2 May, 2014 | St. Louis Criminal Defense Lawyer | Missouri Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

Monthly Archives: May 2014

What you may not know about drug paraphernalia charges

What exactly is considered drug paraphernalia?

You may have heard the word paraphernalia before, or maybe even seen it written on a ticket of a loved one or friend. Maybe you have even found yourself on the other side of a drug paraphernalia charge. One thing is for sure, these charges are serious and can have stern consequences. Lets define what drug paraphernalia really is.

The law defines drug paraphernalia as;  “all equipment, products, substances and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use, in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance or an imitation controlled substance in violation of sections.” (RSMO 195.233)

As you can see, the law is encompassing on what it holds as “paraphernalia.” Police do not think twice about what may or may not be paraphernalia. If they suspect any type of drug activity, they will search for drugs and relative paraphernalia and charge you with whatever they can. Even if the drugs or paraphernalia aren’t yours, if they are in your car, you are likely to be charged.

What penalties are associated with drug paraphernalia charges?

Drug paraphernalia charges are either a class A misdemeanor or a class D felony depending on what substance they were/are being used for. It is considered a class A misdemeanor for all controlled substances except amphetamine and methamphetamine, in which case it is classified as a class D felony.

Class A misdemeanors carry a potential sentence of up to one year in prison while class D felonies carry a potential sentence of up to four years in prison. Not only that, but a misdemeanor or felony charge on your criminal record can haunt you for the rest of your life effecting your ability to get an education or find employment.

Get experienced representation today!

If you or a loved one are facing charges related to drug possession or paraphernalia charges, you need an experienced drug defense lawyer to represent you and your future in court. John Schleiffarth has experience in fighting possession and paraphernalia charges in the St. Louis area and all across Missouri.

Police officers are known to tell people during arrests that the charges are not a big deal, or even that its just a ticket. They are just making the situation easier for themselves by acting like they are doing you a favor and buttering you up. Do not be fooled, these charges are serious. Get representation today and protect your future.


The truth about marijuana possession in Missouri

What does the law say?

Lets get one thing straight, possession of marijuana is illegal in Missouri. Recently there has been talk in the news about the “Decriminalization” of marijuana in Missouri. This has some people confused and wondering what’s legal and what’s not. First we need to understand what the law states about the possession of marijuana, then we can look at what will change with SB 491.

Current law gives the following classifications about possession of marijuana:

  • Up to 35 grams. A violation is a misdemeanor, punishable with a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both.
  • More than 35 grams up to 30 kilograms. A violation is a felony, punishable with a fine of up to $5,000, up to seven years in prison, or both.
  • Trafficking between 30 and 100 kilograms. Someone who possesses, buys, or brings between 30 and 100 kilograms of marijuana into Missouri, is guilty of trafficking drugs in the second degree. A violation is a felony, punishable with a fine between $5,000 and $20,000, between five and 15 years in prison, or both.
  • Trafficking 100 or more kilograms. Someone who possesses, buys, or brings between 100 or more kilograms of marijuana (or more than 500 marijuana plants) into Missouri, is guilty of trafficking drugs in the second degree. A violation is a felony, punishable with a fine between $5,000 and $20,000, between ten years and life imprisonment, or both

What is SB 491 and what does it change?

SB 491 was a bill that was passed into law on May 13, 2014. The law however will not go into affect until January 1, 2017. Here is what the law states regarding possession of marijuana:

The offense of possession of more than ten grams but less than 36 grams of marijuana or any synthetic cannabinoid is a class A misdemeanor.

The offense of possession of not more than 10 grams of marijuana or any synthetic cannabinoid is a class D misdemeanor. If the defendant has previously been found guilty of any offense to the laws related to controlled substances of this state, or of the United States, or any state, territory, or district, the offense is a class A misdemeanor.

Currently, the law states that anyone found with up to 35 grams of marijuana may be charged with a class A misdemeanor. The new law states that if someone is found in possession of not more than 10 grams of marijuana they may be charged with a class D misdemeanor with no possibility of jail time. However, this only applies to those with no prior offenses related to controlled substances.

In the end, not much has changed in Missouri law regarding possession of marijuana. It is still a serious charge that can have serious effects on your future. If you have been charged with possession of marijuana, you need a experienced criminal defense attorney like John Schleiffarth to help you. Do not wait until it is too late, get representation from a St. Louis drug defense attorney today.

Source: moga.mo.gov


Robbery Charges in St. Louis County

In Missouri, Robbery is a felony and can be punishable by up to 30 years or life in prison. Prosecutors in St. Louis county actively pursue these cases and attempt to get convictions with serious penalties for citizens accused of robbery and other felony crimes.

Two teens were recently arrested in north St. Louis County for allegedly robbing a man at gunpoint and shooting him. Police say the two suspects fled and were later taken into custody by police.

Cases like this are serious and require a serious defense from a St. Louis Criminal Defense Attorney. Because of details of the allegations, prosecutors may charge someone in this situation with assault or other charges. A robbery defense lawyer in St. Louis County can look at the details of the case and protect you in court against whatever actions you are being accused of. A St. Louis attorney like John Schleiffarth of JCS Law with experience handling felony charges may be able to help you get charges reduced or in some cases dropped.

If you or someone you love has been charged with felony robbery, you should not waste any time in hiring an attorney to protect you and your rights.

Source: kmov.com, “2 teens arrested after man robbed, shot in St. Louis County,” May 13, 2014

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