Missouri’s Abuse and Lose law surprises people pleading to Possession of Marijuana


Pleading guilty to the Class D misdemeanor of Possession of 10g or less of Marijuana can cost you more than just the fine of up to $500. It can cost your license for up to one year.  See the applicable section for people under 21 and for people 21 and older below.

Under 21 years of age:

If you are under 21, it could cost your driver’s license.
Missouri’s Abuse and Lose Law (RSMO 302.400) requires Courts to enter an order suspended or revoking the license of anyone under 21 that has been found guilty of possession of marijuana. It also addresses possession and consumption of alcohol, but for this article we are focused on marijuana.
A first violation of Abuse and Lose will get the offender a 90 day suspension. In order to re-instate your Missouri driver’s license, you will have to pa a $45 re-instatement fee and complete Substance Abusers Traffic Offenders Program (SATOP). A second violation will result in suspension of your license for one year. A third or subsequent revocation will result in revocation for one year.
Many prosecutors are aware of the license impact of conviction on the Class D marijuana possession. And they are willing to work with defense attorneys to minimize those collateral consequences. In rural Missouri, the ability to drive is central to being able to go to work, go to treatment, go to the doctor.
Anytime a person is charged with a crime, they should speak to a defense attorney before taking any other action or speaking with the police.
Remember:

  1. I don’t consent to any searches
  2. I don’t answer questions without my attorney present
  3. Are you detaining me or am I free to go

Missouri’s Abuse and Lose Law:

ABUSE AND LOSE:

 

Suspension or revocation of driving privileges, persons under twenty-one years of age–violation of certain laws–surrender of licenses–court to forward to director of revenue–period of suspension.
302.400. 1. A court of competent jurisdiction shall, upon a finding of guilt, or, if the court is a juvenile court, upon a finding of fact that the offense was committed by a juvenile, enter an order suspending or revoking the driving privileges of any person determined to have committed one of the following offenses and who, at the time said offense was committed, was under twenty-one years of age:

(1) Any alcohol-related traffic offense in violation of state law or a county or municipal ordinance, where the defendant was represented by an attorney or waived the right to an attorney in writing;

(2) Any offense in violation of state law or a county or municipal ordinance, where the defendant was represented by an attorney or waived the right to an attorney in writing, involving the possession or use of alcohol, committed while operating a motor vehicle;

(3) Any offense involving the possession or use of a controlled substance as defined in chapter 195 in violation of state law or a county or municipal ordinance, where the defendant was represented by an attorney or waived the right to an attorney in writing;

(4) Any offense involving the alteration, modification, or misrepresentation of a license to operate a motor vehicle in violation of section 311.328;

(5) Any subsequent offense in violation of state law or a county or municipal ordinance, where the defendant was represented by, or waived in writing the right to, an attorney, involving the possession or use of alcohol; except that a determination of guilt or its equivalent shall have been made for the first offense and both offenses shall have been committed by the person when the person was under eighteen years of age.

  1. A court of competent jurisdiction shall, upon a finding of guilt, or, if the court is a juvenile court, upon a finding of fact that the offense was committed by a juvenile, enter an order suspending or revoking the driving privileges of any person determined to have committed a violation of section 311.325and who, at the time said violation was committed, was more than fifteen years of age and under twenty-one years of age.
  2. The court shall require the person against whom a court has entered an order suspending or revoking driving privileges under subsections 1 and 2 of this section to surrender any license to operate a motor vehicle, temporary instruction permit, intermediate driver’s license, or any other driving privilege then held by such person.
  3. The court, if other than a juvenile court, shall forward to the director of revenue the order of suspension or revocation of driving privileges and any licenses, temporary instruction permits, intermediate driver’s licenses, or any other driving privilege acquired under subsection 3 of this section.
  4. (1) Notwithstanding chapter 211 to the contrary, the court, if a juvenile court, shall forward to the director of revenue the order of suspension or revocation of driving privileges and any licenses, temporary instruction permits, intermediate driver’s licenses, or any other driving privilege acquired under subsection 3 of this section for any person sixteen years of age or older.

(2) Notwithstanding chapter 211 to the contrary, the court, if a juvenile court, shall hold the order of suspension or revocation of driving privileges for any person less than sixteen years of age until thirty days before the person’s sixteenth birthday, at which time the juvenile court shall forward to the director of revenue the order of suspension or revocation of driving privileges.

  1. The period of suspension for a first offense under subsection 1 of this section shall be ninety days. Any second or subsequent offense under subsection 1 of this section shall result in revocation of the offender’s driving privileges for one year. The period of suspension for a first offense under subsection 2 of this section shall be thirty days. The period of suspension for a second offense under subsection 2 of this section shall be ninety days. Any third or subsequent offense under subsection 2 of this section shall result in revocation of the offender’s driving privileges for one year.

(L. 1987 S.B. 230 § 1, A.L. 1991 S.B. 125 & 341, A.L. 2005 H.B. 353 merged with S.B. 37, et al. merged with S.B. 402, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)

Transferred 2014; formerly 577.500; Effective 1-01-17

21 years of age and older

Missouri’s Abuse and Lose law RSMo §302.405 will cost people convicted of possession of marijuana their driver’s license for one year if they are driving a motor vehicle at the time. The Court is ordered by the statutes to do this. Any time you are facing criminal charges, it is important to have a lawyer review the charges and the collateral consequences.

302.405.  

Revocation of driving privileges, persons over twenty-one years of age — possession or use of drug in motor vehicle — surrender of licenses — court shall forward order to department of revenue. — A court of competent jurisdiction shall enter an order revoking the driving privileges of any person determined to have violated any state, county, or municipal law involving the possession or use of a controlled substance, as defined in chapter 195, while operating a motor vehicle and who, at the time said offense was committed, was twenty-one years of age or older.  The court shall require the person to surrender to the court all operator’s and chauffeur’s licenses then held by such person.  The court shall forward to the director of revenue the order of revocation of driving privileges and any licenses surrendered.

(L. 1987 S.B. 230 § 2, A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)

Transferred 2014; formerly 577.505; Effective 1-01-17