Penalties for trafficking a controlled substance in Missouri

On Behalf of | Nov 12, 2021 | drug charges

One of the most serious charges you can face in Missouri is trafficking a controlled substance. If you are caught with a drug, whether a prescription drug or an illegal substance, there are a lot of factors that go into your case, and the penalties could be quite severe. Here are some of the punishments you are likely to face.

What constitutes controlled substance possession and trafficking?

Drug possession doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a drug on you; instead, Missouri law considers possession as the ability to handle or control a drug. For example, if your friend gets in your car with an illegal substance and the police happen to find it on them, you could also be charged with possession.

Drug trafficking, on the other hand, is when you knowingly produce, manufacture, deliver or distribute a controlled substance. The mere attempt to produce, manufacture, deliver or distribute a drug can also qualify as drug trafficking in Missouri. You should note that these controlled substances could be regularly prescribed drugs without a doctor’s prescription.

Penalties for trafficking a controlled substance

Drug charges vary depending on the amount of drugs that the police say they found on you. According to Missouri law, drug trafficking can fall into either a class A or class B felony.

Class A felony can land you 10 years in prison and could also have you spending the rest of your life in prison. It doesn’t take much to be a Class A felon; for instance, trafficking 1 gram of LSD is enough to get you such harsh punishment.

Class B felony is when you traffic small amounts of controlled substances. The penalty may include five years in prison.

Not knowing the amount of drugs in your possession doesn’t qualify as a defense in Missouri court. Therefore, you must be watchful at all times because even if a friend loses a pill in your car, you could suffer severe consequences.