Felonies are serious crimes. The penalties are much more severe than those associated with lower level charges. Rather than a short jail time, sentencing for these charges results in prison terms of up to thirty years, or even life. Both the federal level and the state level have felonies, though they are classified and prosecuted differently.
Penalties for Felonies in Missouri
There are five classes of felonies in Missouri; class A through class E, from highest to lowest. Each has a different maximum and minimum penalty. The lower levels only have maximum sentences, while the higher levels, beyond class D, have minimum sentences as well, reflecting the grave nature of the crimes.
- Class E carry a maximum penalty of four years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
- Class D felonies carry a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
- Class C carry a penalty of three to ten years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
- Class B felonies carry a penalty of five to fifteen years.
- Class A felonies carry a penalty of ten to thirty years, or life imprisonment.
There are provisions for repeat offenders convicted of two or more felonies, called persistent felony offenders, to be sentenced to higher tier penalties.
Examples of Crimes That May Be Felonies in Missouri
Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are both a part of the same charge in the state of Missouri. Depending on the number and severity of past DWI charges, a DWI can be charged as a felony.
Felony drug crimes can include possession of a controlled substance, trafficking drugs, selling drugs, transporting drugs, manufacturing drugs, distributing controlled substances, and possession of drug paraphernalia among other crimes. The laws can be complex, especially due to the interplay between municipal, state, and federal laws.
A person charged with felonious assault and battery is accused of knowingly or recklessly causing physical harm to another person. Furthermore, some lesser assault and battery charges can be increased to a felony charge if they involve a “special victim.”
The charge of tampering can be a misdemeanor or a felony. There are two situations where it can be counted as a felony. First, if it involves a substantial interruption of a public by a utility, institution providing safety protection, or institution providing healthcare. Second, if it involves knowingly selling, receiving, possessing, or unlawfully operating a vehicle without permission from the owner.
The crime of property damage, commonly known as vandalism, can be a felony or a misdemeanor. If the amount of damage caused by the crime amounts to or exceeds $750.00, it can be prosecuted as a felony in the state of Missouri.
In Missouri, individuals who are accused of vandalizing religious structures, graveyards, and school buses can be charged with institutional vandalism. Institutional vandalism is considered a felony if the property damage meets or exceeds $750.00.
Arson is the act of starting a fire or causing an explosion that damages or destroys a building. Arson can be considered a misdemeanor, but if it is deliberate, involves potential victims, or occurs during the production of methamphetamine, it can be a felony.
Knowingly damaging another’s property with a fire or explosion. The charge of knowingly burning or exploding differs from arson, in that the damaged structure does not have to be a building.
Consequences of a Felony
Many serious felonies have no statute of limitations, so they can be prosecuted any length of time after the felony is committed. Additionally, some felonies, including violent felonies, are not eligible for expungement. Even with legal counsel they can’t be removed from your record. However, they can be sealed, meaning that only those in the legal system can see them, but don’t expect to get that on your own.
Another concern is that even after you’ve paid the penalty, you’ll still feel the impact. Felony convictions may result in job loss, the loss of voting rights, and the loss of firearm ownership. Getting those back can take many years. As you can tell, these charges are serious, and should not be faced alone. Always seek legal assistance so you have the best shot at protecting your rights.
Call Day or Night for a Missouri Felony Attorney
KC Road Lawyers offers free consultations to individuals accused of felony crimes. Call 816-425-2420 or navigate to our contact page to find out how KC Road Lawyers can help you with your Missouri felony.