Possession of Marijuana Charge and Drug Paraphernalia in Missouri
Marijuana possession (of under 35 grams) and/or possession of drug paraphernalia is a common charge arising out of a traffic stop by a police officer in Missouri. In the usual case, a police officer will pull someone over for a moving violation such as speeding or possibly an equipment violation like a defective tail light and once at the driver’s door, will state that they smell marijuana or the driver has blood shot eyes.
From there, the officer will believe he has probable cause to suspect that the driver has marijuana either on his person or in the vehicle and will ask to search the vehicle, which most drivers allow because they fear they have no choice.
Each charge is a separate misdemeanor, which in Missouri could result in a fine of up to $1,000 and/or one year on jail.
Drug paraphernalia related to marijuana possession could include a roach clip, rolling papers, a pipe, one-hitter, dugout or bong.
A person found in possession of marijuana in their vehicle who is under age 21 can lose their license under Missouri’s “Abuse & Lose” statute. The loss of license can be anywhere between 30 days to one year and that depends on whether they are charged in municipal or state court and whether it is their first offense.
Another aspect of marijuana possession charges in Missouri is that a conviction cannot be expunged (removed) from the person’s record. Drug related offenses can make finding employment even harder, can show up in a background search for loans or an apartment.
For these reasons it is crucial that someone charged with marijuana and/or drug paraphernalia possession in Missouri hire an attorney to represent them. An attorney can review all the police reports related to the case to determine defenses against the charge which could be used to either have the case dismissed or negotiate with the prosecutor for a lesser offense, such as littering.
Every court handles marijuana charges differently and every prosecutor also handles these cases differently.
Attorney Charles Moore has served as a municipal prosecutor and a defense attorney and has tried and defended marijuana possession cases, with excellent results. This experience is invaluable for his clients.
Been charged with marijuana possession or drug paraphernalia possession Missouri? Traffic Ticket Center can help. Call us right away at (636) 486-2669.