What Effect Does a Conviction for Marijuana Possession in St. Louis, MO Have on My Record?
A drug conviction on one’s permanent record (like St. Louis marijuana possession) can have a devastating effect on your future. Aside from the short term consequences (like jail time and a large fine), you will have to contend with bleak prospects of getting a good job (because your potential employer will run a criminal background check on you), you will likely lose out on renting a decent apartment (because your landlord will run the same check), and you will almost certainly have any governmental assistance (like food stamps or public housing) taken away from you. So how do you avoid these damaging consequences?
WE KEEP OUR FEES LOW SO THAT EVERYONE CAN HAVE LEGAL REPRESENTATION
The biggest mistake someone can make when they are charged with St. Louis marijuana possession (regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor or felony level) is to plead guilty. But the unfortunate fact is that most people (indeed, the vast majority of people) who find themselves in this kind of situation do exactly that (plead guilty). Why? Let’s take a look at a few reasons why people make this decision, and then examine the short and long term consequences involved.
$450 TO TAKE CARE OF MOST ST LOUIS MO MISDEMEANOR MARIJUANA CHARGES
To begin with, most people are not even aware of the fact that they have options or alternatives. But if you hire an experienced St. Louis criminal defense lawyer, he or she can look very closely at the facts involved with your case to see if there are any defenses that might be asserted on your behalf (to see if there is a chance of getting the charges dropped). And at the very least, a good attorney can work with the local prosecutor to possibly get the charges reduced (amended) to a lesser infraction (like “littering,” which is an offense that does not even show up on your permanent record).
PLEADING GUILTY TO THE CHARGE IS NOT YOUR BEST OPTION!!
One of the biggest reasons someone does not seek the counsel of an attorney is because they cannot afford an attorney. It is true that we have a Public Defender Office in every state (including Missouri). But there are certain criteria that must be met before someone qualifies for these services (which almost always involve a graduated level of income based on mathematical percentages of the current poverty line). Which means that a great number of people who cannot afford a regular, private attorney also will not qualify for a public defender (which seems counterintuitive, but that is the system we have until someone changes it). As a result, you will often see courtrooms packed with up to one hundred people sitting around waiting for their name to be called to stand in front of the judge (by themselves). Without an attorney to help guide you through the process, most people feel like they have no other option expect to simply plead guilty. Without a lawyer to work out a deal with the prosecutor, most pro se individuals (i.e. individuals representing themselves without a lawyer) do not exercise their basic Constitutional rights.
The affordable St. Louis marijuana possession 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!!