Drug crimes in Columbia, MO are taken very seriously and can result in criminal charges that have both short-term and long-term repercussions. Law enforcement and state prosecutors are very aggressive when it comes to pursuing criminal charges for drug crimes. This means that often they will seek charges of distribution which can result in more severe criminal penalties than those related to crimes involving simple drug possession.
If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges for drug distribution, it is important to find an experienced drug lawyer that can help protect your rights. Call a Columbia drug distribution lawyer today to learn more.
The criminal penalties for drug distribution charges will depend on the type of drug involved, the amount of drugs distributed, and if there were any mitigating factors present at the time of the offense. The consequences of being convicted on drug distribution charges can range from hefty fines to years in prison. Because of the life-changing implications, it is important to understand the drug distribution laws in Missouri and how they apply to criminal cases.
In Columbia, a person can be charged with drug distribution if they are found to be selling, giving, transporting, or delivering illegal drugs. Specifically, the state of Missouri defines this as when an individual knowingly possesses a controlled substance with the intent to distribute or deliver it. This is a Class C felony, which carries criminal penalties of up to 10 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $10,000. In addition to prison time and fines, a criminal conviction for drug distribution, your record will permanently reflect this charge which could affect future employment or educational opportunities.
The penalties are even more severe if an individual is found guilty of the distribution of a controlled substance in what are called “protected locations.” This means being “in, on, or within 2,000 feet” of schools, most parks, and in or on public housing or government-assisted housing complexes. In these cases, it is considered a Class A felony and can result in prison time of a minimum of 10, and up to 30 years.
In many these cases, prosecutors will lean on circumstantial evidence to prove criminal intent. This can involve finding items such as large amounts of cash, drug paraphernalia, or even plastic bags. Many people mistakenly believe that circumstantial evidence is not enough to convict someone of drug distribution, however, this is not the case. They can and often do use these items as evidence to infer criminal behavior, so it is important to be aware of this.
When you’re facing charges as serious as drug distribution, it is important to have legal counsel in your corner as soon as possible. A criminal defense lawyer will carefully review all the details of your case and build a strong legal strategy that could help reduce criminal charges or obtain a favorable outcome in court. This includes challenging the prosecution’s evidence and questioning any criminal law violations that may have occurred during your arrest.
A skilled drug distribution lawyer in Columbia will also interview witnesses and any law enforcement personnel that were involved in your case. They will look to uncover potential illegal searches or seizures that occurred and use this to your advantage. They will also advise you on plea bargains and other mitigating factors that could result in a lesser sentence or complete dismissal of charges.
If you are facing criminal charges for drug distribution, the experienced criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Chris Miller can help. We understand the criminal process and will fight to protect your rights throughout every step of the criminal justice process.
We have extensive experience handling criminal cases related to drug distribution and can provide you with aggressive criminal defense representation. Contact a Columbia drug distribution lawyer today to schedule a free consultation.