The Class A Felony is the highest level of classification of crime in the State of Missouri. This is the highest of the high, the most serious level of crime.
This includes cases like Murder in the First Degree, Murder in the Second Degree, Robbery in the First Degree and some drug crimes like Trafficking in the First Degree.
From a lawyer’s point of view these big cases are what the big time lawyers live for. Can they be technical? Yes, but rarely so. It is a common saying that from a legal point of view a DWI can be more difficult to try in a technical point of view than a homicide. There is a lot more science and need for precision in analyzing Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, Breathalyzers and the expert witnesses the officers are holding themselves out to be. Robberies cases do not tend to be scientific in nature. They tend to be more fact base. That makes it less likely to find a technicality to get you or your loved one out of hot water. You need good lawyering more in these high end cases than a routine DWI.
Why do the big time lawyers want these big cases? These cases can be true life changers. These cases are the ones that decide if you are going to be there for your family for the next 10, 20 or 30 years; if you are going to be able to see your five-year-old graduate from high school, or get married, or have kids of their own. These are big time stakes. Big time players want the ball.
You need to be looking for the right kind of attorney to deal with these high end cases. Some of the things you should be looking for in an attorney if you or a family member has been charged with this sort of crime.
Having the compassion to deal with the client and their family. Taking time to explain the situation to them. To talk about the facts. Do they take phone calls and return phone calls?
- Having the knowledge to deal with the legal issue. To be able to spot where the prosecutor went too far or the detective asked one too many questions. Are they straight out of law school? Are they looking at 1970 law? You need someone up to date but still having the experience.
- Having the experience to know how the Judge is likely to rule. To be able to predict what is going to happen.
- Do they try cases? Winning is good, but trying cases is the important part. I once worked for an attorney that said there are two types of attorneys: Cryers and Tryers. If you have a Tryer on your side, you will always beat the Cryer. Being able to stand up and hold the line is an important part of our legal system. Make sure you hire someone that is not afraid to hold that line for you.
Why do you need this kind of lawyer? Because the Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri (RSMo) states that a Class A Felony shall have the punishment as follows:
558.011. 1. The authorized terms of imprisonment, including both prison and conditional release terms, are:
For a class A felony, a term of years not less than ten years and not to exceed thirty years, or life imprisonment;
Additionally, if you are charged with Murder in the First Degree, the death penalty is also on the table. The stakes do not get higher than this.
Class A felonies will determine the way you live your life for a very long time to come. Do not leave it up to chance.