Missouri Criminal Code Revisions in 2017: Get Informed!

January 25th, 2017

Missouri Criminal Code Revisions in 2017: Get Informed!

By:  Benjamin A. McBride & Heather Rooney McBride


Not since 1979 has the Missouri Legislature performed an exhaustive review of the Missouri Criminal Code.  As one can imagine, times have changed, and so has Missouri’s current climate of criminal prosecution, criminal defense, and criminal punishment.


In response to the near-antiquated criminal code being put to use by the criminal justice system, the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 491 in May, 2014, bringing Missouri’s criminal code into the 21st century.  However, the majority of the needed changes did not become effective until January 1, 2017.  With the effective date for these changes just passed, our criminal defense attorneys wanted to provide you with important information and updates.


The Missouri criminal code has long operated under a division of criminal classification broken down between felonies and misdemeanors.  Traditionally, felonies have been classified as A, B, C, or D felonies carrying varying ranges of punishment depending on the circumstances.  Likewise, misdemeanors have been classified as A, B, or C misdemeanors with varying ranges of punishment.  As of January 1, 2017, however, these traditional classifications will be broken down even further with the addition of a Class E felony and Class D misdemeanor.  In sum, the new ranges of punishment for crimes committed in Missouri will be as follows:


Felony Range of Imprisonment Range of Fine
A 10 years – 30 years, or life n/a
B 5 years – 15 years n/a
C 3 years – 10 years No greater than $10,000.00
D 1 day – 7 years No greater than $10,000.00
E 1 day – 4 years No greater than $10,000.00
A 1 day – 1 year No greater than $2,000.00
B 1 day – 6 months No greater than $1,000.00
C 1 day – 15 days No greater than $750.00
D n/a No greater than $500.00


It is important to note that, with these changes, the terms of imprisonment for any sentence for a felony, not including “dangerous felonies” or other sentences involving the individual’s fourth or subsequent remand to the Department of Corrections, shall consist of a prison term and a conditional release term.  Section 558.011.4(1), RSMo.  Under this Section, “Conditional Release” is defined as “the conditional discharge of an offender by the board of probation and parole, subject to conditions of release that the board deems reasonable to assist the offender to lead a law-abiding life….” Section 558.011.4(2), RSMo.  The conditional release term of any imposed sentence shall then be:


(a)        One-third for terms of nine years or less;

(b)        Three years for terms between nine and fifteen years;

(c)        Five years for terms more than fifteen years.  Section 558.011.4(1), RSMo.


Beyond the general sentencing revisions noted above, the Missouri Legislature has also re-classified certain offenses, enhancing many of them but, in some cases, decriminalizing others.  For a complete summary of Senate Bill 491 and the changes that went into effect on January 1, 2017, please follow this link:




Based on these revisions, the need for an informed defense attorney has never been as critical as it is now.  As of the new year, the state law has been changed forever, and you have an opportunity to get informed and take advantage of changes that could be used in your favor.  If you, or someone you know, is in need of legal guidance and representation due to pending criminal allegations or charges, please give us a call today to speak with our experienced criminal defense attorney, Benjamin A. McBride.