Felonies are the most serious offenses you can be charged within Missouri. If you have been charged with a felony offense, you will need a committed criminal defense attorney on your side. The criminal defense attorney will require knowledge and insights of the specific criminal activity, the prosecutor's office, and the criminal courts and its sitting judges.
At the Higher Level Legal Law Firm, you can expect knowledge of the law, the prosecutor's office, and the courts. You can also expect commitment to you and your unique situation. A felony is serious, and we understand how a conviction can impact your life in so many ways. If you want a smart, committed defense, contact us today.
What are the classes of felonies in Missouri?
According to Section 558.011, RSMo., there are five categories of felonies, and these range from Class A, the most serious offenses, to Class E, the least serious offenses. The range of penalties associated with each of these classes is listed below.
10 - 30 years or life imprisonment
5 - 15 years
3 - 10 years
Up to 7 years
Class E and
Up to 4 years
In cases of Class D and E felonies, if the defendant is convicted, the court has the discretion to impose special terms, i.e.:
- If sentenced to confinement for no more than one year, it will be in the county jail; or
- If sentenced to confinement for more than one year, it will be in a state prison managed by the Department of Corrections.
A sentence can be enhanced, too, may be imposed if it was found that you had a prior conviction or criminal conduct. According to Section 558.016, RSMo., there are three categories of enhancements:
- A prior offender, a person found guilty of one felony;
- A persistent offender, a person found guilty of two or more felonies; and
- A dangerous offender, a person found guilty of a Class A or B felony or a dangerous felony and who is being sentenced for a felony committed while he or she (1) knowingly murdered, threatened, endangered another person's life; or (2) knowingly inflicted, attempted, or threatened to inflict serious physical injury on another person.
When deemed a persistent offender or dangerous offender and you are found guilty of any class of felony but a Class A felony, the term of imprisonment imposed shall be one class higher than the offense you are found guilty of.
Can you get probation for a felony conviction in Missouri?
Yes, it is possible for a person convicted of a felony to be granted probation. According to Section 559.016, RSMo., a term of one to five years can be imposed for probation. The court imposes probation at the time of sentencing. Violations of probation could be met with an extension of the probation period.
What does a felony on your criminal record mean in Missouri?
A felony on your criminal record does much more than obstruct your ability to obtain a job after you have served your time. As an ex-felon, you may find it hard to get good housing or secure loans -- like mortgage, personal, or educational loans. Depending on the crime, it could also affect any child custody arrangement you have or are fighting for.
As an ex-felon, too, you can lose your right to vote and your right to use and own a firearm.
As you can see, a felony on your criminal record means a lot, and it is usually to your detriment.
Are there ways to get rid of a felony conviction on your criminal record?
Just because you are convicted of a felony in Missouri does not mean it will always be on your criminal record. For some of you, you may have the opportunity to appeal your case and have the original conviction overturned. For others of you, you may be able to have the felony conviction expunged. For a very limited number of you, you could seek the Governor of Missouri's pardon.
Expungement is the most likely way you will be able to ensure no one knows about your felony conviction. After you complete your sentencing for a felony conviction, you must wait seven years before you can apply for an expungement. There are a number of crimes that do not qualify for expungement, and these include:
- Class A felony offenses;
- Any dangerous felony per Section 556.061, RSMo.;
- Any offense that requires you to register as a sex offender;
- Any felony offense incorporating death as an element;
- Any offense involving domestic violence or kidnapping; and
- Any offense defined by statute as ineligible.
Contact a Cass County Felony Defense Lawyer Today
Felony offenses are serious and can have a serious impact on the quality of your life. Whether it is your first offense or if you have been charged with and/or convicted of any other offense prior to the current one, you need smart, honest defense.
At the Higher Level Legal Law Firm, we have the skills and the resources to help you. We are committed to your defense and will guide you through the entire process. If you are looking for honest guidance and strategic representation, contact the Higher Level Legal Law Firm today to begin your case evaluation.