Top Missouri Criminal Lawyers
Lawyers in Missouri's Major Cities
Choose a Professional Missouri Criminal Lawyer - Right Now
Getting charged with a state criminal offense like fraud or DUI can be concerning and you are probably trying to figure out what to do. You may be wondering who will listen to your side of the story, what your rights are, what affect this may have on your personal life, and where you can turn for help.
As soon as you can, you should speak with a lawyer. Having a Missouri criminal lawyer on your side can help eliminate costly mistakes and lessen the chances of harsh consequences. Remember, it is totally within your rights to speak with a criminal lawyer before you speak with authorities. The sooner you can meet with a Missouri criminal attorney, the better off you will be. Keep in mind that not everyone who is charged with a state offense will be found guilty. Having a qualified and professional criminal lawyer can protect you and your family by explaining the options you have, including your rights. Many attorneys will even offer free advice at the start so you can more easily plan your next steps.
Do you Need a Professional Criminal Lawyer for State Charges?
Our professional, veteran criminal lawyers have experience in a wide variety of cases ranging from drugs to fraud to domestic violence. We have highly-qualified lawyers on our team that focus in areas criminal defense such as aggravated assault, theft, kidnapping, probation violations, manslaughter and many more.
There is really no time to waste. It doesn’t matter if you have already been charged or even if you have done something that you are expecting charges for, the longer you put off getting an attorney on your side the fewer options you will have. Our Missouri attorneys understand the way state laws work and can give you excellent advice during your consultation.
We Can Help You with DUI Charges
One of the most common charges that are placed against someone is a DUI charge. The consequences of such a charge can really run the gamut and can include anything from a night in jail and a forced alcohol education class to a heavy fine and loss of your driver’s license. Our attorneys have the knowledge of state laws that is needed to fight for you in a DUI case. We can help you do things like figure out whether or not you qualify as a first offender, explain any fines and other penalties you may face, discuss how this charge could affect other parts of your life like your job or insurance standing, and explain how you can plan a great defense along with expert assistance from our attorneys.
We Focus on Particular Areas of the Law
One thing that we can offer to our clients is our intense concentration in certain areas of the law. Our Missouricriminal defense lawyers focus on specific areas which allow them to build a very strong knowledge base and extensive experience in particular case types. Our attorneys have the knowhow that is needed when it comes to Missouri laws regarding your personal criminal case, and they will determine a good strategy for your defense based on this knowledge. We will be able to partner you with the top criminal defense lawyer to meet your needs.
Wondering What to Expect from Your Lawyer?
You will be able to get a free initial consultation with your criminal lawyer during which you will meet with him or her to talk about your case. Your lawyer will share their knowledge with you about the charges at hand and talk about your defense options. It is important that during this consultation and at all subsequent meetings with your lawyer that you are honest. Your lawyer will keep all information given to them confidential and their duty is to represent your best interests. You should take the advice of your lawyer and understand that you may need to be patient during this process in order to optimize your defense.
We Have the Reputation You Need
In cases like this, reputation will definitely count. Our criminal lawyers are members of various professional associations like the National Associate of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Their professional histories are easy to track and you will be able to view their successes just by doing a small amount of research. Our lawyers have been painstakingly vetted in order to provide high quality service for our clients.
We are Lawyers That You Can Trust
When choosing a lawyer you should find one who will competently and earnestly fight for your best interests. He or she will build trust with you, only engage in ethical practices and always show confidence in your case. Our Missouri attorneys will present you with several methods to handle your case.
Avoid more problems by finding a Missouri attorney as soon as you can. Their expert assistance will not only protect your rights but give you increased peace of mind as well. Call us today.
Are You Facing Criminal Charges for Breaking Missouri Criminal Law?
When you are charged with a crime in the State of Missouri, it is imperative that you begin to build a defense immediately. Often, that means contacting a criminal defense lawyer in the state and asking questions about your case and its potential outcome.
In this situation, you need to have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney in your corner. An attorney who comprehends the importance of compiling a complete and strategic defense is one who possesses the most important element of a strong defense-building strategy – a thorough understanding of Missouri criminal law.
Missouri divides all criminal activity into two categories which are referred to as misdemeanors and felonies. The division between these two categories is based on the maximum punishment prescribed for each specific crime. A misdemeanor cannot be punished by more than one year of jail time, while felonies can be punished by sentences as long as life in prison or – in very narrow circumstances – even capital punishment.
Misdemeanors and felonies are further divided into certain classifications. For instance, Missouri has Class A, Class B, and Class C misdemeanors, with the most serious crimes being designated as Class A. Felonies are classified as Class A, Class B, Class, C, Class D, or Class E felony offenses. Each of these classifications, whether at the felony or misdemeanor level, have specified maximum sentences.
Locate the best Missouri criminal defense lawyers here.
Five Common Crimes Charged in Missouri
In the State of Missouri, certain crimes are committed and charged more frequently than others. In fact, several specific crimes could even qualify as “common” within the state. Just five are described in the paragraphs that follow; however if you have questions regarding the information provided on these specific crimes, other criminal actions, or other types of prohibited behavior in general, it is in your best interest to speak with Missouri criminal defense lawyers.
Assault is the prohibited causing of bodily injury to another human being, and Missouri has three distinct statutes that criminalize actions described as assault. Which statute applies to a specific case depends on the severity of physical injury inflicted on the victim and how that injury was caused or threatened.
Missouri statutes do not differentiate between actually causing physical injury to another person and merely attempting to do so. If an individual attempts a certain level of physical injury, he or she is charged as if that attempt were actually accomplished. The way an assault is classified in terms of being charged as a Class A, B, C, D, or E felony or a Class A misdemeanor depends on the severity of the injury and, often, the identity of the victim.
The most serious assaults are categorized as assault in the first degree, and they are felonies. Assault in the first degree is said to have occurred when one person attempts to kill – or knowingly causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to – another person. This is a Class B felony. When the victim is a special victim, assault in the first degree can be charged as a Class A felony. Special victims include:
- Law enforcement officers
- Emergency personnel
- Probation officers
- Elderly persons
- Persons with disabilities
- Vulnerable individuals
- Corrections officers
- Highway or construction workers
- Utility workers
- Cable workers
- Mass transit employees.
Assault in the first degree charged as a Class B offense is punishable by a minimum of five years and a maximum of 15 years in state prison. If charged as a Class A offense, the potential sentence is between 10 years and life in prison.
Second-degree assaults are also extremely serious in terms of physical injury to the victim and the potential sentence for someone who is convicted of the crime. Actions that rise to the level of assault in the second degree is determined by the specific intent of the actor. Intent – also called mental state – which can be either intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently in its application to Missouri criminal law. To understand how assault in Missouri is charged and classified for sentencing, it is essential to understand what each of these mental states means. The actions that rise to assault in the second degree are:
- Attempting to kill another person or causing or attempting to cause serious bodily injury while under the influence of sudden passion from a reasonable cause
- Knowingly attempting or causing physical injury by use of a deadly weapon
- Recklessly causing serious physical injury
- Causing physical injury while intoxicated or while operating a vehicle negligently
- Recklessly causing physical injury by discharging a firearm
- Causing physical injury to an EMT while operating a vehicle negligently
Assault in the second degree is a Class D felony, punishable by a maximum of seven years in state prison. Assault in the second degree can be charged as a Class B felony if the victim was a special victim as previously listed.
Assault in the third degree is a Class E felony. Third-degree assault is defined as knowingly causing physical injury to another person. If an assault does not have the characteristics required to be charged as a first- or second-degree offense, this is the catch-all charge. It does require that physical injury be shown to have resulted from the assault. Assault in the third degree is punishable by up to four years in prison.
Assault in the fourth degree is a Class A misdemeanor and, as such, it is punishable by a maximum of one year in county jail. Assault in the fourth degree is charged if an individual:
- Attempts or recklessly causes physical injury, illness, or pain to another person
- Negligently causes physical injury to a person by use of a firearm
- Recklessly engages in conduct with a substantial risk of death or serious injury to another person
- Knowingly causes or attempts to cause physical contact with another person that is reasonably offensive to that person
- Knowingly causing physical contact with another person when the defendant knows such a person would find the contact offensive or harmful
Are you being charged with a violent crime in Missouri? Find the right law firm in Missouri here.
In the past, Missouri criminal law confined arson as a crime to the burning of a residential home or building belonging to another person, but the modern interpretation of arson is much broader. Under Missouri law arson, is defined as knowingly damaging any structure or property by fire or explosion. Each of the three degrees of arson is classified differently, and each carries a different maximum sentence.
Arson in the first degree is defined as knowingly damaging a building or inhabited structure by fire or explosion when other people are in or near the building; or causing a fire or an explosion in an inhabited building while producing methamphetamine. Arson in the first degree is a Class B felony and it carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison.
A person is said to have committed arson in the second degree if he or she knowingly damages a building or inhabited structure by fire or explosion. This offense is not considered first-degree arson because either the burned building or structure belonged entirely to the individual or to people who unanimously consented to the arsonist’s actions, or the actor’s purpose was to lawfully destroy or damage the building. Arson in the second degree is a Class D felony, and it is punishable by a maximum prison sentence of seven years unless someone died as a result of the arson. In that case, the arson rises to the level of a Class B felony.
A person is charged with arson in the third degree if he or she knowingly starts a fire or causes an explosion that damages or destroys a building or inhabited structure that belongs to another person. To qualify as a third-degree arson, it must be shown that the actor did not intend for the fire to damage or destroy the building, although the fire was started knowingly. If, on the other hand, the intent of setting the fire or causing an explosion was to deliberately cause property damage, the charge will be arson in the second degree. Arson in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of one year in county jail.
Find the top Missouri criminal defense here.
As it is in most states, theft – which is simply called stealing under Missouri law – is the unlawful taking of property belonging to another person and intending to keep it permanently. The Missouri statute that addresses stealing can also apply to the unlawful taking of the services of another. Unlawful taking means the property or services were taken without obtaining consent from the owner, or through the implementation of deceit or coercion.
While it is true that, in Missouri law, one single statute covers the criminal offense of stealing, the offense of stealing can actually be charged under a number of different classifications based on the value of the property that was taken. Once they are assigned to a specific classification, each of these crimes has a different range of penalties.
The most serious form of stealing is a Class B felony which is charged when any property or service with a value higher than $25,000 is unlawfully taken. Conviction of Class B felony stealing is punishable by a sentence no shorter than five years and no longer than 15 years in state prison.
Stealing can be classified as a Class C felony based on the value and type of property or service that was taken. The punishment for an individual convicted of stealing as a Class C felony is not less than one year and not more than seven years in a Missouri state prison. Stealing any of the following types of property constitutes a Class C felony:
- Property valued at more than $500 but less than $25,000
- Property taken from the person of the victim
- A motor vehicle, watercraft, or aircraft
- A firearm
- An explosive weapon
- A credit card
- A U.S. flag from a display
- An original copy of any act, bill or resolution that has been introduced or acted upon by the legislature of the state of Missouri
- Any pleading, notice, judgment or other record or entry of a court of this or any state, or of the United States
- A book of voter registrations or list of voters
- Animal livestock
- Fish raised for commercial sale and valued at more than $75
- Captive wildlife
- Any controlled substance
- Ammonium nitrate
- Any wire, electrical transformer, or metallic wire associated with or utilized for the Internet or television
- Any material used for methamphetamine
Stealing can also be considered a Class D felony, or even a Class A misdemeanor. If an individual steals an animal that belongs to another person, or if he or she has two prior stealing convictions, they will be charged with a Class D felony which is punishable by up to four years in a Missouri state prison. Stealing property that was valued at less than $500 is considered a Class A misdemeanor, and it is punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in county jail.
Find top theft lawyers in Missouri.
Driving While Intoxicated
In the state of Missouri, driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance is called driving while intoxicated (DWI), and a person can be charged with DWI if he or she is found to be operating a motor vehicle while their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher, or while under the influence of drugs. In Missouri, this is known as DWI per se.
The clear distinction is necessary because Missouri has a strict DWI law, and an individual whose BAC is higher than 0.15% can be charged with aggravated DWI for which a convicted person will incur higher criminal and administrative punishments.
Every DWI conviction in Missouri results in the suspension – sometimes permanently – of the individual’s driver’s license. This administrative penalty is imposed by the department of motor vehicles in the state. Criminal punishments are imposed on convicted drivers based on the number of DWI offenses a particular individual has accrued and the BAC at the time of his or her arrest.
Although first-time offenders are likely to receive probation, if their BAC was between 0.15% and 0.2%, then that individual must serve a minimum of 48 hours in jail and could receive a sentence of up to six months in county jail. Second-time offenders are required to serve a minimum of 10 days in jail, and third-time offenders are required to spend 30 days in jail.
If a person has three prior DWI convictions, the minimum penalty is 60 days in jail and, if an individual has four or more previous DWI convictions, he or she must serve a minimum of two years in state prison.
Missouri DWI laws hold certain individuals to a higher standard. For example, individuals under the age of 21 must maintain a BAC below 0.02%; otherwise, he or she risks being convicted of DWI. Also, operators of commercial vehicles in Missouri must maintain a BAC of 0.04% or lower or risk being convicted of a DWI in Missouri.
Are you being charged with breaking a Missouri DWI Laws? Find the right law firm in Missouri here.
Missouri classifies murder as either first or second degree and, of these two distinct charges, murder in the first degree is the more serious. First-degree murder is defined as knowingly and intentionally killing another person without any legal justification for doing so. Missouri still invokes the death penalty, and an individual who is convicted of first-degree murder can, under certain specific circumstances, be sentenced to capital punishment.
If the prosecutor is seeking the death penalty in Missouri then, following conviction, during the sentencing phase of a first-degree murder trial, both the prosecution and the defense present arguments for and against the imposition of capital punishment. Specific mitigating circumstances can lead to a sentence of life in prison, and aggravating circumstances may result in a convicted individual being sentenced to capital punishment.
Mitigating circumstances can include the defendant’s lack of a criminal record or the fact that he or she was under extreme duress at the time the crime was committed. On the other hand, aggravating circumstances include the fact that the murder was committed in a depraved manner or in an attempt on the part of the actor to avoid arrest. If the victim was a judge or police officer on duty, or the defendant committed first-degree murder while escaping jail or prison, those factors would also be considered aggravating circumstances.
While murder in the second degree is still an extremely serious criminal charge, it is a Class A felony for which a convicted person can be sentenced to serve life in prison. While first-degree murder requires an intention to kill and premeditation, a second-degree murder conviction is based on a slightly lesser standard. Its definition is: knowingly causing the death of another person or knowingly inflicting serious bodily injury that results in death. A second-degree murder charge is also likely if the actor committed murder while he or she was in the process of committing another felony or while in flight from a felony.
Find the best Missouri criminal lawyers here.
The Missouri criminal lawyers at Criminal Lawyer are prepared to defend a variety of crimes throughout Missouri, and our experience is not limited to the most common crimes in the state. We are fully prepared to defend clients against federal crimes and to provide representation in appellate level defense. Whether you are seeking Missouri criminal defense against such serious charges as murder, or a less severe misdemeanor such as possession of a controlled substance, we can help.
Importance of Having Experienced Missouri Criminal Lawyers
Defending an accused person against criminal charges requires a great deal of knowledge – not just specific knowledge of crimes per se, but also familiarity with criminal procedures and processes in the courts of Missouri. Often, the best defense rests squarely on the merits of a particular case but, in other instances, it can require a procedural argument that lessens your charges or actually obtains dismissal of your case. In seeking to build your defense against criminal charges, you deserve to work with a criminal lawyer from Missouri who looks at the entire picture and sees every opportunity to build a strong and effective defense.
The lawyers recommended through the Criminal Lawyer are strategic and experienced. Their understanding of the criminal laws of Missouri is based on experience acquired through the handling of a diversity of cases and their accumulated years of experience. Additionally, these Missouri criminal defense lawyers are committed to a case-specific and detailed defense.
If you don’t know where to turn for assistance with defense against Missouri criminal law charges, turn to us.
Find a Missouri Criminal Lawyer by County
- Adair County
- Andrew County
- Atchison County
- Audrain County
- Barry County
- Barton County
- Bates County
- Benton County
- Bollinger County
- Buchanan County
- Butler County
- Caldwell County
- Callaway County
- Camden County
- Cape Girardeau County
- Carroll County
- Carter County
- Cass County
- Cedar County
- Chariton County
- Christian County
- Clark County
- Clay County
- Clinton County
- Cole County
- Cooper County
- Crawford County
- Dade County
- Dallas County
- Daviess County
- Dekalb County
- Dent County
- Douglas County
- Dunklin County
- Franklin County
- Gasconade County
- Gentry County
- Grundy County
- Harrison County
- Henry County
- Hickory County
- Holt County
- Howard County
- Howell County
- Iron County
- Jefferson County
- Johnson County
- Knox County
- Laclede County
- Lafayette County
- Lawrence County
- Lewis County
- Lincoln County
- Linn County
- Livingston County
- Macon County
- Madison County
- Maries County
- Marion County
- Mcdonald County
- Mercer County
- Miller County
- Mississippi County
- Moniteau County
- Monroe County
- Montgomery County
- Morgan County
- New Madrid County
- Newton County
- Nodaway County
- Oregon County
- Osage County
- Ozark County
- Pemiscot County
- Perry County
- Pettis County
- Phelps County
- Pike County
- Platte County
- Polk County
- Pulaski County
- Putnam County
- Ralls County
- Randolph County
- Ray County
- Reynolds County
- Ripley County
- Saint Clair County
- Saint Francois County
- Sainte Genevieve County
- Saline County
- Schuyler County
- Scotland County
- Scott County
- Shannon County
- Shelby County
- Stoddard County
- Stone County
- Sullivan County
- Taney County
- Texas County
- Vernon County
- Warren County
- Washington County
- Wayne County
- Webster County
- Worth County
- Wright County