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Criminal Defense Attorney in St. Louis, Missouri

If your freedom and future are on the line when facing criminal charges or being investigated for a crime, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the seriousness of your situation. Being represented by an attorney when facing criminal charges can make the difference between conviction and freedom.  

At Eisenhauer Law, our criminal defense attorney in St. Louis, Missouri, is committed to fighting on your behalf to secure the best possible outcome, which may include keeping you out of jail, proving your innocence, and/or getting the charges reduced or dismissed. If you are facing criminal charges for DUI, DWI, DUID, drug crimes, or other charges, we can help. We provide criminal defense services throughout St. Louis County, St. Charles County, and Jefferson County.   

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Criminal Charges in Missouri 

Missouri recognizes two broad categories of criminal charges: misdemeanors and felonies. 

  • Misdemeanors are less severe crimes than felonies. However, a conviction for a misdemeanor can still result in serious penalties. In Missouri, misdemeanors are classified into four categories: Class A, Class B, Class C, and Class D, with Class A being the most serious one and having the highest penalties. Depending on the Class, a misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum fine of $500 (Class D) to $2,000 (Class A) and a jail sentence of up to 15 days (Class C) or one year (Class A).  

  • Felonies are much more serious compared to misdemeanors and are punishable by prison/jail time of one year or more. A felony conviction can cause the loss of certain rights, including but not limited to the right to possess a firearm and the right to vote. Under Missouri law, felonies are broken down into five categories: Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, and Class E, with Class A being the most serious one and carrying a maximum allowed imprisonment sentence of 30 years or life in prison. For Class D and Class E felonies, courts in Missouri have the option of sentencing defendants to county jail for up to one year.  

In Missouri, driving while impaired (DWI) charges can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. While first- and second-time DWIs are typically misdemeanors, third and subsequent DWIs are felonies. However, a first or second DWI can be elevated to a felony if the defendant’s conduct resulted in someone else’s injury or death. If you are facing criminal charges in Missouri, our criminal defense attorney at Eisenhauer Law can provide you with clear and straightforward information about your defense options and the potential outcomes so you can make informed decisions on how to proceed with your case.  

Missouri Criminal Court Process 

Without a knowledgeable legal advocate in your corner, navigating the criminal justice system can feel overwhelming and intimidating. In Missouri, the criminal court process consists of the following steps: 

  1. Arrest and complaint. The prosecuting attorney asks a judge to issue an arrest warrant once a written complaint – the formal charge – has been filed. With this arrest warrant, law enforcement can arrest the person suspected of committing a crime.  

  1. Preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing is held only if the defendant is facing felony charges. During the hearing, the prosecutor will demonstrate evidence to show that there is probable cause to believe the defendant has committed the crime in question. In addition, victims and witnesses may be subpoenaed to attend the hearing. The defendant’s attorney can cross-examine the witnesses and show the compiled evidence to disprove the charges. In certain cases, a preliminary hearing can be replaced by a grand jury that consists of a panel of private citizens.  

  1. Arraignment. During the arraignment, the defendant is asked to enter a plea. They may plead guilty, not guilty, or not guilty by reason of insanity. If the defendant refuses to plead in their case, the judge will plead not guilty on their behalf. During the arraignment, the judge can increase or decrease the defendant’s bond if appropriate.  

  1. Trial. During the trial, the prosecutor and the defendant’s attorney make their opening statements and present their evidence. After the evidence is heard, the parties make their closing statements and the jurors retire to deliberate. The jurors must decide whether the evidence presented by the state during the trial was convincing enough to prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.  

  1. Presentence investigation. Before sentencing takes place, the state Board of Probation and Parole may conduct an investigation to determine whether probation would be an appropriate sentence.  

  1. Sentencing. Missouri law specifies a punishment range for each crime. For example, possession of any controlled substance is punishable by up to 7 years in prison or 3 to 10 years for persistent offenders. In the case of jury sentencing, the judge does not have the authority to increase the punishment but can reduce it. During sentencing, the defendant may be sent to jail or prison or placed on probation, depending on the charges.  

Facing any criminal charges can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you are not familiar with the intricate legal processes. At Eisenhauer Law, we strive to walk our clients through every step of the criminal court process in Missouri. Our criminal defense attorney will keep you informed at each stage of the process and provide you with the support you need from the day of your arrest through the resolution of your case.   

Criminal Defense Attorney Serving St. Louis, Missouri

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, there is a lot at stake. Your freedom and future are too important to leave to chance. You might want to contact a criminal defense attorney in St. Louis, Missouri, to help you get the best outcome for your situation. At Eisenhauer Law, we have earned a reputation for effective and successful criminal defense representation throughout the state of Missouri. Schedule a meeting today.