JUSTIN DAVID LAWS, d/o/b 8-15-1985, of Hollister, was sentenced to eight (8) years in prison on Thursday, October 13, 2016, by Taney County Circuit Court Judge Laura Johnson, for the class C felony of unlawful possession of a concealable firearm. Laws had entered his guilty plea on August 4, 2016, without any agreement with prosecutors as to what sentence he would receive.

On April 7, 2016, Hollister Police officers responded to a call for service at 103 Gage Drive, where Laws was found passed out behind the wheel of his automobile, parked in the Taco Bell “drive-thru” lane. Laws was found to be under the influence of drugs, and a sawed-off shotgun was in plain view on the passenger seat. Laws was identified as a convicted felon, and was charged by the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office as a prior and persistent felony offender. Laws remained in custody at the Taney County jail from the time of his arrest until his sentencing on Thursday.

In addition to the eight (8) years in prison for unlawful possession of a concealable firearm, Laws was sentenced to 180 days in jail for the class B misdemeanor of driving while intoxicated on drugs. Those sentences were ordered by the court to be served concurrently with one another. The class C felony of unlawful possession of a concealable firearm normally carries a maximum penalty of seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a $5,000.00 fine. However, because Laws was charged as a prior and persistent felony offender, his maximum possible sentence was enhanced to fifteen (15) years in prison.