The state of Missouri looks to severely punish any defendant charged with a violent crime. Public safety is one of the state’s most important tenets. But this does not negate any defendant the best possible legal representation.
Definition of a serious violent crime
The court’s System of Recommended Sentences for violent crimes has almost 1,000 entries. The list includes murder, manslaughter, robbery, rape and aggravated assault. Other crimes that may or may not be included due to their nature or circumstances are theft, burglary, arson, child abuse, kidnappings, human trafficking and vehicular- and larceny-theft. The use of threat or force upon a person can elevate a crime to violent status.
Prosecutors seek maximum punishments with these charges if a person is injured or worse during the crime. This is regardless of whether the defendant intended to inflict any harm.
Child and domestic abuse are complex legal matters. In cases involving children, a charge has to distinguish between outright abuse and discipline. Domestic violence encompasses emotional and physical abuse of a family member. Actions in these matters can include physical assault, stalking, threats, harassment and neglect. The situations get twisty because there are often criminal and family courts involved.
Penalties for violent crimes in Missouri
A conviction for a violent crime will affect you for the rest of your life. Your family, your relationships, your career potential and your freedom, all suffer.
The following are court penalties a defendant can expect:
- Serious criminal fines
- Felony record
- Difficulty finding employment
- Difficulty locating a place to live
- Losing a professional license if you’re in law, medicine, teaching, pharmacy, nursing or other certified professions
- Green card or immigration visa revocation, deportation or denial of citizenship
- Up to life in prison
Some violent felony convictions are candidates for expungement. When this occurs, the legal system seals a defendant’s record. While law enforcement and courts will continue to see the record, the public cannot. This action gives a defendant a greater chance at buying a home or car, applying to schools and so on. A defendant may have a specified period for eligibility. There are certain crimes, including crimes involving death or sex offenses, where records must stay on the books.
Please take note the information here does not encompass the exhaustive process of being charged with a violent crime in Missouri. Nor does it expressly foresee the outcome. Only a personal evaluation of a case and the ear of a leading criminal attorney can ensure the best possible defense.