A lawyer can help get your marijuana possession charge reduced.
Cases involving possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia are not handled in the same way in every court. Some judges are stricter than others in their sentencing.
In many courts, if you have been charged with misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance and you have no prior convictions for drug-related offenses, an attorney can negotiate a plea bargain with the court to have the drug possession charge reduced to a lesser offense, such as “Littering.” Depending on which court your case is being prosecuted in, you might not have to appear in court at all, but you will have to pay a fine and court costs.
When deciding whether to reduce your drug charges, the court will consider many factors, such as your age, criminal history, and the details of your case.
Some Courts Will Not Reduce Marijuana Charges
In some courts, it is not possible to negotiate a plea bargain for a drug possession or paraphernalia charge, even if you’re caught with only a small amount of weed, your record is clean, and you have no prior drug convictions. If your case is being prosecuted in a court with a very strict drug possession policy, it is very likely that the best plea-bargain deal your attorney can negotiate for you is an SIS (Suspended Imposition of Sentence) with probation.
What is an SIS for Drug Possession?
If you are offered a plea bargain deal called an SIS with probation, you will have to appear in court with your attorney to plead guilty to the original drug possession charges. You won’t have to pay a fine but you will have to pay court costs and sign up for probation. If you successfully complete the probation period without any violations, your case will be closed and no conviction will be reported on your criminal record.
The probation period is typically 1-2 years, depending on the court, and it is usually unsupervised (“limited”) probation. You may also be required to perform several hours of community service and/or attend a drug education class.
How to Decide Whether to Fight a Drug Possession Case
Instead of hiring an attorney to negotiate a plea-bargain deal for your drug possession charges, some defendants choose to go to trial.
Before deciding to fight your drug charges in court, consult an attorney to determine your chances of winning. It will cost much more to have a court trial than to negotiate a plea bargain, and there is always the possibility that you will lose.
It may be worth it if you can afford the expense of a trial, and if there is strong evidence that the search of your car or home that led to the discovery of the drugs or paraphernalia was an illegal search. However, if you go to trial and lose, you will no longer have the opportunity to negotiate a plea bargain deal, and the judge will sentence you to jail time and/or a fine.
Marijuana Possession Penalties in Missouri
The maximum sentence for misdemeanor possession of marijuana (35 grams or less) or drug paraphernalia in Missouri is 1 year in jail and a fine of $1,000.
If you have been charged with possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia in Missouri and would like a free consultation with a drug possession lawyer, call St. Louis attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email Andrea at [email protected] to discuss your case and receive a price quote for legal representation.