For the first time in 40 years, there is a new criminal code in the State of Missouri. There are a lot of changes, way more than can be quickly summarized in a blog post. These changes have been in the works for nearly a decade, and they became law on January 1, 2017. Here are some of the key changes:

  1. There is now a “Class E” Felony, punishable by up to 4 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
  2. 1st-offense possession (of 10 grams or less) of marijuana is now a “Class D” Misdemeanor, which carries no possibility of jail time and instead only has a fine as the maximum punishment. However, taking a conviction on this type of charge will still go on your record and will have serious consequences should you pick up future marijuana possession charges.
  3. Felony Stealing is a felony again.
  4. “Class D” felonies, which used to have a maximum of 4 years of prison, now carry a maximum of 7 years in prison.
  5. “Class C” felonies, which used to have a maximum of 7 years of prison, now carry a maximum of 10 years in prison.
  6. Habitual DUI offenders must now complete a mandatory 85 percent of their sentences.
  7. Certain driving offenses that used to have the threat of jail time (ex: Driving While Suspended, Driving While Revoked) now only carry large fines as the maximum punishment.
  8. Most adults are now able to carry a concealed firearm without a permit or without any sort of firearm training. (seriously)

There will be a lot of adjustment for defense counsel, prosecutors, and judges alike as these changes go into effect. And many cases from 2016 and before are still subject to the old criminal code. If you are curious as to whether the new changes to Missouri’s laws affect you, give us a call.