Drug-related charges can be daunting and confusing to navigate. The criminal justice system does not treat drug allegations kindly. However, whether you have been wrongfully accused or had a legal right to possess prescription drugs for medical use, Wayne T. Schoeneberg can help you. Attorney Schoeneberg has been advocating for clients in St. Charles for over 40 years, and he will take a personalized approach to your case as he builds a strong defense based on the facts of your case and the results you seek. He understands your anxieties and will do his best to alleviate your fears and create a comfortable environment in the office for you to work through your defense against drug charges in Missouri.
Missouri’s Controlled Substance Laws
Like most states, Missouri categorizes illicit controlled substances (CDS) into 5 schedules. Substances classified as Schedule I are the most dangerous due to a higher risk of abuse and addiction, while substances in Schedule V are the least dangerous and usually acceptable for medical use. The classification primarily determines the penalties a person may face for possession. Generally, though, the possession of any type of drug other than marijuana is a Class C felony punishable by up to 7 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
It is also unlawful for any person to distribute, deliver, manufacture, or produce a controlled substance and to possess a controlled substance with such intent to distribute, deliver, manufacture, or produce, with few exceptions, such as a doctor who legally prescribes a prescription medication.
Illegally making CDS is a Class A felony in Missouri punishable by 10-30 years in prison. Illegally selling CDS, or possessing CDS with the intent to sell, is a Class B felony punishable by 5-15 years in prison. In special circumstances, the penalties may increase. For example, if distribution of a CDS occurs within 2,000 feet of a school, the act is a Class A felony (except for 5 grams or less of marijuana) punishable by life imprison or up to 30 years in prison.
Lastly, CDS trafficking, or possessing, buying, or bringing a CDS into Missouri is heavily criminalized based on the type of drug, such as heroin, cocaine, lysergic acid (LSD), phencyclidine (PCP), and methamphetamine. Penalties for trafficking will vary according to the amount and type of CDS involved. For instance, trafficking into the state 450 grams or more of methamphetamine or 1 gram or more of LSD is a Class A felony punishable by 10-30 years in prison.
Missouri penalizes marijuana possession in separate marijuana statutes. Note that unlike some states, Missouri has not legalized marijuana for either recreational or medical use, so possession and cultivation are both illegal. The state does allow limited use of CBD (a compound in marijuana with medical properties) for those with intractable epilepsy, though this is distinguishable from the recreational use of marijuana.
Possession of marijuana may be penalized depending on the amount:
- 10 grams or less – misdemeanor with no jail time and a $500 fine;
- more than 35 grams – 7 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Be aware that the above penalties are first-time penalties, and subsequent offenses may lead to harsher penalties. For example, a second offense for possession of 10 grams of less could result in 1 year of jail and a $2,000 fine.
It is also illegal to cultivate marijuana, and the penalties are as follows:
- up to 35 grams – felony punishable by incarceration for 4 years and a $10,000 fine;
- more than 35 grams – felony punishable by incarceration for 3-10 years and a $10,000 fine.
Lastly, distribution or delivery of up to 5 grams of marijuana is a Class C felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison.
Missouri Drug Court Program
In certain circumstances, a judge may order probation in place of some jail time for a felony offender. In such a case, they may order participation in Missouri’s Drug Court Program has a condition of probation or parole. Participants will be required to attend substance abuse treatments, as well as appear regularly before the Drug Court Commissioner. The program usually lasts at least 1 year and no more than 2 years and will include frequent drug testing and counseling programs.
Enhanced Sentencing for Prior and Persistent Offenders
Defendants with one prior felony conviction is considered a prior offender in Missouri, and a defendant with 2 or more prior felony convictions is considered a persistent offender. Judges in Missouri have the discretion to sentence prior offenders according to either the penalties applicable to the offense as listed above or to another term of imprisonment if specified. For persistent offenders, the judge may sentence the defendant to the next higher category of punishment than the category that would otherwise apply to the offense. That is, if the offense they are charged with is normally a Class B felony, the judge may order Class A felony penalties. The sentencing enhancement may not rise above the Class A felony level, though, as it is already the harshest term available for CDS manufacture, sales, and trafficking crimes, according to Mo. Stat. Ann. § 558.016.
Wayne T. Schoeneberg brings experience, knowledge and compassion to each of his cases. He works with each of his clients on a unique strategy that works for their needs.
He will inform you of the process every step of the way. He will always make sure that his clients feel seen, heard & appreciated. You need an advocate that will fight and aim for the best result possible. When you're in trouble, don't risk your future! Contact Wayne today to achieve the results you deserve.
A message from Wayne T. Schoeneberg:
"You are the most important person in your case. If you are charged with a crime, understandably, you are worried, upset, and maybe even angry. My practice has always been about helping my clients get the results they want. My experience gives me an advantage. Why not put it to work for you?"
Successful Track Record
40+ Years of Experience
“Wayne has helped me out a few times now and he's always been incredibly professional and things have always turned out just fine with him on my side. I highly recommend him as an attorney.”