Understanding Felony and Misdemeanor Charges in Missouri

Know the Types of Crime

People who have been charged with a crime might not know that there are various levels of criminal charges with accompanying potential penalties. Understanding what type of charge you are facing along with the difference in punishment can help you plan how to fight those charges in court with the help of your attorney. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Misdemeanor Charges

Misdemeanor charges are what many consider to be “lower class crimes.” While it is still a criminal charge and can carry consequences, these crimes are not as serious as felonies. Misdemeanors in Missouri are classified into four categories lettered A through D, with Class A Misdemeanors being the most serious misdemeanor with the highest potential penalty.

The potential punishment for these crimes depends on the misdemeanor class with which you are charged, but fines and jail time are some examples. Each class carries the following potential penalties if proven guilty:

  • Class D, the least severe, can be penalized with a fine of up to $500

  • Class C can be penalized with a fine of up to $750 and up to 15 days in jail.

  • Class B can be penalized with a fine of up to $1000 and up to 6 months in jail.

  • Class A, the most serious, can be penalized with a fine of up to $2000 and up to 1 year in jail.

Felony Charges

Felony charges, on the other hand, are a much more serious criminal offense. In addition to potential fines or jail time, being found guilty of a felony charge could cause a loss of certain important rights, such as the right to hunt, the right to vote, and the right to possess a firearm. In addition, a felony charge can impact your ability to obtain certain licenses for professional practice, such as medicine or insurance.

The potential punishment for felony charges is equally as severe as the crime. Being found guilty of a felony could lead to potential fines of up to $10,000 or jail time ranging from 30 years to life imprisonment.

Seek Criminal Defense for Any Charges You Face

Regardless of whether you have been charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, it is important to seek out a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights in court. At Rutter and Sleeth Law Offices, we know how important it is for our clients to feel represented and protected in court. We want to fight for your rights.

To schedule a consultation with our Missouri defense attorneys, call us at (573) 279-1349 or visit us online.