What you need if you (or your daughter) are pregnant, addicted, and facing drug possession charges

help for an addicted pregnant mother

It’s a mother’s worst nightmare — you discover your daughter is addicted to opioids, pregnant with your grandchild, and facing drug possession charges!

In a recent 2017 study compiled by the Missouri Foundation for Health, in the past ten years, the number of babies born addicted to narcotics in Missouri has increased by an astounding 538%! This nightmare is a genuine reality for many Missouri grandmothers.

Add a mandatory minimum sentence to this scenario. Even a compassionate, reasonable judge will have no choice in the matter. A mandatory minimum sentence is just that — mandatory!  Judges are not allowed to rewrite the law.

Drug possession charges are no laughing matter in Missouri.

According to FindLaw.com,  cocaine possession charges start with a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in jail.  That’s a Class C felony on a person’s record.

One year may seem like a small amount of time, but for a pregnant momma, that’s a hugely important year. Your pregnant daughter may end up in jail and even give birth while incarcerated. That’s enough to make you cry!

Prenatal care is sure to be less than “five-star” under these circumstances. Diet, exercise, and good environment help an unborn baby’s healthy development. The stress of the prison environment  is bad enough for mother and baby. Think about the roomies! How about frozen TV dinners every night?

If an expectant mother is addicted to opioids, she will need access to withdrawal meds such as Suboxone to wean herself and the baby off of narcotics. Getting access to these drugs can be challenging enough for an addicted expectant momma outside of prison.

A recent news story in The Riverfront Times reminds us of the grim facts. Pregnant, addicted women often receive bottom-of-the-barrel treatment by society and even from those who should be their most trusted ally — their OB-GYN.  Shame and stigma follow these expectant mothers everywhere!

It’s easy to understand this attitude, though. Addiction is so harmful to the unborn child. C’mon! Get your act together, right? Throwing stones only injures the innocent in this scenario.

Encouragement and compassionate, nurturing care are important for every expectant mother — for the sake of both mother and baby.  Mandatory minimum sentencing punishes an unborn citizen in this respect. It’s the legal setting for a modern-day Les Miserable.

Addiction and drug possession charges carry long-lasting consequences. Besides the social stigma, there’s the criminal record. Imagine spending a year in jail, then attempting to get hired or to rent a decent apartment.

Meanwhile, what do you do if you or a loved one are currently facing drug possession charges, pregnant or not? You need prompt access to both medical and legal help.

Hope and medical help for pregnant addicts is now available in the St. Louis area through the efforts of an amazing woman and a growing team — Dr. Jaye Shyken of the Women and Infant Substance Help Center (also known as the WISH Center).  It’s a branch of St. Mary’s Hospital.

Concrete personalized action plan. Proven ways and methods to break addiction. Accountability. Dignity.  One can only hope this one-of-a kind program at the WISH center will take off like wildfire around our nation. The epidemic of addicted mommas and babies is no longer an issue we can ignore.

Is there any legal hope or help, despite mandatory minimum sentencing?

Yes and YES!  You definitely don’t want to end up with the maximum possible sentence. Your very first step is to reach out for expert legal help.

You need an aggressive, experienced criminal defense lawyer. It pays to explore and know your options — even possible probation for a first-time offender. Attorney Steimel of the greater St. Louis area knows Missouri drug possession laws. He will fight for your best future in court. Call 636-244-3737 today. Don’t face criminal charges without timely expert legal help!


What if you commit accidental shoplifting in Missouri?

Not too long ago I “overheard” a conversation on social media about an accidental shoplifting.

The story ran something like this: a busy momma with little ones had a cart overflowing with groceries and other items at a large retailer. She distractedly went through the checkout.

Unfortunately she started to leave this store with an unpaid item on the rack beneath her cart.  Security stopped her and checked her receipt. She profusely apologized and offered to pay for the item. Security still called the store manager who made her wait for the police.

She was treated like a criminal in front of her children for an honest mistake.

Her very irate husband published a letter to this retailer on social media.  I can’t fact check any of their story.  However, it’s a personal phobia of mine.  I often check receipts after shopping to make sure items were charged.

Accidental shoplifting is an easy crime to commit!

What about you?

Ever take a call on your cell while the cashier is ringing up your items? Or have your child asking you a whole list of questions during the process?  Rush hour (4-6pm) at the grocery store and long lines equal stress, too.

More than ever, we function on “overload” setting in daily life. Sometimes this results in an accidental felony!

Retailers undeniably face a genuine epidemic of shoplifting. According to a Time.com article, stores lost 48.9 billion dollars of inventory in 2016!

Of this amount, almost 37% of this loss was due to customer shoplifting.  Employee theft accounted for 30% of the lost inventory.  However, accidental shoplifting cannot be ruled out!


If you shop at Walmart, be especially careful to avoid accidental shoplifting. They’ve adopted their own interesting twist in dealing with shoplifting in Joplin, Missouri.

If you accidentally walk out (never mind that the cashier should also be held partially responsible) with an unpaid package of water bottles under your cart, this could cost you $400 plus time.

Meet Walmart’s “Restorative Justice Program”!

According to The Joplin Globe, this program is designed to cut down on frequent calls to the police.


However, it only applies to those with a clean record. Welcome, accidental shoplifter!

You have the choice of paying $400 and completing an online course.  Said course surely restores your brain cells from accidental shoplifting mode!

Fail to complete the course?  Fail to pay in full? Walmart reports you to the police!

Don’t care for this option?

Walmart calls the police and files a report.  You will need to show up in court.

In Missouri, shoplifting items under a $500 value is considered a Class A Misdemeanor —  punishable by possible jail time and fines.

Unfortunately, unless you fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed  in court, you will end up with a misdemeanor on your record.

True, you may qualify to get your record expunged.  Expungement for a misdemeanor now only requires a three year wait from the completion of your sentence, parole, or probation.  http://steimel-law.com/blog/get-your-legal-record-expunged/

Starting 2018 with any shoplifting charges? A misdemeanor or especially a felony charge (items over $500)  radically changes your life! You need experienced, aggressive legal help TODAY.

At the Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC, you can pursue your best options for your future!  Call 636-244-3737 to get your free initial consultation today.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

Come clean in 2018 — get your legal record expunged

Celebrate an expunged criminal record in 2018

Do you have a few wild oats that always come back to haunt you when you fill out a new job application or apply to rent an apartment? Maybe a DWI or perhaps a MIP (minor in possession) charge? Due to  recent changes in Missouri law, you may now qualify to have your criminal charges expunged from your record.

Perhaps, like me, you’ve never heard of the term “expunge” before.  A quick peek at dictionary.com gives us a brief definition. “to strike or blot out: erase; obliterate”. 

What if this happened to your criminal record? Wouldn’t it feel good to start 2018 with a clean slate?

Imagine not having to tell a potential employer of your one and only DWI ! That may just make life a whole lot easier for you.

You could answer “no” to committing a felony or misdemeanors in many situations as long as you are a one-time offender. Your court and criminal records would be sealed. No snoops allowed.

( Applying for a job in law enforcement or banking, for example? You will still have to disclose your record to your potential employer.)

The good news is that the state of Missouri has recently greatly expanded the list of felonies and misdemeanors they will expunge.

The Columbia Tribune reports that about 1,900 different felonies or misdemeanors will now be eligible to be expunged.


While not everyone with a misdemeanor on their record will qualify to have their criminal record expunged, many more folks than were allowed before can apply and start the process in 2018.

Only one felony in a lifetime or two misdemeanors or ordinance violations can be expunged. 

You may need to be patient, especially for alcohol-related offenses.

If you have a DWI on your record, you will have to keep your record squeaky clean for ten years before getting it expunged in court.

To get a misdemeanor expunged, the wait is three years from the date of completion of your sentence, parole, or probation.  This is FAR better than the former ten year wait to get a misdemeanor off of your record.

Other felonies will normally require a seven year wait for your clean slate.

What are some types of felonies or misdemeanors NOT eligible to be expunged?

  • Violent crimes
  • Repeat offenders (more than one DWI, for example)
  • Class A felonies
  • Sex offenses
  • Traffic misdemeanors while driving a commercial vehicle

For someone who made a foolish mistake and learned from it,  having your criminal record expunged is a wonderful second chance for a better life.

But you do have to take action. You have to fill out paperwork.  You have to show up in court. Most importantly, you do need to avoid any repeat offenses.

You don’t want to mess up this second chance.

You need the legal advice and step-by-step help of an experienced Missouri criminal defense attorney!

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will give you a free evaluation of your case.  http://steimel-law.com/criminal-defense.html

You don’t have to face your day in court alone.  Call 636-244-3737 today to get a great start to 2018!


This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.


Keep your hunting safe and legal

trespassing laws in MO
Safe hunting!

Long before children knew and loved the story of Bambi, his ancestors helped to save the lives of our Founding Fathers. 

That’s right! Without deer meat, the Plymouth Colony may not have survived their first few harsh New England winters. In fact, in 1621  Indian Chief Massasoit brought 90 men to the first Thanksgiving feast! In order to feed them, they provided 5 deer with their hunting skills. No licenses, no hunter safety classes — it was open season all winter long.

Times have changed! If you’re  bringing home the venison for Thanksgiving this year,  you’ll need to have your “ducks in a row”.

Let’s start with the legal part.  The main crime hunters commit is trespassing on private property. What about a Class B misdemeanor on your record?  If the judge decides against you,  you could face jail time!  Your family would miss you and your venison on Thanksgiving Day.

Then, imagine how losing your hunting license  for a year and forking out some hard earned dollars in fines would further dampen your grateful spirit!  That’s the penalty for trespassing while hunting.

Trespassing truth — even if you shoot your deer on legal ground, you can’t retrieve your kill if the deer runs a few feet and dies on someone else’s property.  Maybe diplomacy will help.   Contact the property owner.  There’s a nice chance they’d rather not deal with disposing of the carcass themselves.  Hopefully, they will also appreciate the fact that you didn’t choose to trespass on their property.

If that fails, well, you’ll just have to keep hunting!

Keep your eyes peeled for purple paint! Purple paint markers or “no trespassing signs” are the responsibility of the property owner. It’s their job to let you know their property’s boundaries, according to the  Missouri Department of Conservation.


Gun safety is a given.  if you’re a licensed hunter, you already know the rules, right?

Still, accidents happen to the best of us. The worst kind of accident involves not just injuring yourself — but injuring someone else, also!

Someone I know decided to fake target practice in his bedroom mirror. Said mirror shattered since the supposedly unloaded gun had a bullet left inside. Thankfully, no one was hurt!   Just a youthful mistake could have caused serious injury or death.

What Dad said is still true. Guns are not toys! 

So keep an eye on the kid who is enamored with your hunting gear and weapons.  Teach them early the basic gun safety rules.

  • Check your unloaded weapon to make sure it is in good working order.
  • Never point a gun at a peaceful person, even if it’s not loaded.
  • Keep your trigger-happy finger OFF the trigger until time to shoot.
  • Don’t climb trees or run with a loaded gun (unless you’re GI Joe).

if you are involved in a hunting accident,  don’t add a Class A misdemeanor to your misery!

Here’s how to stay out of jail  and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner (maybe even venison roast) with your family, courtesy of the Missouri Department of Conservation.

“If you are involved in a firearms-related hunting accident, the law requires that you identify yourself and render assistance. Failure to do so is a Class A misdemeanor.”  ( https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov)

If you are in need of legal defense due to a hunting accident or trespassing charges,  The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will give you a free initial consultation.  http://steimel-law.com/

Attorney Steimel knows your rights and is well-versed in Missouri laws.   Call for help today!  636-244-3737

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.