Felony possession of cannabis
Mr. Welch’s client was facing up to 7 years in prison for felony possession and the prosecutor was asking for a felony conviction and a trip to prison for a drug treatment program only if he first waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Instead of having his client waive the hearing he tried to convince the prosecutor that a class D misdemeanor was ultimately all they would be able to prove. After thinking it over the prosecutor released their witnesses; there would be no preliminary hearing this day as the felony charge was voluntarily dismissed and refiled as a misdemeanor and Joe Welch’s client walked out of court with only a small fine. In Missouri you are only entitled to a preliminary hearing if you are accused of a felony and once the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor that right went away.