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Criminal Law in Missouri

What You Need to Know About Missouri Criminal Law

When facing criminal charges, you need a trusted legal advocate to fight for your rights and freedom. Our Missouri criminal law firm can help.

Missouri Criminal Law Basics

When dealing with Missouri criminal statutes, it’s essential to know the basics. Criminal law refers to state and federal laws that classify certain behaviors as illegal and subject to punishment by fines or imprisonment.

Missouri’s criminal laws require an arrest by law enforcement officers followed by a series of steps during which prosecutors attempt to prove guilt and punish the offender. The defendant tries to get the legal issue dismissed.

Contact a criminal defense lawyer before the preliminary hearing to avoid criminal charges. He can determine whether there is enough evidence for the prosecutor to take the offense to court. Bradley S. Dede, LLC, will fight to protect your rights before and during the jury trial to help avoid a guilty conviction.

What Happens During an Arrest?

Law enforcement officers in Missouri must have probable cause to arrest a person for a crime. Probable cause exists when the officer has a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed and that the person they have arrested committed it.

After an arrest, the offender is typically taken to a local jail, where he will be “booked.” The booking process includes taking the arrestee’s personal information, fingerprints, and a mugshot. The offender will then either be released on bail or held in jail until trial.

If you are arrested, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. He can help protect your rights and work to get you released on bail.

Missouri Statutory Law

Each state has a penal code that defines a crime, and according to Missouri criminal law statutes, the following offenses are illegal.

  • Drug crimes
  • DWI
  • Sex crimes
  • Theft
  • Violent crimes

The Missouri criminal code handbook names other criminal charges and determines the seriousness and penalties for each offense.

Missouri Criminal Code

Missouri criminal code divides criminal offenses into felonies and misdemeanors that determine the punishment of each. Felonies are considered serious crimes that can be punishable by the death penalty (in some cases) or by imprisonment of at least a year.

Lesser offenses are considered infractions like traffic offenses and misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are punishable by no more than one year of jail time.


Missouri Criminal Law Legal Services

Missouri criminal law legal services will provide advice, advocacy, and representation if you face a Kansas City grand jury. A Missouri criminal defense attorney can:

  • Help with the arraignment where you enter a plea

  • Present evidence

  • Question witnesses

  • Help mitigate the sentence

Criminal attorneys can inform you of your options and hopefully help you avoid a fine or punishment regardless of why you were arrested.

Missouri Law on Time Limits for Criminal Charges

There are specific Missouri laws on time limits for criminal charges to ensure that physical evidence and witness testimony remains intact for the jury trials. “Statutes of limitations” are as follows:

  • One year: Misdemeanors

  • Three years: Most felonies

  • Five years: Arson and personal injury claims

  • Ten years: Fraud 

Once that period has expired, the state can bring no charges. There is no statute of limitations for murder, rape, and sodomy charges. Contact a Missouri criminal defense attorney for more information.

Missouri Criminal Jury Trials

In a Missouri criminal jury trial, the prosecutor must convince all 12 jurors “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant committed the crime. If even one juror has reasonable doubt, they can find the defendant not guilty.

The entire process from arrest to verdict at trial can take several months or even years. During this time, the defendant has several constitutional rights, including:

  • The right to remain silent

  • The right to an attorney

If you are arrested or questioned by the police, you should immediately exercise your Miranda rights and contact a criminal defense lawyer. An experienced criminal defense attorney can make a huge difference when it comes to whether you go to jail or are released pending trial.

Contact a Missouri Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested or are under investigation for a crime, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you have legal representation, the better your chances of having the charges against you reduced or dismissed.

A criminal defense attorney can also negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce the charges against you. In some cases, they may be able to get the charges dropped entirely.

When you are facing criminal charges, you need an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney on your side. Call our Missouri law firm today to schedule a free consultation. Our experienced criminal defense lawyers will fight for your rights and freedom.

Let’s Work Together

With Bradley S. Dede we treat you as an individual and will help to fight your charges to
get a favorable outcome no matter what your case involves.