Criminal offenses involving drugs are among the most commonly seen in Missouri courts. Drug charges are also among the most harshly penalized criminal offenses in the state. Missouri treats drug crimes seriously, and penalties can include lengthy prison sentences and costly fines, which is why a drug crime lawyer can help you avoid a penalty. A drug crime conviction for a Missouri drug offense can result in many negative consequences, including, but not limited to:
- A jail or prison Sentence
- Substantial Fines
- Ineligibility for federal student loans to pay for college or trade school
- Losing your job or trouble finding work due to a criminal conviction.
- Ineligibility to work as a lawyer, doctor, teacher, nurse, or other professional which requires a state license.
- Loss of, or restrictions on, child custody.
- Loss of an immigration visa of green card, or deportation if you are not a citizen
However, Missouri drug laws also provide alternatives to the serious consequences that accompany a drug conviction. In many cases, there are opportunities to avoid a conviction by completing probation, drug court, or other drug treatment programs.
If you are facing a drug possession charge in Missouri, having the help and legal advice of an experienced St. Louis drug crimes attorney can mean the difference between serving a prison term or getting probation and treatment for a simple possession charge. An experienced criminal defense attorney can evaluate all of your individual circumstances, review the strength of the prosecution's case, and formulate a plan to avoid the more serious consequences you may be facing.
To a non-lawyer, drug cases may seem pretty cut and dry: If the police found drugs or drug paraphernalia on you or in your house or vehicle, you must be guilty. However, drug cases can be some of the most complex cases that we handle. In every drug crime case, there is either a "search" and/or a "seizure", which implicates the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. If the search or seizure is unlawful, then the evidence is not admissible at trial--which usually means the drug crime charge must be dismissed.
It is therefore imperative that you hire an experienced drug crimes attorney who is knowledgeable about search and seizure issues. We have handled hundreds of drug cases and have experienced challenging unlawful searches and seizures in court. If you or a loved one is facing a drug charge, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Brian J. Cooke today.