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Why Not All Misdemeanors Are Created Equal

Handling any sort of criminal charge isn’t what you would call a “walk in the park.” With the different classifications in place, understanding the possible punishments and fines you may be up against isn’t always easy to do. While misdemeanors are less serious than felony charges, they can still result in having a criminal record, which is something you don’t want to have to live with. 

Having a criminal record, even for the most minor crimes, can negatively impact your life in more ways than one —  like renting a house or apartment, applying for college, or getting a good job. 

Bright side? Being accused of a crime doesn’t have to make you a criminal. 

Taking actionable steps without legal representation at your defense can hinder the possibility of obtaining a positive outcome for your case. With an experienced defense attorney working on your behalf, you can get the backing you need for the protection of your rights, record and future. 

If you’re facing criminal charges and ready to take the next step to handle your case most effectively, call Kitchin Law Firm today for a free consultation!

 

What is a Misdemeanor Crime? 

Across the states, a misdemeanor is defined as a crime that is “less serious” than a felony. Misdemeanors may be punishable by a fine or county jail term, whereas felonies are dealt with by the state and can result in a prison term, depending on the severity of the crime. 

Since not all misdemeanors are created equal, it’s good to have basic knowledge of the three different classifications, and know exactly which category your criminal charge falls under. 

In Kansas and Missouri, misdemeanors are categorized by class: Class A (most serious), Class B and Class C (least serious).

 

Kansas State Misdemeanors & Felonies

 

Class A Misdemeanor

  • Carries a penalty of up to 12 months in jail
  • Fines up to $2,500.00
  • i.e. possession of marijuana for personal use, second time DUI

 

Class B Misdemeanor

  • Carries a penalty of up to 6 months in jail
  • Fines up to $1,000.00
  • i.e. first offense DUI, first time domestic battery

 

Class C Misdemeanor  

  • Carries a penalty of up to 30 days in jail
  • Fines up to $500.00
  • i.e. disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace 

 

For felonies, Kansas uses a complex sentencing grid with issued guidelines for both drug crimes and non-drug crimes. Two factors that impact sentencing for a felony charge: 

  1. One’s past criminal history 
  2. Severity level of the crime itself

Drug offenses are classified into severity levels 1 through 5 and non-drug crimes are divided into severity levels 1 through 10. In regard to past criminal history, level 1 is classified as the most serious, and includes defendants with three or more convictions for crimes committed against other people. While level 10 is the least serious designation, and includes defendants who have no criminal record or 1 misdemeanor conviction.

 

Missouri Misdemeanors, Felonies & Infractions

In Missouri, criminal law breaks down offenses into the following categories:

  • Infractions
  • Misdemeanors in the form of Class A, Class B or Class C
  • Felonies in the form of Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D or Class E

An infraction will have no imprisonment penalty authorized, but may include fines of up to $200.00.

 

Class A Misdemeanor 

  • Carries a penalty of up to 12 months in jail
  • Fines up to $1,000.00
  • i.e. marijuana possession (35g or less), third-degree domestic assault 

Class B Misdemeanor

  • Carries from 30 days to 6 months in jail
  • Fines up to $500
  • i.e. first offense DWI, first time domestic battery 

Class C Misdemeanor 

  • Carries up to 15 days in jail
  • Fines up to $300
  • i.e. harassment, illegal gambling

 

If you’re charged with or facing a felony charge in Missouri, you may be subject to time in prison. 

 

Missouri Felonies are punishable as follows: 

Class A – can carry a penalty of up to life in prison

Class B – can carry up to 15 years in prison

Class C – can can carry up to 10 years in prison

Class D – can carry up to 7 years in prison

Class E – can carry up to 4 years in prison

 

Get The Right Defense Attorney for Your Criminal Charge

Facing a criminal charge can be a tough situation to walk through alone, but with Kitchin Law Firm — you don’t have to. When you choose Kitchin Law Firm for your case, you get an attorney with more than 25 years of experience, working hard to protect your record and your future. 

If you’ve received a misdemeanor in Kansas or Missouri, and are looking for the right defense attorney to fight for your case, contact Kitchin Law Firm to schedule your free consultation. 


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