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How does Missouri classify crimes?

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

When you face criminal charges in Missouri, it is helpful to understand how the classification system works. You may know about misdemeanors and felonies, but there are two other classifications.

Plus, within the felony and misdemeanor classifications, there are classes that define the seriousness of the crimes.

Felonies explained

A felony is the most severe classification of criminal charges you may face. The breakdown under the felony category includes Classes A, B, C, D and E. A is the highest class and holds a potential prison sentence of up to life. Class B has a maximum penalty of up to 15 years. Class C could lead to up to 10 years, and Class D is up to seven years. Finally, Class E carries up to four years in prison.

Misdemeanors described

A misdemeanor is a less severe charge than a felony. One distinction between a misdemeanor and a felony is felony charges carry prison time, while misdemeanors carry jail time.

A misdemeanor can be Class A, B, C or D. A carries a jail term of up to one year, and B has a maximum jail time of six months. Class C could have a sentence of up to 15 days in jail, and D does not carry jail time.

Other offenses defined

Besides felonies and misdemeanors, Missouri also has infractions and ordinances. An infraction is a minor offense that only carries a fine or civil penalty. They are not criminal in nature. Ordinances are set at the city or county level and also carry only civil penalties.