Missouri Drug Paraphernalia Charges
Under state and federal law, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin are prohibited. The possession of drug paraphernalia is also unlawful under federal law and state laws. So, you can also face drug charges for owning or selling drug-related objects.
However, all states treat paraphernalia distribution and possession differently. Most Missouri drug paraphernalia crimes are categorized as Missouri misdemeanors. Depending on the circumstances, they could become felonies. In order to avoid facing drug paraphernalia charges, it is crucial to understand state laws. Grandview lawyers may be of help in this case.
What Is Drug Paraphernalia in Missouri?
The Revised Statutes of Missouri in section 195.010 defines the term ‘drug paraphernalia.’ Paraphernalia refers to all equipment, products, substances, and materials used or intended to be used in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, storing, concealing, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise injecting into the body a controlled substance or an imitation controlled substance.
The statute further goes ahead to list 13 categories of items that could qualify as drug paraphernalia. However, the list is not exhaustive, and some things not mentioned there may still constitute drug paraphernalia if they fit the description.
Drug paraphernalia crimes require evidence of a connection between the items in a person’s possession and illegal substances before they can be charged. Since many drug paraphernalia items also have legal uses, the same section of the law recommends that law enforcement officials consider a number of factors when determining whether an item is drug paraphernalia, including the presence of drug residue.
Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Charge
Possession of illegal drug paraphernalia is one of the most common offenses involving illicit drugs. Section 579.074 of Missouri’s Statutes prescribes the penalty for this offense. First-time drug paraphernalia possession is a Class D misdemeanor charge, which attracts a maximum fine of $500 with no jail time.
However, if you have previously been found guilty of an offense relating to any illegal substance under federal and state laws in Missouri or other jurisdictions, the charge becomes a Class A misdemeanor. This is the most serious misdemeanor offense and could lead to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2000.
Furthermore, having drug paraphernalia related to amphetamine, methamphetamine, or other chemicals similar to amphetamine is a more serious Class E felony offense.
Lawyers in Kansas City can provide you with any additional information that may apply to your case.
Manufacture and Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia
Of all drug paraphernalia offenses, possession is the most common. However, one can also be charged with unlawful manufacture and delivery. Unlawful manufacture, distribution, delivery, or sale of drug paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor but becomes a Class E felony when done for commercial purposes. This class of felony attracts a maximum of four years in prison.
Why Hire a Lawyer?
An experienced criminal defense lawyer in Missouri may be your best bet at successfully fighting drug charges. Even if your drug paraphernalia charge is not completely dropped, a skilled attorney may be able to plead your case down to a lesser charge unrelated to controlled substances. This would look better on your permanent criminal record. You can contact the Missouri DWI and Criminal Law Center if you need seasoned attorneys in Kansas City.