Criminal Defense

Kansas City Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you’re facing criminal charges, a criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the court system and protect your rights in order to achieve the best possible result in your case. No criminal defense attorney can tell you for sure what the outcome of your case will be, but I can promise you the zealous advocacy and sound advice you deserve. I handle most felony offenses as well as all types of misdemeanor and municipal cases, including:

  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • Domestic violence
  • Criminal damage to property
  • Assault
  • Trespassing
  • Burglary
  • Fraud
  • Driving While Intoxicated / Driving Under the Influence
  • Driving While Suspended
  • Other Traffic Violations
  • Probation Violations

Violations of Missouri statutes are divided into three categories: Infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Felonies and misdemeanors are further divided, in the case of felonies into Classes A through E, and, for misdemeanors, into classes A through D. The statute defining each offense generally determines what class of offense it is. In cases where it does not, the statute includes the sentence. This table describes the possible sentences that may be imposed for each. Note, however, that these are the maximum sentences and not mandatory sentences. In many cases, a criminal defense lawyer can help you avoid jail time, even if you’re found guilty.

Class of Felony
Class A:    10 to 30 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections
Class B:      5 to 15 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections
Class C:      3 to 10 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections or a fine up to 10,000 dollars, or both
Class D:      1 to 7 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections or a fines up to 10,000 dollars, or both
Class E:      1 to 4 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections or a  fines up to 10,000 dollars, or both

D and E felonies are also punishable by up to one year in the county jail in lieu of incarceration in the Department of Corrections.

Class of Misdemeanor
Class A:        Up to 1 year in the county jail or a fine of up to 2,000 dollars, or both
Class B:        Up to 6 months  in the county jail or a fine of up to 1,000 dollars, or both
Class C:        Up to 15 days in the county jail or a fine of up to 750 dollars, or both
Class D:        A fine of up to 500 dollars

Infractions under Missouri law are punishable by a maximum fine of 400 dollars.

Additionally, you may have to pay restitution for damages caused by the offense and court costs, and many offenses also carry collateral consequences, such as loss of your driver’s license, losing your eligibility for certain types student loans, or, in the case of immigrants from other countries, deportation or loss of eligibility for citizenship or naturalization.

Municipal Ordinance Violations
In addition to violation of a Missouri Statute, you may be charged with violating a county or city ordinance. Strictly speaking, violation of these municipal ordinances in not a criminal offense. However, the difference between an ordinance violation is increasingly one without distinction. The maximum penalty for city ordinance violations is 90 days in jail and a 500 dollar fine or one year in jail and 1000 dollar fine, depending on the city. The maximum jail sentence for violation of a county ordinance is one year in jail and a 1000 dollar fine. Municipal ordinance violations carry most of the same collateral consequences as violations of State Statutes.

If you’re wrongly accused or if you’ve made a mistake and don’t know where to turn for help, please contact me for a free consultation. I also handle civil legal issues related to criminal charges, such as probation hearings, criminal record expungements, blood alcohol test refusal appeals, Department of Revenue hearings, and drivers license reinstatement hearings.

The information on this webpage is intended to provide an overview of the criminal court system in Missouri and help you make an informed decision. It is not intended to be comprehensive. To discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney at 816-287-0172 or contact me at ben@thejanssenlawoffice.com. You can also complete our online intake form here.