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St. Louis Criminal Defense Law Blog

Missouri jury finds man not guilty of second-degree murder charge

A jury in Buchanan County, Missouri, determined recently that a man was not guilty of charges of second-degree murder and armed criminal action.

The charges stemmed from an Aug. 10, 2017, incident when a man was shot to death.

A factual defense against weapons charges is a must

Many people automatically turn to guns when they think of weapons; however, there are many different things that can lead to weapons charges. For example, brass knuckles are illegal here and can lead to this type of legal matter. If you are facing any crime that involves the use of any weapon, you need to review the applicable laws to determine what options you have for dealing with them.

Having to plan a defense for weapon charges might be rather difficult. Not only do you have to figure out how to answer to the prosecution's claims, but you may have to deal with specific evidence that can show you did have the weapon in your possession. This might be from fingerprints or DNA on the weapon at the heart of the matter.

Important legal and criminal terms defined

Criminal law is complex and extensive. There are a wide variety of offenses one can commit against people and property. Local, state and federal government entities establish and enforce laws and punish those who commit them. Each offense can involve an enormous amount of detail.

If the police ever arrest you for a crime, it is ideal for you to know some important legal terms. Here is a brief glossary of criminal terms.

Embezzlement can't happen accidentally

People who have a fiduciary responsibility for a company often take that duty very seriously. It is imperative that anyone who does handle the assets of a business takes the time to ensure that they are doing this in a fully lawful manner. When there are issues with what is happening, there is a chance that an investigation into a possible white collar crime will take place.

One serious crime that occurs in some cases is embezzlement. This happens when assets that belong to the company are rerouted into someone's personal possession without the permission of the company. There are many ways that this can happen.

Crime classifications impact potential sentences

People who are involved in the criminal justice system in Missouri should have a basic understanding about how the classification of the crime impacts their possible sentences. These classifications can also have an impact on how a conviction might affect them later in life.

There are two primary categories of criminal charges — misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors come with shorter periods of incarceration and lesser fines than felonies. Here are a few things to know about crime classifications and their consequences:

  • Class A misdemeanor: Up to one year in jail; up to $2,000 fine
  • Class B misdemeanor: Up to 6 months in jail; up to $1,000 fine
  • Class C misdemeanor: Up to 15 days in jail; up to $750 fine
  • Class D misdemeanor: No time in jail; up to $500 fine
  • Class A felony: 10 to 30 years or life in prison
  • Class B felony: 5 to 15 years in prison
  • Class C felony: 3 to 10 years in prison
  • Class D felony: Up to 7 years in prison
  • Class E felony: Up to 4 years in prison

Violent crime convictions can limit job prospects

Being accused of a violent crime comes with some very difficult decisions. You have to determine what is best for you at each turn. In some cases, there might not be a clear answer about this. You have to consider what each option means for you now and into the future. We know this is a challenge, so we are here to work with you throughout the process.

It is difficult to think about some of the ways that you might be affected by a conviction. In the short term, you will likely have to deal with being placed in jail or prison. You may have to serve time on probation or pay fines. Community service is another possibility. These can affect how you live your life right away.

Very specific requirements exist for criminal appeals

A criminal appeal must be handled appropriately because there are many factors that you must consider. One thing to remember is that you aren't presenting a new case in an appeal. Instead, you are asking the appeals court to review what was already presented.

All appeals of criminal cases must be based on a legal mistake that directly impacted the outcome of or sentence in the case. These must be very clear. It can sometimes be hard to show that something happened that warrants the appeal being granted.

3 FAQs about getting arrested

An arrest is never a pleasant or easy experience. When police arrest you, your freedom, reputation and finances are on the line. No matter who you are, this is intimidating and scary.

How you handle yourself when the police question you and take you into custody may have a significant impact on your case. Here are answers to three common questions people have when arrested. 

Know how defense options might impact your future

Facing white collar crime charges is a lot different than facing other types of felony charges. White collar crimes often involve long paper trails of evidence that can make defending clients challenging.

There are also numerous potential life impacts to consider when deciding how to approach a defense. It is imperative that you think carefully about what elements are present in your case so that you are able to devise a viable defense strategy that accurately reflects the circumstances of your case.

Get to know firearm laws before purchasing a gun

As the new year approaches, residents of Missouri might decide that they are going to try to improve the safety of their homes. Some may decide that they are going to take up hunting. If you are considering anything that requires you to have a gun, you should familiarize yourself with the state's laws so you don't run afoul of them. On top of state laws, you also have to know about federal laws.

In Missouri, sales from licensed dealers and gun stores are more closely regulated than those from one individual to another. You will have to undergo a background check if you buy from a dealer or store. You don't have to have one if you are making a purchase from a person.

    • Richard H.Sindel | Best Lawyers In America | Best Lawyers - 2016
    • Richard H. Sindel | America's Most Honored Professionals | 2015
    • Top Attorneys in Missouri & Kansas | 2014 | Richard H. Sindel
    • Top Attorneys in Missouri & Kansas | 2013 | Richard H. Sindel
    • Super Lawyers
    • AV Peer Review Rated. Highest Rating For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability
    • Richard H. Sindel | Best Lawyers | Lawyer of the year | 2011 | Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar St.Louis
    • MATA - Helping To Balance The Scales Of Justice
    • Member of the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    • Member of the National Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers
    • The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
    • U.S.News| Best Lawyers | Best Law Firms | 2010
    • Charles M. Shaw Award
    • Bar Register Preeminent Lawyers
    • The Missouri Bar
    • Top Listed in Best Lawyers | The world's premier Guide
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