Every Township, Municipality, and City in Missouri is Different in How It Handles Crimes
You would think that regardless of where you go in the state of Missouri, the laws would be applied in the same way, form, and fashion. And to an extent that is true. For instance, in every jurisdiction within the state, it is illegal to possess marijuana. The statutory language on this particular crime is very clear: it states that if you are found in the possession of less than 35 grams of marijuana, you will be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor. But there is a wide variation in how each municipality handles this kind of charge.
WE KEEP OUR FEES LOW SO THAT EVERYONE CAN HAVE LEGAL REPRESENTATION
It really all boils down to the prosecutor. If he or she does not regard the crime of marijuana possession (less than 35 grams) to be that big of a deal, then there is a high likelihood that the prosecutor will be willing to offer a recommendation to the court. The recommendation usually results in a reduction of the possession charge down to some lesser infraction (like “littering,” which does not even show up on your record). This is ideal for all parties involved: the defendant gets off with a slap on the wrist (and a fine), the prosecutor gets to close one more case from his busy schedule, and the court doesn’t even have to deal with it at all.
$450 TO TAKE CARE OF MOST MISSOURI MISDEMEANOR CHARGES
But on the other hand, there are some municipalities throughout the state whose prosecutor takes the charge of marijuana possession much more seriously. In those jurisdictions, the prosecutor may be less likely to offer a recommendation (as described above). Instead, the prosecutor may suggest to the court an SIS (Suspended Imposition of Sentence), which involves a period of probation (usually two years), a fine, community service, and drug counseling classes. These prosecutors can be more strict for a variety of reasons (especially if the area they serve is known for drug dealing, drug violence, or gang activity).
PLEADING GUILTY IS NOT YOUR BEST OPTION!!
So as you can see, the way in which the court will proceed with your case depends on which municipality you receive the criminal citation. The prosecutor plays the largest role at the beginning of the process (in terms of getting a good recommendation). But of course, just because the prosecutor is not willing to provide a good recommendation, there is always the opportunity to move forward through the criminal justice system.
The affordable St. Louis criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Jennifer Alter-Rieken, have been helping people with their misdemeanor charges for over ten (10) years. Our goal is to make sure that the charges leveled against you do not stay on your permanent record, and do any lasting damage. And we want to do all of this at an affordable price. The fees for a typical misdemeanor case start at $450. But the initial consultation to discuss your legal issues is free of charge. So contact us today!!
We have two main locations: in the Central West End of St. Louis, at 1 North Taylor (on the corner of Taylor and Laclede), 63108; and in the Twin Cities of Festus / Crystal City, at 1000 Truman Blvd (Highway 61/67), 63019. The initial consultation is free of charge. So contact us today to learn more!!