Felony Charges in Missouri
A felony in Missouri is serious. In fact, Missouri has some of the most serious and stringent felony statutes in the country. That’s bad news if you happen to be someone who has been arrested and charged with a felony. When someone is arrested for a felony they may be unaware of the implications, and how it’s going to impact their lives. We have knowledge and experience you need to navigate your way through the criminal justice system.
What is a felony?
What distinguishes a Felony from a Misdemeanor is the level of punishment outlined in the Missouri legal statutes. With a Felony charge, the law mandates that if convicted you could typically face at least 1 year in prison. Whereas a Misdemeanor will usually result in less than 1 year in county jail. Without question, a felony charge is a very serious matter and deserves the attention of a skilled criminal defense attorney.
What are the different types of felonies?
Missouri classifies felonies into five different categories:
Class A Felonies – These are the most serious type of felonies and have the most serious punishment mandates. If you’re convicted of a Class A felony you could be facing 10-30 years in prison, while fines are usually not a factor. A murder charge is typically classified as a Class A Felony, so there should always be legal representation for someone who is charged with a Class A Felony.
Class B Felonies – These Felonies are still very serious crimes and if convicted can result in 5-15 years in prison. Again, if you’ve been charged with a Class B Felony you will want to hire a criminal defense lawyer. Crimes like rape, assault first degree, and domestic assault first degree are all examples of a Class B Misdemeanor.
Class C Felonies – Class C Felonies are considered moderate to serious crimes in Missouri. The penalty guidelines for a conviction call for 3-10 years in prison, and up to $10,000 in fines. For example, involuntary manslaughter is considered a Class C felony in Missouri. However, sexual abuse 1st degree is also considered a Class C Felony. So the range of criminal acts in this classification are broad and provide Prosecutors and Judges flexibility in the penalty mandates.
Class D Felonies – Class D Felonies are considered a less serious felony within the Missouri statutes. The penalty mandates call for up to 7 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. An example of a Class D Felony is resisting arrest or passing a bad check. The level of seriousness is much lower than that of a Class A Felony.
Class E Felonies – Class E Felonies are considered the least serious Felonies within the Missouri legal statutes. If convicted of a Class E Felony you might be facing up to 4 years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.
What are the Implications of a Felony Arrest & Conviction?
As you probably know by now a Felony arrest is a pretty serious problem regardless of the type of Felony. The fact is that when you get arrested for a Felony you have to take immediate action to avoid a Felony conviction at all costs. A Felony conviction can have long-term ramifications to your life. If someone is a convicted felon in Missouri and many states across the country, they are restricted from some very important rights and liberties.
A Felony conviction can have long-term implications on your career. Most companies ask potential employees whether they have been convicted of a felony during the application process. Employment background checks will typically look for felony convictions, whereas a Misdemeanor may or may not show up in a criminal background check, depending on the type of check that’s performed.
Can a Felony be removed from your record?
In Missouri, a felony can be removed from someone’s record under specific circumstances. It’s called a Felony Expungement, and a few years ago Missouri passed a new law that widened the scope of felony crimes that can be expunged from someone’s record. The new law provides some hope for those who have been convicted of a felony because if they meet all the requirements, they could possibly have the felony expunged from their record. That would mean when someone looked into their criminal background, it probably won’t be discovered. Contact our office to learn more about getting your Felony expunged.
Can you get probation for a felony?
In Missouri, it’s possible to get probation for a felony conviction and it’s typically in the form of an SIS or an SES. When you’re charged with your felony, it’s possible with the help of an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to work out a plea arrangement with the Prosecutor. Attorney Joe Pate has handled dozens of cases where the best possible outcome for the client is an SIS/SES. With an SIS, or sentence in suspension, the client agrees to probation for a specific period of time. If they successfully complete the probation they will have their felony conviction will not show up on their criminal record. In many cases, we find the use of an SIS to be a very positive one for the client. Although they are still taking a felony conviction with the guilty plea, the end result is that their careers, jobs, and other negative consequences of a felony are diminished. Call us today to discuss your case and we can determine whether an SIS/SES is a viable solution to your felony case.