Drug Crimes Defense
Attorney in St. Louis, Missouri

According to statistics from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, there were over 43,000 total arrests for drug-related offenses statewide in 2018, including 21,780 arrests for marijuana possession. In the state of Missouri, drug crimes include the possession, sale, trafficking, or manufacturing of any illicit drugs. If convicted of a drug offense, the defendant could be facing serious punishment, including a lengthy jail time, massive fines, a permanent criminal record, and other social consequences.

If you have been arrested and charged with a drug crime in Missouri, you should retain an aggressive and skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Here at my firm, The Law Office of Gregory N. Smith, I am dedicated to offering reliable legal guidance and aggressive representation to clients facing drug charges. As your attorney, I will review and investigate every last detail of your case before outlining an effective defense that will be aimed at maximizing your chances of a favorable outcome in your case.

My firm is proud to serve clients across St. Louis, Missouri, and the surrounding areas of St. Charles, St. Louis County, Jefferson County, and East St. Louis — so reach out today to schedule a free consultation so I can review the details of your case.

Federal Drug Crimes

Under both state and federal laws, the possession, sale, manufacture, and delivery of drugs or controlled substances are prohibited. However, a drug offense becomes a federal drug crime if:

  • An undercover federal officer apprehended the defendant
  • The offender was arrested while committing the drug crime on federal property
  • The drug offense crossed state lines (qualifying as drug distribution or trafficking)
  • The drug offense is considered very serious and must be punished severely
  • The drug offense involved other criminal activities, such as gang activity, firearms, or money laundering.

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Defining Drug Charges in Missouri

In Missouri, an individual may be charged with any of the following drug-related offenses:

Possession or Control of a Controlled Substance

Under Missouri Revised Statutes Section 579.015, a person commits the offense of possession of a controlled substance if he or she knowingly possesses a controlled substance, such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, or other synthetic drugs.

Delivery of a Controlled Substance

According to Missouri Revised Statutes Section 579.020, a person commits the offense of delivery of a controlled substance if he or she:

  • Knowingly distributes or delivers a controlled substance
  • Attempts to distribute or deliver a controlled substance
  • Knowingly possesses a controlled substance with the intent to distribute or deliver any amount of a controlled substance
  • Knowingly permits a minor to purchase or transport illegally obtained controlled substances.

Manufacture of a Controlled Substance

Pursuant to Missouri Revised Statutes Section 579.055, a person can be charged with the manufacturing of a controlled substance if he or she:

  • Knowingly manufactures, produces, or grows a controlled substance
  • Attempts to manufacture, produce, or grow a controlled substance
  • Knowingly possesses a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture, produce, or grow any amount of controlled substance.

Drug Trafficking

A person commits the offense of drug trafficking if the person knowingly distributes, manufactures, delivers, produces, or attempts to distribute, manufacture, deliver, or produce a controlled substance. Drug trafficking may be charged in the first or second degree.

Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

According to Missouri Revised Statutes Section 579.074, a person commits the offense of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia when he or she knowingly uses or intends to use drug paraphernalia for the purposes of planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, producing, injecting, ingesting, or otherwise introducing a controlled substance into the human body.

Missouri’s Drug Schedules

In Missouri, controlled substances, including medications and illicit drugs, are classified into five distinct classes, or "schedules," depending on the following factors:

  • Medicinal value
  • How addictive the substance is
  • The amount of physical or psychological harm that can be caused by the substance.

The schedule classifications for controlled substances in Missouri are as follows:

  • Schedule I: These are drugs with a high potential for abuse and no acceptable medical use. Some common examples include heroin, marijuana (cannabis), lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and peyote.
  • Schedule II: These are substances with a high potential for abuse but with strict restrictions for medical purposes. Examples include cocaine, methadone, hydrocodone, opium, opiates, and oxycodone.
  • Schedule III: These substances have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule I or II drugs. They are severely restricted for medical use. Examples include anabolic steroids, ketamine, and testosterone.
  • Schedule IV: These are substances with a lower potential for abuse compared to Schedule III drugs. They are allowed for a variety of medical treatments. Examples are benzodiazepines, Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, and other sedatives.
  • Schedule V: These drugs have the least potential for abuse and addiction. They are allowed for medical purposes. Some common examples include cough syrup, Lomotil, Lyrica, Motofen, and Parepectolin.

Possible Penalties

The penalties for drug offenses in Missouri will depend on the classification of the drug, the quantity of drugs, and the defendant's criminal history. Possible penalties include:

Possession of a Controlled Substance

  • The offense of possession of any controlled substance except 35 grams or less of marijuana or any synthetic cannabinoid is considered a Class D felony. Punishable by seven years in prison, or one year in the county jail, and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Possession of 10 to 35 grams of marijuana or any synthetic cannabinoid is considered a Class A misdemeanor. Punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of $2,000, or both.
  • Possession of fewer than 10 grams of marijuana or any synthetic cannabinoid is considered a Class D misdemeanor. Punishable by a maximum fine of $500. Subsequence offenses are punished as Class A misdemeanors.

Delivery of a Controlled Substance

The offense of delivery of a controlled substance is considered a Class C felony. Punishable by 3 to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Manufacture of a Controlled Substance

Depending on the circumstances, the offense of manufacturing or attempting to manufacture any amount of controlled substance can be classified as either a:

  • Class B felony (when committed within two thousand feet of the real property), punishable by 5 to 15 years in prison
  • Class C felony, punishable by 3 to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Drug Trafficking

Depending on the surrounding circumstances, drug trafficking may be classified as either a:

  • Class A felony, punishable by 10 to 30 years or life in prison.
  • Class B felony, punishable by 5 to 15 years in prison

Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

This is considered a Class E felony, punishable by up to four years in prison, or one year in jail, and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Work With a Knowledgeable Criminal Defense Attorney

When facing drug charges, defending yourself without experienced representation can increase your risk of suffering the maximum penalties. If convicted, you could be facing a lengthy prison sentence, substantial fines, a permanent criminal record, and other devastating, life-changing consequences. Therefore, it is imperative that you work with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights and help build a strong defense.

Here at my firm, The Law Office of Gregory N. Smith, I have the resources and experience needed to assist and represent clients who have been accused of both state and federal drug crimes. No matter what circumstances led to your arrest, I can evaluate all of the facts of your case, conduct an in-depth investigation, and outline an aggressive defense. Protecting your rights will always be my top priority as we navigate the Missouri criminal justice system. I will represent you at every legal proceeding, refute any unsubstantiated charges against you, and do everything I can to help you fight for the best possible outcome in your case. So if you’re facing criminal drug charges, don’t face them alone. Call or reach out to my office today to schedule a free case consultation.

Drug Charges Defense Attorney in St. Louis, MO

If you're facing drug charges in Missouri, you have rights that need to be protected. Contact my firm — The Law Office of Gregory N. Smith — today to schedule a free case evaluation. I can offer you the knowledgeable legal guidance, strong advocacy, and aggressive representation you need in your case. My firm proudly represents clients across St. Louis, St. Charles, St. Louis County, Jefferson County, and East St. Louis. Reach out today to put my experience on your side!