Felony Charge Dismissed Against Springfield Pharmacist Represented by Adam Woody

The case of State of Missouri v. Gary Grove in Christian County has now been resolved.  What was once a felony charge of Involuntary Manslaughter in the Second Degree was reduced to and resulted in a plea to a traffic violation of failure to maintain lane of travel.

Originally a Careless and Imprudent Ticket

Following a vehicle accident in June of 2017, prominent Springfield Pharmacist Gary Grove was issued a ticket for Careless and Imprudent Driving.

Grand Jury Indictment for Involuntary Manslaughter

He was then surprisingly indicted by a Christian County grand jury in November of that year for Involuntary Manslaughter in the Second Degree.  His “mugshot” was posted on many media outlets accompanied by news articles detailing the case and the felony charge, and his reputation was irreparably damaged.

Charge Reduced to a Traffic Lane Violation After Adam Woody Provided Medical Records and Expert Reports

After our office conducted a thorough investigation, we provided the Prosecutor’s Office with Mr. Grove’s medical records and multiple expert reports that the accident was due to a medical emergency he experienced while driving that night. In an interview with KY3, Mr. Grove clarified that he had a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted in his body two weeks after the accident. 

Mr. Grove is happy to get this matter behind him and move forward knowing that the Christian County Prosecutor’s Office ultimately made the right decision in reducing the charge to a lane violation after evidence showed that the accident was due to Mr. Grove facing an unavoidable medical issue while driving that evening.

Moving Forward

It truly was an accident in the purest sense of the word, but one that Mr. Grove will have to live with for the rest of his life.  His remorse has been agonizing at times since the accident.  He can now move forward and continue operating three Grove Pharmacies in Springfield, where he helps thousands of clients with their daily needs.  Grove Pharmacy has remained family owned and operated for over 60 years here in the Ozarks.

Aside from owning Grove Pharmacy since 1980, Mr. Grove devotes his time to community involvement and humanitarian needs.  Mr. Grove has dedicated his time as a volunteer at the Aids Project of the Ozarks for 30 years.  Through Grove Pharmacy and Grove Spa, Mr. Grove donates to over 200 charities each year.  To that humanitarian end, his heart pours out to the victim of this accident, Julien Wayne, as well as his family, friends, and loved ones.

The silver lining at the end of the day is that the system worked and that justice did not come at the expense of a felony conviction and the possibility of prison time for a good, decent man.  A felony was wholly unwarranted and unsupported by the evidence, and fairness was accomplished through an amendment and disposition as a lane violation.  We thank the Christian County Prosecutor’s Office in working out an appropriate disposition in the face of public scrutiny.  That is what justice deserves.

Sources.

KY3 Story. https://www.ky3.com/content/news/Springfield-pharmacist-pleads-guilty-in-deadly-crash-from-June-2017-508066311.html

KOLR 10 Story. https://www.ozarksfirst.com/news/pharmacy-owner-gary-grove-pleads-guilty-to-traffic-lane-violation/1898833494

Springfield News-Leader Story. https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/crime/2019/04/03/springfield-pharmacy-owner-pleads-guilty-lesser-charge-manslaughter/3350815002/

New Law Makes Crossing the Canada Border with a DWI Even More Difficult

On December 18, 2018, Canada’s new impaired driving laws went into effect. Under the new laws, driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol is now considered a serious offense, placing it in the same legal category as murder, aggravated sexual assault, and drug trafficking.

Previous Law

Under the previous Canadian criminal code, DWI is considered an offense of “ordinary criminality” such that it carried a maximum punishment of five years. That meant individuals convicted of offenses of criminality in other countries, such as DWI, were deemed inadmissible for ten years. After five years one could apply for an “approval of rehabilitation” and prior to five years the only way to travel to Canada would be to obtain a Temporary Resident Permit.

New Law

Now that the new law has taken effect, the maximum punishment for a DWI conviction increases to 10 years as the crime is re-designated as one of “serious criminality”.  This will have several impacts on those with DWI or DWI related convictions who wish to travel into Canada. No longer will one convicted of DWI be automatically deemed rehabilitated after ten years.  They will still be allowed to seek “approval of rehabilitation” after five years but the designation of “serious criminality” means that the application and review process will likely become more difficult and restrictive.  The same will be true for those seeking a Temporary Resident Permit.

If you or a loved one is considering a visit to Canada and have a DWI or similar offense on their record from after December 2018, these new rules could make it much more difficult for them to enter the country. While the new law will not be applied retroactively, anyone with an old DWI on their record should still be prepared to face increased scrutiny and questioning at the border. Even George W. Bush had to get a special waiver to enter Canada because of his 1976 drunk driving conviction. Without legal assistance, travelers with a DWI on their records from December 2018 or later will likely find themselves unable to enter Canada.

Source.

Choose a Designated Driver Before Going Out

Hockey season in full swing and baseball season is just around the corner. All of these events call for time spent with friends between bars, stadiums and homes. Before you attend a sporting event, no matter where, you should know who your designated driver is.

Your chances of getting pulled over for a DWI around Springfield increase during major sporting events. If you think you can kick back a couple of cold ones without garnering a DWI charge, think again.

 

Police use checkpoints

Police often place barricaded checkpoints around the area, especially during live sporting events and alcohol-heavy holidays such as Memorial Day. These allow them to stop all traffic and conduct license checks and physical examination of the driver and occupants without probable cause. The checkpoints do not typically spring up in the same spots to keep people from re-routing to avoid them. If you encounter a DWI checkpoint, prepare yourself for the following:

  • Mandatory stop
  • License and insurance check
  • K-9s conducting drug inspections on the perimeter of the car

Keep in mind the police have developed skills through their years of experience that assist in detecting the signs of intoxication. Even if you believe you can operate a vehicle without hazard, a police officer may find evidence to the contrary.

 

Expect a breath test

If a police officer believes you have consumed alcoholic beverages, a breath test will establish just how much remains in your system. When you got your Missouri license, you gave something called implied consent to submit to a breath or blood test at the request of law enforcement. If you do not comply with the request, you may lose your license until you go to court.

Before setting out on any venture that involves alcohol, decide who will take charge of the keys. Just a few drinks may result in serious DWI charges or worse: an accident.

 

Source

Posted in DWI

Missouri’s DHSS Releases Medical Marijuana FAQs

In November, Missouri voters approved Amendment 2 to permit state-licensed physicians to recommend marijuana for medical purposes to patients with serious illnesses and medical conditions.

The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS) answered some of the frequently asked questions Missourians have about medical marijuana.

Can I legally possess medical marijuana now?

No. Amendment 2 requires steps be taken before medical marijuana is available.

When will medical marijuana be available?

The Department will begin accepting applications for cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensing facilities on August 3, 2019. Medical marijuana is expected to be available for purchase in January 2020, at the earliest.

How do I get medical marijuana?

Step 1: Visit a state-licensed physician (not a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant) to obtain a physician certification.
Step 2: Apply for an ID card from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (starting on July 4, 2019). The fee is $25.
Step 3: Once your application is approved and you receive your ID card (within 30 days of application), purchase medical marijuana from a state-licensed dispensary (not a pharmacy).

What medical conditions qualify for a medical marijuana certification?
  • cancer;
  • epilepsy;
  • glaucoma;
  • intractable migraines unresponsive to other treatment;
  • chronic medical conditions that cause severe, persistent pain or persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to: multiple sclerosis, seizures, Parkinson’s disease, and Tourette’s syndrome;
  • debilitating psychiatric disorders, including PTSD (if diagnosed by a state licensed psychiatrist;
  • HIV or AIDS;
  • a chronic medical condition that is normally treated with a prescription medicine that can lead to psychological or physical dependence, when a physician determines that medical marijuana could be effective in treating the condition and would be a safer alternative;
  • any terminal illness;
  • any other chronic, debilitating or other medical condition, including but not limited to hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, IBS, Crohn’s disease, Huntington’s disease, autism, neuropathies, sickle cell anemia, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia and wasting syndrome.
Important Points:

(1) People with an out-of-state medical marijuana card or a physician certification cannot legally possess medical marijuana in Missouri on December 6, 2018.

(2) You can grow your own marijuana plants for medical use, with the appropriate ID card and in an appropriate facility.

(3) Applications can be submitted beginning on August 3, 2019, for cultivation, manufacturing, testing, transportation, seed-to-sale, or dispensing facility license. It takes 150 days after the application is received to receive the license, if approved.

(4) The fees for applying are pretty steep. A Cultivation Facilities application requires a $10,000 non-refundable application fee, and a $25,000 annual fee. Dispensary Facilities require a $6,000 non-refundable application fee, and a $10,000 annual fee. Medical marijuana-infused manufacturing facilities require a $6,000 non-refundable application fee and a $10,000 annual fee.

The FAQ provided by the DHSS clarifies some of the questions that Missourians have about medical marijuana. We will continue to monitor the development of medical marijuana in Missouri.
Source.

Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks: Marijuana Legalization Sends Drug-Sniffing Dogs Into Early Retirement

Earlier this month, medical marijuana was legalized in Missouri. Medical marijuana legalization threatens the use of drug dogs trained to detect marijuana in the state.

Are the Dog Days Over?

Any search of a vehicle must be supported by probable cause. The officer must be able to point to facts or circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe evidence or contraband relating to criminal activity will be found in the vehicle. Law enforcement in all states employ highly trained drug detection dogs to sniff vehicles stopped by police.

In Florida v. Harris (2013), the Supreme Court of the United States issued a unanimous decision that a drug dog’s training and certification are adequate indicators of his reliability, and a dog’s alert provides probable cause to search a vehicle.

Last year, the Colorado Court of Appeals set a new precedent for drug cases. A panel of three judges ruled that officers using drug dogs trained to sniff marijuana and other drugs need a stronger reason to search a car without permission.

The ruling stemmed from a 2015 case involving a narcotics dog, Kilo. Kilo alerted to the smell of illegal drugs from a man’s truck. But Kilo was trained to detect marijuana, among other drugs. The Colorado Court of Appeals overturned the man’s drug conviction, and ruled that Kilo could not tell the officers whether he smelled marijuana or another drug in the man’s truck.

Next month, the Colorado Supreme Court will review the Court of Appeals decision.

You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks.

You can’t tell a Police K-9 who has been trained to detect marijuana to ignore marijuana just because it is legal now. Approximately 20% of all drug dogs in the United States are trained to detect marijuana. Now they are forced into early retirement. Older dogs, even if they undergo training to stop reacting to marijuana, would still face intense scrutiny to prove if they made a false hit. Any criminal defense attorney is going to ask, “Has your dog ever alerted to marijuana?”

In Canada, where retail marijuana sales began last month, 14 narcotics dogs were retired.

But New Dogs Can Learn New Tricks.

Some states, such as California, Oregon, Maine, and Vermont, have been training their drug dogs to detect cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and ecstasy. But not marijuana.

The President of Colorado’s Police K-9 Association revealed that most drug dogs cost between $6,000 to $10,000 alone, and that’s without training. Small departments just cannot afford to replace these high-priced marijuana-trained dogs with non-marijuana certified dogs. In the meantime, these small units can wait until they build up the funding to replace their drug dogs with non-marijuana certified dogs.

These small departments have a few other options. First, they can keep using their marijuana trained dogs and take their chances in court. Second, they can transfer the dog to places in the state where marijuana is still off limits, such as schools and jails. Third, they can work with law enforcement in states where marijuana is still illegal to put the drug dogs back on the road detecting marijuana.

It will be interesting to see whether law enforcement in Missouri replace their marijuana-trained dogs or keep using them. We will continue monitoring Missouri courts to see if they rule on this issue.

Source.

Guns and Medical Marijuana: You Can’t Have It All, Despite Amendment 2

This week, medical marijuana was legalized in Missouri. But those with a medical marijuana license jeopardize their Second Amendment right to buy and possess a gun. It is illegal to buy a firearm with a medical marijuana license. Also, it is illegal to sell a firearm or ammunition to someone with a medical marijuana license.

Illegal to Buy Firearm with Medical Marijuana License

Missourians with a medical marijuana card are required to answer “yes,” on the question 11.e on the ATF Firearm Transaction Record, Form 4473. That question is, “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?”

Right below that question, the ATF posts a warning in bold letters that there is no exception under federal law for medicinal marijuana. Click here to read the ATF Firearm Transaction Form. 

Illegal to Sell a Firearm or Ammunition to Someone with a Medical Marijuana License

To make matters worse, it is a violation of federal law to sell firearm or ammunition to anyone that the buyer know or has cause to believe is an “unlawful user.” A state-issued medical marijuana license counts as reasonable cause to believe the person is an unlawful user under federal law.

This means that gun shops and other dealers can be prosecuted for selling a firearm to a person that has a medical marijuana license.

That law applies to everyone, not just businesses. Federal law makes it unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person that has a medical marijuana license. Click here to read that federal law, 18 U.S.C. 922(d)(3).

With these big changes to Missouri’s medical marijuana law, combined with the strict federal ban, there will likely be an increase in the number of people charged and prosecuted with selling a firearm illegally or buying and possessing a firearm illegally in Southwest Missouri.

Source.

Springfield, Mo. Criminal Defense Firm Law Office of Adam Woody Receives Two Prestigious Awards

We are honored to announce two recent awards for the Law Office of Adam Woody.  Just this week, it was announced that the Law Office of Adam Woody has been named by the U.S. News and World Report and Best Lawyers in the Ninth Edition of the “Best Law Firms” rankings for the first time.  It was also announced that Adam Woody has once again been chosen for recognition in the 25th edition of The Best Lawyers in America for his high caliber work in the practice area of DUI/DWI Defense.  Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based on rigorous peer-review survey methodology comprising more than 7.8 million confidential evaluations by top attorneys.

We are thrilled with our inclusion in these two prestigious lists and will continue to provide our area with the highest level criminal defense legal service available.