In Missouri, felonies are serious crimes that are punishable by more than one year in prison. Missouri law categorizes felonies into four classes: Class A felonies through Class D felonies. Class A felonies are the most serious felony crimes in Missouri.
- Class A felonies include murder, first degree kidnapping, forcible rape of a child under twelve years old, first degree robbery, and some drug crimes.
- Class B felonies in Missouri include voluntary manslaughter and first degree burglary.
- Class C felonies can include involuntary manslaughter in the first degree (can be a Class B or Class C felony), statutory rape in the second degree, possession of a controlled substance, and theft.
- Class D felonies are crimes such as fraud, resisting arrest, and passing a bad check.
For information on misdemeanors, see Missouri Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences.
Possible Punishment for Felony Crimes
The following are possible basic sentences for felonies in Missouri. The state statutes also provide special sentences for some individual crimes.
Class A felony
The authorized sentence for a Class A felony is a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years or life in prison.
Class B felony
For a Class B felony, the court can impose a minimum of 5 years in prison and maximum of 15 years.
Class C felony
The possible sentence for a Class C Felony is a maximum of 7 years in prison, or one year in jail, and a fine up to $5,000.
Class D felony
A Class D felony is punishable by up to 5 years in prison, or one year in jail. The court also can impose a fine up to $5,000 or twice the amount of financial gain to the offender, up to $20,000.
Criminal Statute of Limitations
Missouri law requires that a criminal prosecution begin within a certain amount of time after a crime is committed or believed to have been committed. The criminal statute of limitations limits the length of time the state can wait before filing charges against a person. The length of time varies for different crimes and some crimes, such as murder, have no time limit. For more information on the criminal statute of limitations, see Criminal Statute of Limitations in Missouri.
The Value of Good Representation
A felony conviction becomes part of your permanent criminal record. If you are convicted later of another felony, the court can consider your prior conviction and impose a harsher sentence in the new case. Being a convicted felon can hurt you when you are looking for a job and applying to rent a house or apartment. Convicted felons lose the right to vote, to carry firearms, and to obtain certain professional licenses.
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. Only someone familiar with the local criminal court system and cases like yours will know how good your chances are for a favorable outcome in court or at the negotiating table. A knowledgeable attorney will take all of this into consideration, assist you in making decisions about your case, and protect your rights.