A misdemeanor crime is less serious than a felony. Misdemeanor crimes usually are distinguished from felonies by the seriousness of injury caused to another person, the cash value of property taken, or the amount of drugs in a person’s possession and whether there is proof of intent to sell or distribute the drugs. Missouri categorizes misdemeanors into three classes: Class A through Class C misdemeanors. Class A misdemeanors are the most serious misdemeanor crimes and carry the highest potential fines and jail time. While there are hundreds of crimes in Missouri that are classified as Misdemeanors, these are a few examples:
- Class A Misdemeanors include possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana, false imprisonment, domestic assault in the third degree, and shoplifting items valued at less than $500.
- Class B Misdemeanors in Missouri can include driving while intoxicated and first degree trespassing.
- Class C Misdemeanors include library theft (materials valued at less than $500), sexual misconduct in the third degree, illegal gambling, and private peace disturbance.
A conviction for a misdemeanor crime in Missouri can become part of your permanent criminal record. If you are convicted later of another crime, the court can consider your prior conviction and impose a harsher sentence in the new case. A conviction for even a minor crime can hurt you when you are looking for a job, applying to rent a house or apartment, or applying for a professional license. A person convicted of misdemeanor possession of marijuana – even a tiny amount for personal use only – can be barred from ever receiving federal financial aid for students.
An experienced attorney can determine whether you have any grounds for dismissal of the charges against you, explore plea options, or represent you at trial.
Attorney Joe Pate will take all of this into consideration, assist you in making decisions about your case, and protect your rights.