Being charged with a felony in Missouri is a serious offense. Felony convictions can tear families apart and cause devastating financial consequences.
Currently, there are more than 30,000 people incarcerated in Missouri jails and prisons. Even when they have served their time, the “felon” label will remain with them long after their release. If life before a felony conviction was difficult, life after prison oftentimes can be far worse.
Michael J. Englert, Attorney at Law, spent the early years of his legal career as a prosecution attorney and municipal judge. Over the last 25 years, Attorney Englert has used his experience as a former prosecutor and judge to help defend clients facing criminal charges in Independence, Missouri, and the surrounding areas of Blue Springs, and Lee’s Summit.
If you are being investigated or charged with a felony, regardless of whether you are guilty or innocent of the crime, you deserve to have a strong legal defense. That is what Attorney Englert provides for every client he represents.
Felony crimes can be defined as essentially any crime that is punishable by at least one year in prison in Missouri. Missouri is also a death-penalty state, so any crime that carries the possibility of the death penalty is also considered a felony crime.
Some common examples of crimes that are charged as felonies including first-degree stalking, assault, statutory rape, manslaughter, illegal possession of a firearm, kidnapping, and murder.
Felonies in Missouri include five distinct classes, lettered from A to E. Class A felonies are considered the most serious, while Class E felonies are considered the least serious.
Class A: Class A felonies include murder, child kidnapping, assault or abandonment, first-degree robbery, and arson.
Class B: Class B felonies include distribution of a controlled substance to a minor, voluntary manslaughter, assault of a special victim, and first-degree burglary.
Class C: Class C felonies include involuntary manslaughter, distribution of a controlled substance, identity theft, chronic DUI, and financial exploitation of the elderly.
Class D: Class D felonies include illegal possession of a firearm, second-degree statutory rape, second-degree assault, and filing a false insurance statement.
Class E: Class E felonies include first-degree stalking, fraudulent purchase of a firearm, driving with a revoked or suspended license, and failure to stop for a school bus picking up or dropping off children.
Sentencing guidelines in Missouri are based on multiple factors including the seriousness of the crime, past criminal convictions, your age, employment status, and history of substance abuse. However, these are merely guidelines for sentencing. Judges and juries are not required to follow them to the letter.
If you are convicted by a jury, it’s important to know that in Missouri, penalties rendered by the jury are simply recommendations. It is the judge who has the final authority on conviction penalties in jury trials, bench trials, and plea bargains.
Many felony conviction penalties include both time served in prison and time served on “conditional release.” Conditional release could be granted for the last third of any sentence of nine years or less, the last three years of sentences of nine to 15 years, or the last five years of sentences in excess of 15 years. Conditional release will not be granted in convictions for dangerous crimes or if you have served time for prior felony convictions.
In general, felony convictions carry the following prison sentences by class:
Class A – At least 10 years and no more than 30 years, or life
Class B – At least five years and no more than 15 years
Class C – At least three years and no more than 10 years and up to $10,000 in fines
Class D – No more than seven years and up to $10,000 in fines
Class E – No more than four years and up to $5,000 in fines
Any adult that is 18 years of age or older who has been convicted of first-degree murder may be sentenced to death in Missouri.
Felony convictions often destroy lives, families, and dreams. Those charged with felonies need a tough and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney on their side to investigate the charges, mitigate penalties, negotiate effectively with the prosecution, and deliver a solid defense to the judge and jury.
Criminal Defense Attorney Mike Englert has sat behind the bench as a judge and at the prosecuting attorney’s table. He brings those perspectives and that experience to the defense of his clients and will do everything he possibly can to help his clients pursue the best possible outcome in their case. If you or someone you know is facing felony criminal charges, don’t wait. Call or reach out to Michael J. Englert, Attorney at Law today for reliable legal counsel and aggressive representation.
If you have been charged with a felony in Independence, Blue Springs, or Lee’s Summit, Missouri, don’t trust your future with just any attorney. Call Michael J. Englert, Attorney at Law today to discuss your case. Attorney Englert has over 25 years of experience working with clients who have been charged with a felony, and he would be proud to stand up and protect your rights as well. Remember, just because you have been charged, doesn’t mean you are guilty. Call today to schedule your own one-on-one case evaluation.