People who live in Missouri likely know that the state takes a harsh stance on drugs. Cocaine certainly falls within this realm. Did you know that cocaine charges could potentially involve being sentenced to life in prison in the most severe cases? That's the case for people who have more than one cocaine-related conviction.
Let's start with cocaine possession, which as the least severe penalties of all cocaine charges. Even possessing a small amount of cocaine is a class C felony. This type of felony can mean a prison term of up to seven years. It is also associated with a one-year minimum sentence. There is a chance if you are facing your first cocaine-related charge that you will be sentenced to complete a drug treatment program and probation instead of incarceration.
Selling cocaine has penalties that are a bit more severe. This charge is a class B felony. That means you face five to 15 years in prison if you are convicted. It is also possible for you to have enhancements associated with your charges if the sale occurred within 2,000 feet of a school. That would make the charge a class A felony instead of a class B felony.
Trafficking cocaine has the harshest penalties of all cocaine-related charges. These charges are class A felonies that carry 10 to 30 years in prison upon conviction. The exception to this is drug trafficking charges classified as buying or attempting to buy that involve certain amounts of cocaine. Those are class B felonies.
While the ideal defense strategy will get you off of the charges, that isn't always possible. In those cases, your defense should focus on minimize the penalties that you face if you are convicted.
Source: FindLaw, "Missouri Cocaine Laws," accessed Sep. 09, 2016