If you’ve been arrested or are facing criminal charges, you need a St. Louis criminal defense attorney to represent you. As a defendant in a criminal case, you have legal rights that need to be upheld.
Facing Criminal Charges in St. Louis?
Many people put off consulting a Missouri criminal defense lawyer. They are either in disbelief about the situation or completely overwhelmed. And some people may think that their charges are minor and that an attorney is only needed for “serious” cases such as felonies. Nothing could be further from the truth. All types of criminal charges will benefit from legal representation.
What To Do After Being Arrested for a Crime
If you have been arrested for a crime, regardless of the severity of that crime, there are several things you need to keep in mind. First, do not resist arrest or try to argue with officers about your case. Resisting arrest can result in additional charges, and in arguing, you could unwittingly provide them with additional information that they can use against you.
You have the right to remain silent. It is important to invoke your Fifth Amendment rights and then ask to contact an attorney right away. The sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner your legal team can build a strong defense. If you invoke your Miranda rights, you are not obligated to answer questions regarding your case without a lawyer present.
Stay off of social media and avoid talking to people (even friends and family) about your case. Even if you think it’s your chance to clear your name, social media posts, photos, and videos could be used against you in court, and friends or even family could be called as witnesses against you.
Common Criminal Charges And Their Penalties
Our firm defends all types of criminal charges for clients in the St. Louis area and throughout Missouri. Some of the most common charges we see are:
Assault charges occur when an individual physically harms or attempts to physically harm another. These actions are done knowingly or are the result of reckless behavior. Most assault crimes are covered under §§ 565.050, 565.052, 565.054, and 565.056, RSMo.
According to § 455.010, domestic violence occurs when certain crimes are “committed by a family or household member.” The law has a broad definition of “family or household member” that includes:
- Current or former spouses
- Anyone related by blood or marriage
- Any parties that live together or have lived together
- Anyone in a current or previous dating relationship
- Two parties that have a child in common
Domestic violence includes not just physical assaults, but also confining a person against their will, stalking, and abusing a family member’s or household member’s pet.
Anyone who is arrested in Missouri with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher will face consequences under both administrative law and criminal law. A person who is arrested for driving while intoxicated may face:
- A criminal conviction
- Points added to their driver’s license
- License suspension or revocation
- Loss of certain kinds of professional licensure
- Loss of a Commercial Drivers License (CDL)
- Monetary fines
- Jail time
Some drivers are held to a lower legal BAC limit, including minors and CDL holders.
In Missouri, it is against the law to manufacture, possess, and sell controlled substances. Under § 579.060, it is also illegal to sell, purchase, or distribute certain methamphetamine precursor drugs. These precursor drugs include ephedrine, phenylpropanolamine, and pseudoephedrine.
Cannabis is an area of rapidly changing law. While many states now allow for recreational use, Missouri still does not. It is illegal for individuals to possess or sell recreational marijuana within the state. Patients with a prescription may purchase medical marijuana at licensed dispensaries.
Missouri law refers to theft as “stealing.” These crimes involve taking property or services that belong to someone else without their consent. However, pursuant to § 570.030, stealing can also be taking an item by deceit or using coercion.
There are numerous Missouri statutes that cover weapons charges. Some of these crimes include:
- Owning, manufacturing, transporting, repairing, or selling an illegal weapon (§ 571.020)
- Carrying a firearm into an area where firearms are restricted (§ 571.030), which is known as Unlawful Use of Weapons (UUW) – Illegal Concealed Carry
- Exhibiting a weapon readily capable of lethal use in an angry or threatening manner (§ 571.030(4)), which is also known as “Brandishing” and Unlawful Use of Weapons (UUW) – Exhibiting
- Possession of a Controlled Substance and a Firearm (§ 571.030(11)), which is known as Unlawful Use of Weapons (UUW) – Firearm and Controlled Substance
- Knowingly selling or otherwise giving a firearm to someone who cannot lawfully be in possession of a firearm (§ 571.060)
- Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (§ 571.070), which is also known as Felon in Possession of a Firearm.
Possible Penalties For Felonies in St. Louis
Anyone who is convicted of a crime may face monetary fines, prison time, and probation. The sentence depends on:
- The defendant’s prior criminal record
- If the defendant is deemed a “dangerous offender.”
- The severity of the crime: if it is a misdemeanor or a felony
There are four classes of misdemeanors in Missouri: A, B, C, and D.
Class A misdemeanors are the most serious. A conviction can mean a fine of up to $2,000 and possible jail time of up to one year.
There are five classes of felonies, A through E. The most serious, class A, have a prison sentence between 10 and 30 years. Certain class A crimes have life imprisonment.
How Can a St. Louis Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?
A criminal defense attorney knows how to advocate for the best possible outcome for your case. Every situation is unique, but that may mean reduced charges, shorter jail time, lower fines, and possibly an acquittal. Even misdemeanor charges are a matter of public record and can affect your future.
An attorney also ensures that your constitutional rights are not violated throughout your case proceedings. They are in your corner, and only have your best interests in mind. Don’t make the mistake of trying to represent yourself.
Find The Best St. Louis Criminal Defense Attorney For You
Look for an attorney that takes your future as seriously as YOU DO. Experienced in a range of criminal defense cases, including stealing, property damage, and assault — Rose Legal Services will work hard to get rid of your criminal record. Let’s start your case off with a free consultation, take the time to thoroughly review and inspect your case, and prepare a solid representation.
St. Louis Criminal Defense Attorney Near You
If you’ve been wrongfully accused or made a mistake… Take action today. Rose Legal Services exclusively defends clients against criminal charges throughout Missouri. With more than 20 years of experience, rest assured we will work tirelessly & aggressively to defend you in the court of law.
- Immediate & Effective Representation
- Flat Fee Criminal Law Firm
- Get The UNDIVIDED ATTENTION Your Case Needs
- Take Legal Action TODAY
- All Cases Begin With A FREE Consultation
Hire a St. Louis Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible to help secure your future. If you’ve made a mistake, we can help get you off the hook as fast as possible — Start planning your defense today with a free consultation.