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Joseph P. Welch

Joseph P. Welch

Criminal Defense and Marijuana Lawyer
Attorney at Law
Saint Louis, MO
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About Joseph P. Welch

Attorney Biography

While many lawyers handle drug cases, Joe Welch has earned his reputation as "the drug lawyer" in courts throughout Missouri by a combination of winning drug cases in the courtroom, advocating to end drug prohibition, and having the expertise to understand the science behind drug cases. Fellow lawyers in the community often seek his advice on novel or confusing issues in their own drug cases. He has defended countless people who have been busted on I-70 with tens or hundreds or thousands of pounds of cannabis, and while based in St. Louis travels to courts all over Missouri.  

The Litigator

Joe Welch has tried countless cases before judges, juries, and administrative bodies, and has litigated hundreds of motions to suppress, dismiss, or otherwise undermine the state’s cases against his clients. His courtroom success and experience is unrivaled and his administrative law expertise is a key to success in the new medical cannabis industry.

The Advocate

For over 10 years Joseph Welch has been an active, public, and outspoken member of NORML – long before marijuana legalization had the public support it now does Drafted the 2009 petition to decriminalize marijuana in the City of St. Louis Has helped prosecutors challenge their own opinions about drug laws and mass incarceration He publicly fights for a society where law is no longer the tool of oppression

The Scientist

Joe Welch also has a bachelors degree in geology, a "hard science" of physics, math and chemistry where he studied and used many of the same instruments that the state’s drug chemists use in analyzing controlled substances Few lawyers know more about mass spectrometry, gas chromatography, specific versus presumptive tests, the Wiley library, and lab quality control than he does He also has extensive knowledge regarding the science of addiction, drug treatment and drug testing

The Highest Credentials

Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Ranked 10/10 Superb, Avvo’s highest rating Graduated from top ranked Washington University School of Law Attended the Missouri Bar CLE’s Advanced Trial College Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) Member of the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL) Member of the Missouri Association of Trial Lawyers (MATA) Member of the NORML Legal Committee Card carrying member of the ACLU Member of the Missouri Civil Liberties Association (MOCLA) Member of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) Practiced law for over 15 years

Why Trial Experience is Key

Whether or not you want a trial, you need an attorney experienced in trying cases in front of a jury – the only leverage you have against the government prosecutors in a criminal case or insurance companies when trying to get compensation for your injuries is your lawyer’s willingness to take your case to trial.

Many criminal cases get dismissed right before trial, and even losing your trial is often better than settling for a plea bargain. Most lawyers never take cases to trial – they take your money and walk you into a plea bargain without investigating your case or fighting for you at all. Many of Joe Welch’s felony cases get reduced to misdemeanors or dismissed completely because he’s willing to put up a fight.

The prosecutor knows whether or not your lawyer is willing to put up a fight. If your lawyer has never tried a case, the prosecutor holds the upper hand and will force you into a less favorable plea bargain.

Security Focused

Your communications with your criminal defense lawyer should be private and secure – that’s why Joe Welch uses state of the art encryption to communicate with you and protect your secrets.

Practice Areas

Criminal Defense (60%)
Marijuana Law (30%)
Civil Trial Law (5%)
Administrative Law (5%)

Résumé - Joseph P. Welch

Bar Licenses

Missouri State Bar
Member in Good Standing


Washington University School of Law


National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws

National Lawyers Guild
Board of Directors - St. Louis Chapter
National Lawyers Guild

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Greater St. Louis NORML

Missouri Association of Trial Attorney

NORML -National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws

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Awards & Honors

Top 40 Under 40
The National Trial Lawyers

"Skilled Defense Lawyer"
St. Louis Evening Whirl

Top 100 Trial Lawyer
The National Trial Lawyers

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Commercial Recognitions

Community Leadership badge
Recognized for Community Leadership
Lawyer Legion

Professional Involvement badge
Recognized for Professional Involvement
Lawyer Legion

"10 Best" Criminal Law Attorneys for Client Satisfaction
American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys

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Case Results - Joseph P. Welch

Fel dismissed
Felony possession of cannabis
Sep 2020
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 w...

Felony possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, felony weapons charges
Aug 2020
Joe Welch's client was charged with 14 felony drug and weapons charges for the alleged distribution of methamphetamine. After a very thorough preliminary hearing at which Mr. Welch cross-examined the ...

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Contact Joseph P. Welch

Joseph P. Welch
Attorney at Law
3115 S. Grand Blvd., Suite 100
Saint Louis, MO 63118
Mobile: 314-494-9729

Online Profiles

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Nonprofit Organizations

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers -

Founded in 1958, NACDL is the largest organization for criminal defense lawyers fighting to preserve fairness within America's criminal justice system. The organization has more than 10,000 direct members including criminal defense attorneys in private practice, public defenders in state or federal court, U.S. military defense counsel, law professors and judges.

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws NLC -

More than 350 criminal defense attorneys belong to the NORML National Legal Committee (NLC). Members of the NORML NLC include many prominent criminal defense lawyers who are dedicated to ending prohibition of marijuana through education, legal reform and activism. Attorneys focused on other practice areas also belong to the organization.

NLC members are listed on the NORML website, are eligible for the NLC e-mail discussion group, receive the weekly email press release, and NORML News.