Missouri Misdemeanor crimes range in seriousness from a Class A Misdemeanor through Class D. There are also unclassified misdemeanors in Missouri. In this guide, the attorneys at the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center explain everything you need to know about misdemeanors in this state.
Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney
Published: December 6. 2019.
Updated: December 6. 2019.
In the United States, including the state of Missouri, a Misdemeanor is defined as a “lower criminal offense,” meaning that it is more serious than an infraction but not as serious as a felony. In contrast to felonies, a Missouri Misdemeanor is punishable by a fine and/or time in the county jail for as long as a year.
A few of the typical Misdemeanors we might consider are petty theft, trespassing, vandalism, possession of marijuana, and public intoxication, but the types of criminal offenses that are regarded as Misdemeanors depend on state jurisdiction. Continue reading for a breakdown of each class of Missouri Misdemeanor and a few of the common crimes that fall into each classification.
Class A Misdemeanor Missouri
In Missouri, a Class A Misdemeanor is the most serious category of Missouri Misdemeanor and accordingly carries the highest penalty.
Missouri Class A Misdemeanor Penalties
A Class A Misdemeanor Missouri carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a fine of up to $2000. The penalties for a Class A Missouri Misdemeanor are the most serious municipal charges one can face.
Class A Misdemeanor in Missouri Charges
In Missouri, a Class A Misdemeanor includes, but is not limited to, the following offenses:
Harassment in the 2nd degree
Kidnapping in the 3rd degree
Elder abuse in the 3rd degree
Manufacturing a false identification to purchase alcohol
Invasion of privacy
Sexual abuse in the 2nd degree
Arson in the 3rd degree
Deceptive business practices
DWI prior offender
Leaving the scene of an accident
Possession of 11-13 grams of marijuana
Class B Misdemeanor Missouri
A Class B Misdemeanor is the second most severe Missouri Misdemeanor classification, carrying a maximum penalty of six months in jail and up to a $1000 fine.
Missouri Class B Misdemeanor Charges
A Class B Missouri Misdemeanor includes, but is not limited to, the following offenses:
Misuse of 911
Violation of state wildlife statutes law
Exceeding posted speed limit by 20 or more miles per hour
Excessive rate of speed of watercraft
Operating a commercial motor vehicle without a seatbelt
Sexual misconduct in the 1st degree
Reckless burning or exploding
Property damage in the 2nd degree
Trespassing in the 1st degree
Identity theft or attempted identity theft
Intentionally releasing an animal
While a Misdemeanor is considered a low-level criminal offense, the repercussions of being charged with one are nothing to take lightly, especially if it’s a higher-level Missouri Misdemeanor charge. 6-12 months in jail can significantly set back one’s life, so if you are facing Class A or B Misdemeanor charges in Missouri, don’t hesitate to contact a dedicated Missouri defense attorney like those at the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center.
What Is a Class C Misdemeanor Missouri?
A Class C Misdemeanor is the third most severe Missouri Misdemeanor Classification. Class C Misdemeanors carry a maximum penalty of 15 days in jail and up to a $750 fine.
Class C Misdemeanor Missouri Charges
In Missouri, a Class C Misdemeanor includes, but is not limited to, the following offenses:
Violation of education requirement for a child
Violation of child labor law
Exceeding posted speed limit by 6-19 miles per hour
Driving at a speed of less than 40 miles per hour on an interstate highway
Failure to drive within the right lane of a highway
Failure to stop at a railroad track
Failure to obey traffic control device
Odometer fraud in the 3rd degree
Sexual misconduct in the 2nd degree
Negligent burning or exploding
Damaging state park property
Animal neglect or abandonment
At the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center, we specialize in criminal defense for those who are charged with DWI and other crimes. If you’re facing a Class C Misdemeanor in Missouri, we can help.
Class D Misdemeanor Missouri
Missouri Senate Bill 491 introduced Class D as a new classification for Missouri Misdemeanors. A Class D Misdemeanor Missouri carries the least severe penalty and is the lowest Misdemeanor class in Missouri, carrying a maximum penalty of a $500 fine.
Missouri Class D Misdemeanor Charges
A Class D Missouri Misdemeanor includes, but is not limited to, the following offenses:
- Driving with a revoked or suspended license
- Operating a vehicle on the highway without a valid license
- Purchase, attempt to purchase, or possession of liquor by a minor
- Minor visibly intoxicated with a BAC of more than .02%
- First-time offense of stealing property worth less than $150
- Disposal of more than 2000 pounds of one’s personal construction or demolition waste on his or her own property
- Possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana
- Unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia
A Class C or D Missouri Misdemeanor charge may not seem like a big deal, but regardless of the potential penalty, it may be in your best interest to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you. Misdemeanors, even low-level classifications, will still stay on your record for several years and have the potential to escalate into far more serious charges.
Unclassified Misdemeanor Missouri
In Missouri, Unclassified Misdemeanors do not have standard punishment terms similar to Misdemeanor Classes A, B, C, and D. This means that the punishment for an Unclassified Misdemeanor will be outlined in the applicable state statute or determined by the judge based on individual facts of the case.
Missouri Range of Punishment Unclassified Misdemeanor
Unclassified Misdemeanors are criminal charges, typically traffic offenses or nuisance laws, that generally carry minimal fines and rarely carry jail time. In most cases, being found guilty of an Unclassified Misdemeanor will result in a monetary fine and less than a year of jail time, if any. It is important to note, however, that repeat convictions of an Unclassified Missouri Misdemeanor can result in more severe penalties.
In Missouri, an Unclassified Misdemeanor includes, but is not limited to, the following offenses:
Dumping in an unlicensed area
Destruction of state records
Failure to secure a building permit
Failure to file or pay a Missouri tax return
Violation of sales tax law
Operating a junkyard without a license
Violation of state forestry law
Failure to pay wages within the required time
Representing the driver’s license of another person to be one’s own
Improper sewage tank
Failure to equip passenger vehicle with 2 sets of front seat safety belts
Motor vehicle inspection violation
Unlawful practice of tattooing, body piercing, or branding
Contempt of court
Nonpayment of fine
The outcome of each Unclassified Misdemeanor case varies. If you have been charged with an Unclassified Misdemeanor in Missouri, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine which type of punishment you may be facing.
If you’ve already been convicted of a Missouri Misdemeanor, you may still have options. For those who served the sentence of a Missouri Misdemeanor a minimum of 3 years back, a brand-new expungements law might permit wrongdoers to get a record of their Misdemeanor criminal offense sealed from the state or federal repositories.
Don’t hesitate to contact a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer if you are seeking guidance regarding Missouri Misdemeanor legislation or are facing Misdemeanor charges of any classification. A Missouri criminal lawyer like those at the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center can assist with explaining a defendant’s rights in the face of criminal charges and obtaining the justice they deserve.
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