed or Reduced to a Lesser Offense

Hire an experienced marijuana possession attorney to get your drug charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, such as “Littering.”

The outcome of your case depends on 1) which court your case is being prosecuted in and 2) whether you have prior drug-related convictions on your criminal record.

Your attorney will negotiate a plea bargain deal with the Prosecutor to get your drug charges dismissed or amended to a lesser offense. It is very likely that you will not have to appear in court, and the court will give you at least 30 days to pay fines and court costs.


To fight your marijuana or drug paraphernalia charges in Missouri, call St. Louis marijuana attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email Andrea at [email protected] to discuss your case and get a price quote for legal representation.

How to Withdraw Your Guilty Plea

Call St. Louis attorney Andrea Storey Rogers today at (314) 724-5059 about withdrawing your guilty plea for a Missouri speeding ticket or criminal charge.

You Can Change Your Mind After Pleading Guilty

It is possible to change your mind after pleading guilty to a speeding ticket or criminal offense such as marijuana possession or shoplifting if you were not represented by an attorney when you pleaded guilty.

Withdrawing a Guilty Plea Can Remove Points From Your Driving Record

Withdrawing your guilty plea for a speeding ticket or other traffic violation will remove the points that were added to your Missouri driving record when you paid the fine.

Some people need points removed so a license suspension can be lifted, while others want points removed to prevent an increase in their car insurance rates

Get a Conviction Off Your Criminal Record by Withdrawing Your Guilty Plea 

Anyone who pleads guilty to a minor criminal offense, such as marijuana possession, drug paraphernalia, or stealing, quickly realizes that the conviction shows up on their criminal background report. Even a minor criminal conviction can prevent you from getting a job, renting an apartment, or getting financial aid for school.

In many cases, an experienced attorney can withdraw the guilty plea and negotiate a plea bargain deal with the Prosecutor to get your criminal charge dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, such as “Littering.” Having a conviction for “Littering” on your criminal record is much better than a conviction for drug possession or stealing.

How to Withdraw Your Guilty Plea

Hire an experienced attorney to help you withdraw your guilty plea. Your attorney will file a motion with the court to request that the judge allow you to withdraw your guilty plea.

If the judge agrees to let you change your plea, then your attorney will  negotiate a plea bargain deal with the Prosecutor to get your traffic ticket amended to a non-moving no-point violation.

Or, if you are withdrawing a guilty plea for a criminal offense, your attorney will negotiate with the Prosecutor to get your criminal charges dismissed or amended to a lesser offense.

In many cases of withdrawing a guilty plea, the defendant does not have to appear in court at all.

What Happens After You Withdraw Your Guilty Plea?

Once your attorney successfully withdraws your guilty plea and negotiates a plea bargain deal with the Prosecutor, a new fine will be assessed by the Prosecutor. The new fine will be higher than the fine you already paid. The court will subtract the amount you already paid from the new higher fine and you will pay the difference.

Then the court will revise the court records to remove the original conviction from your record. So, if you originally pleaded guilty to marijuana possession but your attorney was able to change your plea and get the charge amended to “Littering,” your criminal record will now show that you have a conviction for “Littering.”

If you originally pleaded guilty to speeding and your attorney withdrew your guilty plea and got your ticket amended to “Illegal Parking,” the points will be removed from your driving record and there will be no conviction on your record.


To change your plea or withdraw your guilty plea for a traffic ticket or criminal offense, call St. Louis attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 to discuss your case and get a price quote for legal representation. Or email Andrea at [email protected]