An experienced attorney can get your possession of marijuana ticket dismissed or reduced to “Littering” in Missouri. The outcome of your case depends on 1) which court your case is being prosecuted in, and 2) your criminal history.
Possession Of Marijuana Is Still Illegal In Missouri
Marijuana has not been “decriminalized” in Missouri.
It is true that there is no possibility of jail time for first-time possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana in Missouri, but you should not plead guilty to possession of any amount of marijuana. If you plead guilty to possession of even a tiny amount of marijuana, you will end up with a drug conviction on your permanent criminal record.
Having a drug conviction on your criminal record can prevent you from getting a job or internship, renting an apartment, or obtaining federal student aid for college.
Click here to read Missouri’s marijuana law RSMO 579.015 regarding possession of a controlled substance.
A Conviction For Possession Of Marijuana Stays On Your Criminal Record Forever
If you plead guilty to possession of marijuana (even 10 grams or less), the conviction will stay on your criminal record forever, unless you get it expunged.
Missouri’s new expungement law allows you to expunge (remove) the record of your marijuana conviction if you have had a clean criminal record for 3 years following your conviction date.
Click here for more information about how to get a marijuana ticket expunged from your criminal record.
Punishment For Possession Of Marijuana And Drug Paraphernalia In Missouri
Here are the maximum penalties for misdemeanor marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession in Missouri:
- 10 grams or less of marijuana (1st-time offender) = $500 fine but no jail time
- 10 grams or less of marijuana (not a 1st-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 1st-time offender) = $2,000 fine and 1 year in jail
- 35 grams or less = $2,000 fine and 1 year in jail
If you have an attorney representing you for your misdemeanor marijuana ticket, jail time is very unlikely.
For more information about how to avoid getting caught with marijuana, you can read my previous blog post, “Best & Worst Places to Smoke Weed in Missouri.”
How Can An Attorney Get Your Marijuana Charges Dismissed or Reduced To “Littering”?
You can hire a criminal defense attorney to negotiate a plea bargain deal with the court to get your misdemeanor possession of marijuana ticket dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense, such as “Littering.”
“Littering” is a low-level offense that will not show up on most criminal background checks. If your possession of marijuana ticket gets reduced to “Littering,” you won’t have to appear in court, but you will have to pay a fine and court costs.
In some cases, the Prosecutor will dismiss the charge completely instead of reducing it to “Littering.” If that happens, the Prosecutor may require you to complete a drug education class or do a few hours of community service.
Every court handles marijuana cases slightly differently. Your attorney will discuss your case with you and tell you what type of penalties to expect.
The outcome of your case depends on:
- Which court your case is being prosecuted in
- Your criminal history
- Your age
- How much marijuana you possessed when you were caught
- The skill and experience of your attorney
How Much Does It Cost To Fight Your Possession Of Marijuana Charges?
Most criminal defense attorneys offer a free consultation and can give you a flat-fee price quote for how much they will charge to represent you. They can also give you an estimate of any fines and court costs you may have to pay.
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 to apply for a Missouri public defender.
For a free consultation about your Missouri marijuana ticket, contact marijuana attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or [email protected]