Across the United States, marijuana is slowly being legalized. Many states have decided that it is not worth it to prosecute those who are using the drug recreationally or possess it in small amounts. In addition, there are increasing attempts by lawmakers to decriminalize it federally. It has not been decriminalized yet. In addition, Missouri is one state that has yet to legalize marijuana use for any reason other than medical purposes. With that, people who are charged with marijuana-related drug crimes can still face various consequences if they are convicted. For those facing drug trafficking charges for marijuana, it is important to know the possible penalties. This is crucial to crafting a targeted defense and seeking a positive outcome.
The amount of marijuana will directly impact the penalties in Missouri
When a person is charged with drug trafficking of marijuana in Missouri, the amount they have in their possession is of critical importance with the possible maximum penalties. With state charges, the law says that those who have more than 30 kilograms of a mixture or substance with marijuana will be subject to a drug trafficking violation. For this amount, it is a second-degree crime and is a class C felony. The potential sentence for a class C state felony is three to ten years’ incarceration. If it is more than 100 kilograms or more than 500 marijuana plants, it is a second-degree crime and a class B felony. The person can be incarcerated for five to 15 years.
It is unwise to dismiss the seriousness of marijuana trafficking charges
Often, people who are confronted with drug crimes for trafficking in marijuana are simply in the middle transporting, selling and possessing it. The amount they have will determine if they are charged with drug trafficking. In some instances, they have crossed state lines and are subject to federal prosecution. This is a growing issue in Missouri with the number of people bringing marijuana into the state from Colorado.
Since a conviction can result in jail time, fines and long-term problems, it is vital to understand the available options. Perhaps there are ways to reduce the charges. There could be an available plea agreement in an exchange of information. Or the person might have a viable chance to be acquitted. The evidence should be scrutinized and assessed to see if it could be deemed inadmissible. The circumstances will dictate the type of defense to use. To tailor that defense to the specific case, it is imperative to have assistance from the beginning to determine the wisest course of action.