Defending Against Serious Drug Distribution Charges in St. Louis County and St. Louis City
If you are arrested and officers believe you had illegal drugs for your own personal use, you will likely be charged with drug possession. However, if police and prosecutors believe that you delivered or sold any amount of drugs to someone else, you can be charged with the more serious charge of drug distribution. You may also face escalated charges if police believe you possessed drugs with the intention of distributing them, even though you were not actually witnessed in the distribution.
No matter what type or amount of substance was allegedly involved, illegal drug distribution is an extremely serious allegation and you should immediately discuss your case with a highly experienced St. Louis drug distribution attorney.
Drug Distribution Penalties in St. Louis
Distributing less than 5 grams of marijuana can be charged as a Class C Felony, while distribution of all other types of controlled substances can be charged as a Class B Felony. This can include handing out prescription pills of very small amounts of “party” drugs to your friends. In addition, you can face Class A Felony charges if the prosecutor alleges that you distributed drugs on or near a school property.
The following are the potential prison sentences you may face for each type of charge:
- Class C Felony – Up to five years
- Class B Felony – Five to 15 years
- Class A Felony – Ten to 30 years
Furthermore, if you have previous drug-related or other felony convictions, you can be charged as a prior offender (one conviction on your record) or as a persistent offender (two or more convictions on your record). This can substantially increase the possible sentence you face in a drug distribution case. Charges and penalties can also increase if you are accused of trafficking, which generally involves buying, possessing, or traveling with large amounts of an illegal drug such as heroin or cocaine with the intent to distribute it. Trafficking is often punished with up to 30 years in Missouri state prison.
Why You Should Call a Criminal Defense Attorney
It is absolutely essential for anyone accused of drug distribution to have a highly skilled defense attorney handling their case. These charges require building an effective and often aggressive defense, which can include alleging violations of your constitutional rights, negotiating with prosecutors, skillfully presenting legal defenses, and representing you at trial. Distribution charges are different from possession charges and you need a lawyer who understands how to present a strong defense against this particular offense.
Discuss Your Case With a Skilled Drug Distribution Attorney as Soon as Possible
Criminal courts in St. Louis County and St. Louis City treat drug distribution cases very seriously. At the Byrnes Law Firm, we understand the defense and procedures involved in these cases and will aggressively protect your rights against unfair sentences or wrongful convictions. Please call our office at 314-312-0404 or use our online contact form to discuss how we can help you in your case.