Do not hesitate to invoke your right to an attorney if you are being questioned, detained or arrested. Only by seeking legal counsel can you help shape the outcome of a less than desirable situation.
Missouri Criminal Code provides for Felonies, Misdemeanors and Infractions.
Missouri classifies felonies in to five classes, Class A through Class E, with all being considered serious crimes that are punishable by more than one year in prison. Classes of felonies reflect the severity of the offense and also the range of punishment available. In Missouri, the most serious felony offenses are Class A felonies.
- Class A Felony: Class A felonies are punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years or life in prison.
- Class B Felony: Class B felonies are punishable by a minimum of 5 years in prison and maximum of 15 years.
- Class C Felony: Class C felonies are punishable by a minimum of 3 years in prison and maximum 10 years. The sentencing court can also impose a fine up to $10,000 or twice the amount of financial gain to the offender.
- Class D Felony: Class D felonies are punishable by up to 7 years in prison, or a special term of one year in a county jail. The sentencing court can also impose a fine up to $10,000 or twice the amount of financial gain to the offender.
- Class E Felony: Class E felonies are punishable by up to 4 years in prison, or a special term of 1 year in a county jail. The sentencing court can also impose a fine up to $10,000 or twice the amount of financial gain to the offender.
Missouri categorizes misdemeanors into four classes: Class A through Class D. Classes of misdemeanors reflect the severity of the offense and also the range of punishment available. In Missouri, the most serious misdemeanor offenses are Class A misdemeanors.
- Class A Misdemeanor: Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to 1 year incarceration in a county jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
- Class B Misdemeanor: Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to 6 months incarceration in a county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
- Class C Misdemeanor: Class C misdemeanors are punishable by up to 15 days incarceration in a county jail and/or a fine of up to $750.
- Class D Misdemeanor: Class D misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Infractions are the lowest punishable offenses in Missouri and are not categorized. Infractions carry no jail time as a possible sentence, but can include fines of up to $400.
Full Missouri Statues on Criminal Crimes and Punishment can be found in the Missouri Revised Statutes, starting at Chapter 556.
Advice if you are detained or arrested:
It is extremely important to not incriminate yourself when the police start asking you questions. The police must stop asking you questions if you ask to speak to an attorney. Innocent people charged with a crime should particularly invoke their right to an attorney; they stand a chance of being wrongfully charged because of something they said. Contact us so that you will have an attorney present when the officer wants to conduct the inquiry. It is important that you protect yourself and be understood clearly.
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.”
The wording of the Miranda Rights may vary, but as long as they fully convey the message, and are understood by the suspect,they are acceptable.
Miranda Rights warnings are only required upon arrest. Police will want to ask you questions before an arrest to avoid the Miranda warning. If you have not been arrested you are free to leave, day or night.
It is always in your best interest to contact an attorney, and to request to have your attorney present during any questioning. Do not let the police tell you that is not an option. They are obligated to stop questioning you if you request an attorney.
If you are charged, detained, or arrested for an offense, your first contact should be to The Quitmeier Law Firm. We will ascertain the situation and advise you on your rights and options under the law and in court.”