Criminal Defense Lawyer Lake Of The Ozarks

If you have been charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, you should hire a criminal defense attorney to get legal advice, to walk you through the process, protect your rights, and ensure that you receive the best outcome possible.

Depending on the circumstances of your case and the strength of the evidence, your criminal defense attorney will discuss your options and build a solid case for your defense. 

Types of Criminal Cases and Their Penalties

criminal law

Criminal law is a system of laws that determine the punishment of someone who has committed a crime. Under Missouri law, offenses are categorized as misdemeanors, felonies, or infractions.

A crime occurs when a person breaks the law and commits an illegal act. It is critical to understand the implications and consequences of crime in Missouri. Whenever the police believe that a crime has been committed, they may arrest the person. Penalties will be determined based on the severity and nature of the crime committed by the suspect.

Felonies

In Missouri, felonies are serious crimes that can carry punishments of more than a year in prison. When it comes to sentencing for a felony, Missouri has five classes, with Class E being the least serious and Class A being the most serious. Besides the class of felony, other factors could increase or reduce the sentence. These may include the circumstances surrounding the crime or the criminal history of the defendant.

Class A felony

Class A felonies are sentenced to at least ten years and no more than 30 years of life in prison. No fines are authorized. Examples of Class A Felonies include:

  • First-degree murder 
  • Second-degree murder
  • Knowingly infecting another with HIV by being a blood product, organ, or tissue donor
  • First-degree domestic assault 
  • Kidnapping
  • Child kidnapping
  • Child molestation
  • Abandonment of a child
  • Abuse or neglect of a child
  • Unlawful use of a weapon
  • Stealing 
  • Causing a catastrophe

Class B Felony

Class B felonies are punishable with at least five years and no more than 15 years in prison. No fines are authorized. Some examples of Class B felonies may include:

  • Performing/inducing/attempting to perform an abortion by a person who is not a physician
  • Distributing a controlled substance to a minor
  • Second-degree assault,
  • First-degree domestic assault (first offense)
  • Terrorizing
  • Facilitating a felony
  • Second-degree child molestation
  • First-degree sexual abuse
  • Promoting prostitution
  • Abandonment of a child

Class C Felony

Class C felonies are punishable with at least three years and no more than ten years in prison with fines up to $10,000.00. Some examples may include: 

  • Involuntary manslaughter
  • Failure to make a report of drug transfer
  • Sexual abuse
  • Second-degree domestic assault
  • Third-degree child molestation
  • DWI
  • Stealing leased or rented property
  • Stealing  $25,000 or more 
  • Trafficking drugs

Class D Felony

These felonies are punished with at least one year and no more than seven years in prison and fines up to $10,000.00. The most common Class D felony offenses may include:

  • Class 1 election offense
  • Making a false statement on a franchise tax report
  • Abuse of healthcare recipients
  • Failure to return to house arrest
  • Unauthorized practice of medicine or surgery
  • Altering lottery tickets
  • Second-degree kidnapping
  • Third-degree assault, and more

Class E Felony

A Class E felony in Missouri carries the least severe range of punishment available under the statute with a term of incarceration not to exceed four years. Some examples may include: 

  • Breach of confidentiality regarding taxes
  • Motor fuel tax evasion
  • Violation of child protection order (second or subsequent offense)
  • Third-degree assault
  • Harassment
  • Parental kidnapping
  • Child abduction, and more

Under Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 558.011, 566.030 (2020) some individual crimes, for example, first-degree rape, have their own separate sentencing requirements. 

Misdemeanors

Under Missouri law, misdemeanors are considered less serious crimes than felonies but more serious than infractions. While misdemeanors are lesser crimes, they can still carry a penalty of imprisonment in a county jail for up to a year or a fine. According to Missouri law, misdemeanors are classified into five different categories.

Class A: Up to 1 year in jail (fines up to $2,000.00)

Examples of Class A misdemeanors include making a false report or false statement of a missing person, violating airport zoning regulations, or obtaining criminal history record information under false pretenses.

Class B: Up to 6 months in jail (fines up to $1,000.00)

Examples of Class B misdemeanors include disturbing the peace or operating as a doctor without a license.

Class C: Up to 15 days in jail (fines up to $750.00)

A few examples of Class C misdemeanors include canine cruelty, violation of child labor laws, or increasing driving speed while being passed.

Class D: Fines up to $500

Examples of Class D misdemeanors include driving with a suspended license, driving with a revoked license, or operating a vehicle on a highway without a valid license.

Kirsch & Kirsch Criminal Law Team

lawyers

A felony or misdemeanor conviction will create a permanent criminal record. Being a convicted felon may affect you when you are looking for a job or applying to rent a house. You may also lose the right to own a gun.

If your or a member of your family has been accused of violating Missouri’s criminal codes, do not worry. You do have a legal option, no matter the accusation. With the help of our skilled criminal defense attorneys, you can get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether. By having our dedicated legal advocates on your side, we will stand up for your rights at every turn.

At Kirsch & Kirsch, LLC, we are dedicated to seeking the best possible outcome for our clients, and our years of experience in criminal law is an invaluable asset. Check out our client’s feedback, and explore our website for more information. Whether you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor in the state of Missouri, we will work diligently on your behalf, keeping your individual needs our top priority. Contact us to schedule a free consultation at 573-222-0826 today. 

How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Lake of The Ozarks Help You?

Since criminal law is a multifaceted area of the legal system, it is normal to ask yourself a lot of questions. Criminal charges may significantly impact all areas of your life, such as your family, profession, or education. That’s why it is highly recommended that you hire a criminal defense lawyer. A lawyer will make sure that your case is appropriately addressed and the negative consequences minimized. 

A criminal defense lawyer will advise you whether you should plead guilty or not. Any plea bargain needs to be carefully evaluated, so a lawyer will ensure that all your rights are protected and that you understand the short-term and long-term consequences of the plea. Depending on your plea, your case may lead to trial where a jury will hear from the attorneys and determine if you are to be found guilty or not.

A criminal case can be time-consuming, but the amount of time varies from case to case. While a misdemeanor case may be resolved from the arrest to a plea offer within a month, a felony trial may be resolved in a year. No matter how severe your crime is, do not try to handle it without proper legal representation. Contact our law firm at 573-222-0826 without hesitation so that we can defend your legal rights. 

Criminal Defence FAQs

What is The Role of The Defense in a Criminal Case?

A defense attorney or defense counsel is hired by the accused after he or she has been charged with a crime. While the defense counsel serves as the sole legal representative of the accused throughout the entire state or federal process, a defense attorney serves as the representative of the accused in court. 

What is the Bail Process?

Bail is the conditional release of the defendant with restrictions that ensure they appear in court at an appointed time. A bail can be in the form of money or property. If the defendant appears to the court, the bail money will be returned to them. However, if the defendant fails to appear, the courts keeps the bail and the defendant will be in bigger trouble. 

 Missouri courts have bail schedules that include the amounts determined for most misdemeanors. If a bail amount is known, the defendant can post a cash bond or contact a bail bond company to arrange a property bond or surety bond. When it comes to the most severe felonies, it takes at least an overnight stay for a bond hearing. 

What Happens if You Take a Plea Bargain?

Once you have accepted a plea agreement, a judge will sentence you without a trial, and you won’t be able to change your decision. You may be offered a deal by the prosecutor for a reduced sentence or no jail time if you agree to their terms of a guilty plea.

Is it Better to Take a Plea or Go to Trial?

It is essential to understand that having a guilty plea or a no-contest plea on your record will always look better than having a conviction after a trial. For example, a plea bargain may reduce a felony to a misdemeanor and significantly reduce the consequences.

What if the Police Didn’t Read Me My Miranda Rights?

If the police fail to read you your Miranda rights, then any statements you make to the police cannot be used as evidence.