Overview of Murder Charges in Missouri
Under Missouri laws, murder can be defined as causing the death of another person intentionally or knowingly. Murder is categorized into murder in the first degree and murder in the second degree.
Murder in the First Degree
Pursuant to Missouri Revised Statutes Section 565.020, "a person commits the offense of murder in the first degree if he or she knowingly causes the death of another person after deliberation upon the matter."
Murder in the Second Degree
According to Missouri Revised Statutes Section 565.021, a person commits the offense of murder in the second degree if he or she:
- Knowingly causes the death of another person or, with the purpose of causing serious physical injury to another person, causes the death of another person
- Inadvertently causes the death of another person while committing or attempting to commit any felony
- Intentionally causes serious physical injuries to another person, which causes his or her death
Involuntary Manslaughter in the First Degree
Under Missouri Revised Statutes Section 565.024, a person commits the offense of involuntary manslaughter in the first degree if he or she recklessly causes the death of another person.
Involuntary Manslaughter in the Second Degree
According to Missouri Revised Statutes Section 565.027, a person commits the offense of involuntary manslaughter in the second degree if he or she acts with criminal negligence to cause the death of any person.
If convicted for murder in the state of Missouri, the possible penalties include:
First Degree Murder: The offense of murder in the first degree is a Class A felony, punishable by the death penalty or imprisonment for life without eligibility for probation or parole.
Second Degree Murder: The offense of murder in the second degree is a Class A felony, punishable by 10 to 30 years or life in prison. If the murder occurred while committing or attempting to commit a felony offense, excluding murder or manslaughter, the punishment will be in addition to the sentence for the other felony offense.
First Degree Involuntary Manslaughter: The offense of involuntary manslaughter in the first degree is a Class B or Class C felony, depending on the surrounding circumstances. This is punishable by 5 to 15 years in prison (Class B felony) or up to 7 years in prison (Class C felony), and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Second Degree Involuntary Manslaughter: The offense of involuntary manslaughter in the second degree is a Class E felony, punishable by up to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
If you are facing murder charges, your attorney can fight the allegations against you with any of the following defenses:
- Accident or misfortune
- Lack of intent
- Lack of knowledge
- Heat of passion
- Resisting any attempt to murder any person or to commit a felony
- Defense of habitation, property, or person
- Defense of a person in imminent danger
- Committed in an attempt to uphold the law
Get Help from a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney
Facing murder charges can jeopardize your reputation, liberty, reputation, quality of life, and potential professional opportunities. However, defending your murder allegations without experienced representation could easily expose you to the possibility of getting convicted and receiving the maximum punishment. Therefore, when facing murder accusations, retaining a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately is imperative to help protect your rights and outline your defense strategy.
At The Law Office of Gregory N. Smith, I have the experience and resources to defend and represent clients in their murder cases. As a former DNA analyst, I can use my knowledge of DNA evidence to dispute the prosecutorial evidence and attempt to establish your innocence. I will investigate all the surrounding facts of your case, fight vigorously to defend your legal rights, and ensure that you are being treated fairly in every stage of the legal process. I will dedicate every available resource at my disposal to fight your murder charges and ensure that those accusations don't ruin your life.