July 16, 2019

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Missouri Criminal Defense

St. Louis Law Firms

If you have been charged with a crime or believe you may be charged with a crime, you need to take an active role in your defense now. Learn everything you can about the specific charges against you, read the statutes cited, and talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. Innocence will not protect you from a conviction. Even if you believe that the state may have a compelling case against you, you still have legal rights and it may be possible to have your charges reduced or dismissed. If you have been convicted of a crime you did not commit, there may be post-conviction remedies available to you.

Wrongful Conviction

One of the most heart-wrenching experiences a person can go through is being wrongfully convicted of a serious crime. It is easy to feel defeated and hopeless, having lost all faith in the justice system, especially in a society which so often parrots the old adage, “If you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about,” and trials where defendant’s lives hang in the balance have become a spectator sport.

Do not give up hope. Post-conviction relief is very challenging and can take many years to achieve, but it is well worth it for you, your loved ones, and to help discourage wrongful prosecution of other innocent people. Even if you have appealed your conviction and lost, you may be able to seek post-conviction relief based on:

  • New evidence
  • Prosecutorial misconduct
  • Police misconduct
  • Ineffective counsel
  • False or illegal confession
  • Unknowing or involuntary guilty plea
  • False eyewitness testimony
  • Unreliable informant
  • Sentence greater than legal maximum
  • Jurisdictional matters

Missouri Crime Classifications

Missouri classifies crimes as infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Infractions are minor offenses which do not carry jail time and can carry a fine of no more than $200. However, an infraction should not be taken lightly, nor should you plead guilty just to get it over with. An infraction on your record can still cause problems with employment, housing, and in other areas of life, and sets you up for harsher penalties should you be charged with a crime in the future.

Misdemeanor penalties are as follows:

  • Class C – up to 15 days in jail and fines up to $300
  • Class B – up to six months in jail and fines up to $500
  • Class A – up to one year in jail and fines up to $1,000

Missouri felony penalties include:

  • Class D – up to four years in prison and fines up to $5,000
  • Class C – up to seven years in prison and fines up to $5,000
  • Class B – five to 15 years in prison
  • Class A – 10 to 30 years in prison, life imprisonment, or death