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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

All felony convictions come with the possibility of up to $10,000 in fines. Alternatively, the court can issue a fine of up to two times the gain from the fine. If this option is chosen, the total fine can't be more than $20,000.

As you can see, there are some very serious consequences for criminal convictions. Typically, violent crimes fall on the higher end of the spectrum. For example, second-degree murder and first-degree robbery are both class A felonies, while first-degree burglary is a class B felony and second-degree assault is a class D felony.

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