Springfield, MO Misdemeanors Lawyer
The consequences of a misdemeanor charge might not be as grave as those of a felony, but misdemeanors can still bring significant penalties–including jail time–and cause problems in a defendant’s life moving forward. Don’t take these charges lightly–reach out to a Springfield, MO misdemeanors lawyer to get legal help.
Taylor & Phillips protects the rights of defendants throughout Greene County, Christian County and Webster County. Call our Springfield office today at (417) 487-4244 or reach out here online for help.
Types of Misdemeanors in Missouri
The state of Missouri classifies misdemeanors in five categories, with Class A being the most serious and Class D at the low end of the criminal justice ladder. The list of offenses in each category is quite extensive, but below are examples of misdemeanors within each class and what the potential sanctions are…
Class A Misdemeanor: The most serious of misdemeanor charges, conviction can put a defendant in jail for as long as a year and see them fined as much as $2,000. Possible offenses here include making a false statement on a loan application, violating zoning regulations and different offenses pertaining to indecent exposure.
Class B Misdemeanor: The max jail sentence here is six months and offenses include making false statements to Highway Patrol, falsifying residence for the purpose of public school enrollment and interfering with the rights of disabled people.
Class C Misdemeanor: Jail is still on the table for a judge in Class C convictions, with up to 15 days behind bars a possibility. The fines can go as high as $700 for crimes ranging illegally disposing hazardous substances and providing unlicensed residential care services. Even some speeding offenses could be Class C misdemeanors, depending on the circumstances.
Class D Misdemeanor: A person that drives with a suspended license or a minor that tries to buy liquor can be subject to Class D charges. This also applies to people caught with small amounts of marijuana and similar illegal drugs on them. The max penalty is a $500 fine.
One thing that has to be pointed out is that the prior record of a defendant is often a factor in deciding what class a misdemeanor should be in, or if it should even be a felony charge. That’s why even seemingly minor charges ought to be contested.
How Long Does a Misdemeanor Stay on Your Record in MO?
A person must wait three years for any arrest records or misdemeanor sentences for expungement unless the case results in a felony sentence. Then, it takes seven years to apply for expungement. The Missouri law lists several charges that are not eligible for expungement, including Class A violent felonies.
A Springfield, MO misdemeanor lawyer can work to secure a client’s acquittal. Or, if the evidence against them is strong, they might also work to plead down to a lower charge and secure a lighter sentence. Don’t roll over for a prosecutor and don’t take whatever deal is offered before you talk to an attorney.
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