Missouri makes a difference with its new criminal code!

“It was about time that Missouri cleaned up its house and made its criminal statutes more consistent and cohesive”, chimed the prosecutors favoring the new code which would be put into effect from January 2017.

Although sex crimes and traffic offenses have been dealt with separately, the new criminal statutes do have some significant changes incorporated in them. For example, a new class of felonies and another for misdemeanors has been included. Class D misdemeanors would be punishable by a fine only while a clear punishment range has been defined for some felony classes in the new code. There has been no difference to the prison terms that can be imposed on Class A and B offenders, and this is how things look now in terms of sentencing for various crimes:
• Class A: 10-30 years
• Class B: 5-15 years
• Class C: 3 to 10 years
• Class D and E: Up to 7 years

Prosecutors concurred that some of the offenses had been moved to appropriate categories which would make it simpler to charge the offender and impose a sentence that would be in keeping with the crime. For example, robbery was hitherto classified as a property crime but has now been moved to aggravated stealing.

Another significant change was in terms of narcotics laws which would put even first time offenders in jail for years. Pursuant to the new code, first time offenders who are caught with small amounts of marijuana will not face jail time. This certainly seems to be a step in the right direction for lowering the burden and the spending on the correctional system.