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Columbia Misdemeanor & Felony Lawyers

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A criminal accusation could completely ruin your life, but the level of seriousness is dependent on the type of criminal activity. Crimes are separated into two broad categories: felonies and misdemeanors. If you are unsure of the kind of criminal charge you are facing or the potential repercussions of a conviction, you should speak to a skilled Columbia criminal defense attorney at Rutter and Sleeth Law Offices as soon as possible.

Give Rutter and Sleeth Law Offices a call at (573) 279-1349 today.

Misdemeanors

Misdemeanor crimes could result in a fine or in jail time, but these tend to be less severe crimes than a felony. A misdemeanor usually doesn’t result in the serious injury of another person and doesn’t result in the significant monetary loss of another individual.

Misdemeanors in Missouri are separated into three classes and result in different levels of punishment:

  • Class A misdemeanors could include domestic assault in the third degree, shoplifting items valued at less than $500, false imprisonment, or possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana. Punishment for a conviction might include serving up to one year in jail and/or paying a $2,000 fine.
  • Class B misdemeanors could include drunk driving or first-degree trespassing. Punishments might include serving up to six months in jail and/or paying a $1,000 fine.
  • Class C misdemeanors could consist of library theft, illegal gambling, disturbing the peace, or third-degree sexual misconduct. Punishments might include serving up to 15 days in jail and/or paying a $750 fine.

Despite punishments being so mild compared to a felony charge, a misdemeanor conviction can still appear on your permanent record. Even a misdemeanor crime could make it difficult for you to find a good job or a decent living situation if your potential employer or landlord decides to do a background check.

Felonies

Felony crimes tend to be much more serious. They usually result in more damage, either physically or monetarily. A conviction for a serious felony crime could lead to a decades-long prison sentence.

Missouri felonies are separated into five classes and result in different levels of punishment:

  • Class A felonies could include murder, kidnapping in the first degree, serious drug crimes, forcible rape of a child under 12 years old, or robbery in the first degree. Class A felony convictions result in 10 years-to-life prison sentences.
  • Class B felonies could include voluntary manslaughter or burglary in the first degree. A conviction could lead to 3 to 10 years in prison and potentially a fine of up to $10,000 or double the financial gain to the criminal.
  • Class C felonies could include involuntary manslaughter, statutory rape in the second degree, theft, or possession of a controlled substance. A conviction could lead to 3 to 10 years in prison and potentially a fine up to $10,000 or double the financial gain to the criminal.
  • Class D felonies could include fraud, domestic assault in the third degree, passing a bad check, or resisting arrest. A conviction could result in one year in jail to up to seven years in prison. The court could also impose a fine of up to $10,000 or double the financial gain to the criminal.
  • Class E felonies could include boating while drunk if the crime leads to the injury of another person. The punishment consists of one year in jail to up to four years in prison. The court could also impose a fine of up to $10,000 or double the financial gain to the criminal.

Felony convictions could completely ruin your life. Those with prior convictions might also face more severe sentences because the court can consider your previous crimes when determining your punishment. Convicted felons also lose several rights, including the right to vote, the right to carry a gun, and the right to apply for specific professional licenses.

Call Us as Soon as Possible

If you’re facing a misdemeanor or a felony charge, it’s essential to consult a skilled criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Our team at Rutter and Sleeth Law Offices has more than 50 years of combined experience to offer your case, and we are dedicated to defending the rights and freedom of our clients. Our firm can take a close look at your case and help you fully understand your situation and the potential outcomes of a conviction. We also offer payment plan options for your convenience.

Give us a call at (573) 279-1349 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation with us today.

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