Rolla, MO Defense Lawyers Handle Serious Felonies and Misdemeanors
Experienced defense counsel protects your rights to due process
If you have been arrested, your future is riding on the outcome of your case. Under our Constitution, you have various due process rights: the right to counsel, the right to remain silent, the right to a trial before a jury of your peers, and the right to confront your accusers. But to get the full benefit of those rights, you must retain experienced and effective defense representation. At Williams, Robinson, Rigler & Buschjost, P.C. in Rolla, our criminal defense lawyers are former prosecutors. We know the law, the system, and the procedure from both sides. We are prepared to assert your rights and provide a vigorous defense focused on obtaining the best possible outcome for our South-Central Missouri clients.
Aggressive defense to felony charges in South-Central Missouri
Felonies are the most serious types of state crimes. Missouri divides felonies into five classes, A to E, with A being the most serious. Examples of felony crimes and their potential penalties include:
- Class A — First degree murder, second degree murder, drug trafficking, kidnapping and first-degree child molestation are examples of Class A felonies. Sentences start at a minimum of 10 years and can go as high as 30 years or life in prison. In some first degree murder cases, prosecutors might seek the death penalty.
- Class B — Supplying illicit drugs to a minor, voluntary manslaughter, first degree assault and second degree assault on a special victim are Class B felonies. Sentences begin at five years and are not to exceed 15 years.
- Class C — Identity theft, financial abuse of an elder and chronic DWI are Class C felonies. Sentences run from three years in prison to 10 years. A court may also impose a fine up to $10,000.
- Class D — Examples of Class D felonies include voter registration fraud, some forms of welfare fraud, unlawful possession of a firearm or explosive device, and first offense possession of child pornography. Such crimes are punishable by up to seven years in prison, but the court has discretion to place the offender in county jail for up to one year. A court may also impose a fine up to $10,000.
- Class E — Some forms of public corruption, election discrimination, acceptance of a bribe to cover up healthcare fraud and falsification of public records are Class E felonies. Sentences are not to exceed four years.
A felony conviction also results in the loss of certain civil rights. Felons are permanently disqualified from jury duty unless pardoned. A felony conviction can be a factor in denying a professional license to an applicant. A felon may not hold public office or vote. A person convicted of a dangerous felony may not possess a concealable firearm. A person convicted of an offense for which a one-year sentence is permitted may have to wait one year to own a concealable firearm.
Determined representation in misdemeanor cases
Missouri has four classes of misdemeanors, A through D, with A being the most serious. The code also contains some unclassified misdemeanors, with sentences specific to the offense. Sentences are served in county jail rather than state prison. Examples of offenses and potential sentences are:
- Class A — Vandalizing a private cemetery, being in possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana, violating conditions of probation or parole, domestic assault in the third degree, and shoplifting items valued at less than $500 are charged as Class A misdemeanors. A conviction can bring a sentence of up to one year in jail, a fine up to $2,000, or both.
- Class B — Driving while intoxicated, prostitution and first degree trespassing are charged as Class B misdemeanors. Conviction can result in up to six months in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
- Class C — Offenses that qualify as Class C misdemeanors include first-offense canine cruelty, sexual misconduct in the third degree, illegal gambling and disturbing the peace. Conviction can result in up to 15 days in jail and a fine up to $750.
- Class D — Class D misdemeanors include operating a vehicle without a valid license or with a suspended license, stealing property valued at less than $150, and possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana. Conviction can result in fines up to $500.
Although misdemeanors carry lesser penalties than felonies, a conviction still disrupts your life, tarnishes your reputation and has long-lasting consequences for your future. To minimize those consequences, retain an experienced and dedicated criminal defense lawyer from Williams, Robinson, Rigler & Buschjost, P.C.
Contact us for determined defense representation to felony or misdemeanor charges in Rolla, MO
Williams, Robinson, Rigler & Buschjost, P.C. in Rolla provides vigorous defense representation for clients charged with felonies and misdemeanors throughout South-Central Missouri. To schedule an appointment, call 573-458-5200 or contact us online.