Drug charges are a serious crime that individuals can face serious consequences for in Missouri. In fact, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Statistical Analysis Center, there were 18,907 drug possession arrests in 2014 alone. If you or someone you love was arrested on drug charges in Thayer, Missouri, or in the surrounding areas of West Plains, The Ozarks, or in North Central Arkansas, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.
Contact my firm, The Law Office of Fred O'Neill, today to schedule a one-on-one case consultation. I would be happy to review the details of your case and outline a strong defense strategy that can help you seek the best possible outcome.
In the state of Missouri, a drug crime becomes a federal offense when it is large in scale or related to organized crime. Most often, drug possession or other drug crimes become a federal offense when a federal agent is the one doing the arresting, which often happens when the crime takes place on federal government property. Transporting drugs across state lines can also make the crime a federal offense.
There are several categories of drug charges in Missouri, including drug manufacturing, drug delivery, selling, and possession. The selling, distribution, and manufacturing of drugs are all considered very serious crimes.
If a person knowingly or attempts to manufacture a controlled substance, the crime is considered a felony. The felony class depends on the specific substance and the crime.
There are a number of factors that affect the crime of delivery. If the deliverer was a minor, that will affect the class of the crime. The location of where the drug was distributed can also affect the severity of the crime, impacting whether it’s considered a felony or a misdemeanor.
Selling a controlled substance can land you with a Class B felony, and if you have a prior conviction, you could end up with a class A felony instead. Possession with intent to sell is also considered a very serious crime that falls into the same category as selling and can come with significant consequences.
Possessing any amount of a controlled substance is considered a class D felony unless it is 35 grams or less of marijuana — which would make it a class A misdemeanor. Possessing fewer than 10 grams of marijuana is considered a class D misdemeanor unless the defendant has a prior conviction — which can make it a class A misdemeanor.
Drugs are placed into five distinct categories, or schedules, according to their potential for abuse and accepted safety for use. The schedules can be broken down as follows:
A Schedule I drug has a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, or cannot safely be used for treatment even under medical supervision. Schedule I drugs include 3-methylfentanyl, morpheridine, codeine, heroin, morphine, marijuana, mescaline, peyote, psilocybin, and others.
A Schedule II drug has a high potential for abuse but limited accepted medical use. Abuse of the substance may lead to severe psychic or physical dependence. Schedule II drugs include opium, codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl, methadone, methamphetamine, pentobarbital, and others.
A Schedule III drug has a lower potential for abuse than Schedule I and II drugs and has some broader accepted medical uses for treatment (typically with severe restrictions). These drugs may lead to low or moderate physical dependence or high psychological dependence. Common examples of Schedule III drugs include smaller amounts of codeine, hydrocodone, opium, morphine, steroids, and others.
A Schedule IV drug has a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs and has even broader accepted medical uses for treatment in the US than Schedule III drugs. These drugs may lead to physical dependence or psychological dependence but are less likely than Schedule III drugs. Schedule IV drugs include limited quantities of narcotic drugs, clonazepam, ephedrine, barbital, and others.
A Schedule V drug has a lower potential for abuse than any other substances listed above. These drugs are widely accepted for medical use and have limited physical or psychological dependence liability.
Some common examples of Schedule V drugs include less than one hundred milligrams of opium per one hundred milliliters or grams, and other materials and compounds which contain quantities of substances that have a stimulant effect on the central nervous system.
The possible penalties for manufacturing, distributing, selling, and possessing controlled substances are serious throughout the state of Missouri. Manufacturing could result in a prison sentence of anywhere from 10 to 30 years. Selling could result in a prison sentence of at least five years and could extend up to 15 years. The penalties for these and other drug crimes often vary depending on the substance and the circumstances around the arrest.
At the end of the day, your rights are important and fundamental to your freedom. As a dedicated criminal defense attorney, I am committed to providing the strongest legal defense for anyone facing drug charges in Thayer, Missouri. If you or someone you know has been arrested for drug charges, contact my firm, The Law Office of Fred O’Neill. My office is proud to serve clients in Thayer, Missouri, and the surrounding areas of West Plains, The Ozarks, and North Central Arkansas. Call or reach out today to schedule your own free case evaluation.