If you’ve never faced charges for drug possession, you may not know the actions a court can take. But in Missouri, you can receive harsh punishments for having drugs. The sentence you receive can depend on the type of substance you have.

A punishment for possession can leave you with a criminal record that makes getting a job difficult. You may also spend years in jail and pay high fines. A sentence can mean you spend years getting back on track.

Drug possession can lead to felony charges

For any drugs except for marijuana, you can face a Class D felony in Missouri. This charge can bring you up to seven years in jail. And a Missouri court can fine you up to $10,000. Not only can you spend several years behind bars, but the charge also goes on your record. If anyone pulls your background, they will see a felony charge for drug possession.

Marijuana can have lesser charges

While most illegal drugs mean a felony, a conviction for marijuana possession can be less severe. If you face charges for less than 10 grams, the court can give you a misdemeanor and fine you up to $500. For charges between 10 and 35 grams, you can receive a higher-level misdemeanor and spend up to a year in jail. Above 35 grams, you can receive a felony.

Punishments don’t end with a conviction

The consequences of a conviction for possession can last for years. Even after you serve your time and pay your fines, you may still have trouble finding employment or housing. A criminal record can hang over your head long after you finish your sentence.

However, you may be able to convince a judge to reduce or drop charges. You should consult with an attorney to see what your options are. Reduced charges can mean you spend less time in jail or you pay less in fines. You may even prevent a conviction from affecting your future.

If you can reduce your sentence, you may lessen the consequences.