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Misdemeanors

While a misdemeanor offense is usually is not as serious as a felony charge, it can still have drastic and severe consequences for you or a loved one. In Missouri and Illinois, many offenses can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony offense. Misdemeanors can either be prosecuted in state court or municipal court. If you are facing a misdemeanor charge, do not make the mistake of thinking it is not serious. At Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C., our St. Louis misdemeanor lawyers will fight to mitigate the consequences a misdemeanor charge can have on you.

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    Misdemeanor Overview

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    Disorderly Conduct

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    Fake ID

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    Trespassing

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    Prostitution and Solicitation

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    Hit and Run

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    Bad Checks

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    Minor in Possession – MIP

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    Harassment

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    Stealing and Larceny

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    Bench Warrant

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    Criminal Non-Support

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    Domestic Assault

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    Assault and Battery

Misdemeanor vs. Felony

There are two big differences between a misdemeanor and a felony. The first difference is the maximum length of incarceration a person can be sentenced to. The second difference is the amount of the fine a person can be sentenced to pay. For a misdemeanor offense, the range of incarceration can be from 15 days to 1 year in the county or city jail. The fine for such an offense can range from $500 to $2,000. A felony offense can have much higher fines and a longer incarceration period. If you are facing a misdemeanor, any punishment can be too much since it can have a drastic impact on your job, your relationship, or even your license to drive.

Contact a Missouri Attorney Today

When you or a loved one is charged, you need to seek out an experienced and aggressive St. Louis misdemeanor lawyer. You need a lawyer who will give you strong representation. At Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C., our legal team has defended thousands of individuals facing a wide variety of misdemeanor offenses. Also, we have obtained numerous dismissals and not-guilty verdicts on misdemeanor offenses. Don’t make the mistake of thinking a misdemeanor is not serious. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your situation.

Missouri & Illinois Criminal Defense Law Firm

Although a disorderly conduct charge, also referred to as disturbing the peace, may seem like a relatively minor criminal violation, it can cause significant heartache in your life. Consequences for a disorderly conduct charge may include jail time, fines, community service, and probation. Therefore, it is important that anyone facing a charge for disturbing the peace or disorderly conduct seek out an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney. At Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C., our criminal defense attorneys will aggressively fight to keep a disorderly conduct charge off of your record.

Police officers will generally arrest an individual for disorderly conduct for disturbing the peace in a public area. A person charged with disorderly conduct in Missouri is typically alleged to have engaged in loud, disruptive, or indecent behavior. This can include actions such as fighting, making offensive gestures or threats, or otherwise acting in a violent or reckless manner in public. Frequently, disorderly conduct charges occur at large public gatherings, concerts, bars, and sporting events.

Disorderly conduct is often very difficult to prove in court. At Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C., we carefully analyze all the facts and circumstances surrounding your arrest for disorderly conduct to determine our best defense. In some cases, we will employ our negotiation skills in an attempt to reduce the charge to a lesser offense. At Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C., our main goal is to keep our clients out of jail and help them to avoid criminal convictions, while minimizing the consequences of a disorderly conduct charge.

Missouri Fake ID Charges

While a Missouri fake ID charge may not seem like a big deal, it can have lasting consequences on you and your future. The state of Missouri is working to reduce underage drinking. As part of this effort, police officers and prosecutors have cracked down on individuals charged with using or presenting a fake ID in Missouri. You should not take this charge lightly.

A person who is convicted of using a fake ID is guilty of a misdemeanor offense. This individual is subject to a fine of up to $500.00. A fake ID charge can have a devastating impact on your career aspirations and educational options.

In Missouri, a person can be charged for using a fake ID when, without authorization from the department of revenue, he or she reproduces, alters, modifies, or misrepresents a driver’s license or identification card. If you or a loved one has been charged with presenting a fake ID in Missouri, it’s important that you seek legal assistance immediately. At Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C., our St. Louis criminal defense attorneys will fight to keep a fake ID charge off of your record.

St. Louis City and County Trespassing Lawyer

In Missouri, an individual can be charged with trespass in the first degree or trespass in the second degree. A person commits the crime of trespass in the first degree if he knowingly enters unlawfully or knowingly remains unlawfully in a building or inhabitable structure or upon real property. A person commits the offense of trespass in the second degree if he enters unlawfully upon real property of another.

While trespassing charges may not seem significant, they are criminal offenses and should be taken seriously. These charges can carry heavy fines, leave a bad mark on your permanent record, and in some cases (depending on the severity of the charges) lead to jail time. Even if the trespassing was accidental or unintentional there are a lot of negative consequences involved.

Charges of trespass can be challenged. If you have been charged or arrested for trespassing, you need a knowledgeable and skilled criminal defense attorney to help guide you through the process. At Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C., our main goal is to keep our clients out of jail and help them to avoid criminal convictions, while minimizing the consequences of a trespass charge. Our criminal defense attorneys work to make sure that your constitutional rights are upheld throughout all stages of the process.

Missouri & Illinois Prostitution Defense Attorney

In Missouri and Illinois and most of the United States, prostitution, solicitation, and patronizing a prostitute is a crime. Throughout Missouri and Illinois, law enforcement agencies have been far more aggressive in not only arresting but also prosecuting individuals charged with prostitution and solicitation. Law enforcement officers throughout Missouri and Illinois frequently conduct sting operations, particularly in relation to undercover Backpage and other online advertisements or undercover police officers posing as a prostitute.

Whether you have been falsely accused or simply made a poor decision, the prostitution defense lawyers of Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. will aggressively fight the charges and protect your reputation. We understand that an individual charged with prostitution or solicitation may be embarrassed and afraid that your loved ones or employer may find out.

Wrong Place, Wrong Time

Whether you were caught up in a sting operation or simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. can help. Our criminal defense lawyers understand that innocent citizens, often with no prior criminal charges, can find themselves falsely accused and arrested for solicitation of a prostitute for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Frequently, an individual simply having a conversation with a prostitute or rejecting a prostitute’s advances may find themselves arrested. No matter what the circumstances were surrounding your arrest, we will vigorously defend you against the criminal charges.

Penalties for Prostitution / Solicitation

Prostitution and solicitation are serious charges that can have significant consequences. In addition to possible jail time and fines, a prostitution or solicitation charge may severely impact your reputation, your ability to find employment, and your relationship with loved ones. If you have been charged with prostitution or solicitation, it is vital that you seek the assistance of a skilled and aggressive criminal defense attorney to help minimize the potential consequences.

The penalties and consequences for prostitution charges and solicitation charges can be serious, and include the following:

  • Incarceration
  • Fines
  • Probation
  • Community service
  • Court-ordered counseling
  • AIDS testing

Leaving the Scene of an Accident Attorney

Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal violation that can have serious consequences in Missouri. If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, also known as a hit and run accident, you need a qualified and skilled St. Louis hit and run defense lawyer.

Any person who is driving a vehicle and involved in a car accident resulting in injury or property damage must follow certain procedures immediately following the incident. In Missouri, a person commits the crime of leaving the scene of an accident when being the operator of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting an injury, death, or damage to property of another person and having knowledge of such accident, leaves the place of the accident without providing the other party or law enforcement his or her name, address, license number and driver license number.  If no law enforcement officer is in the vicinity, the driver must provide the information at the nearest law enforcement agency.

Penalties for a Hit and Run Charge in Missouri

Leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident is a Class A misdemeanor, except it will be classified as a Class E felony if the accident resulted in:

  • Physical injury to another party; or
  • Property damage in excess of one thousand dollars; or
  • If the defendant has previously pled guilty to or been found guilty of a violation of leaving the scene of an accident.

Contact a St. Louis Hit and Run Defense Lawyer

Leaving the scene of an accident is a very serious charge that requires the immediate assistance of an experienced and skilled St. Louis criminal defense attorney. At Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C., our criminal defense attorneys will carefully and thoroughly investigate all the facts and circumstances surrounding your arrest. We will aggressively fight to protect your rights and defend your freedom, while zealously working to obtain the best possible result for you. We understand the seriousness of a Missouri hit and run charge, and that is why we are available to assist you 24/7. Contact us today to learn more about how the law applies to your specific situation.

St. Louis, MO Bad Checks Lawyer

Under Missouri law, writing a bad check is essentially the act of presenting and using a check which you know will not be any good or knowing that you don’t have sufficient funds in your bank to cover the amount issued. If you have been charged with passing a bad check, it can cost you your freedom. Because passing a bad check is a serious crime, it is important that you seek the help of a qualified and skilled criminal defense attorney.

At Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C., our check fraud defense attorneys understand the fears and uncertainty you may be facing if you have been charged with writing a bad check. This is precisely the reason we make sure to answer all your questions and stand by you every step of the way during the criminal process.

Whether you have been charged as a result of a simple mistake or because of a poor decision, the lawyers at Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. will fiercely defend and protect your rights. Even if you believe you are guilty of a writing a bad check, it is important that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to secure the best possible outcome for you.

Penalties for Passing a Bad Check in Missouri

In Missouri, passing a bad check is a Class E felony if the amount of the check is more than $750.00, or if the check is from a bank or institution where you don’t have a valid account of any kind. If the check presented was for an amount under $750.00, then it is considered a Class A misdemeanor. If you have been charged with passing a bad check, misdemeanor or felony, you could be facing significant jail time, stiff fines, and court-ordered restitution to the victim.

St. Louis Criminal Defense Attorney

While a minor in possession of alcohol charge may not seem like a serious criminal offense, it can have lasting consequences on a person’s life. A MIP conviction may not only limit your educational options, but it could also affect your employment and career prospects. Today, most employers conduct a criminal background check during the hiring process, and often will not hire someone if their record reveals a criminal conviction.

In an effort to reduce underage drinking, Missouri courts have become increasingly harsher in dealing with MIP offenders. In 2005, Missouri law enacted the new MIP “possession by consumption” law. The new MIP “possession by consumption” law expanded the old MIP law’s definition of “possession” to include “possession by consumption” and being “visibly intoxicated.” Under the new MIP law, a prosecutor no longer needs to demonstrate that an alcoholic beverage existed or that the minor was in possession of an alcoholic beverage. Now, a prosecutor only needs to demonstrate that the minor has consumed alcohol to gain a conviction.

Under the new Missouri law, minors (16-20 years old) who plead guilty to or are convicted of MIP will face the following punishments:

  • 1st Offense – Driver’s license suspended for 30 days
  • 2nd Offense – Driver’s license suspended for 90 days
  • 3rd Offense or Subsequent Offense – Driver’s license revoked for 1 year

Expungement

The Missouri MIP law allows a minor who has pleaded guilty to or found guilty of MIP for the first time to obtain a Court ordered expungement of all official records of his or her arrest, plea, trial and conviction. The “expungement” of a MIP is the court-ordered removal of all official records of the arrest, plea, trial, and conviction relating to the MIP. The legal effect of an expungement of a MIP is to restore the person’s legal status to that he or she had before the arrest, plea, trial or conviction of MIP, as if it never happened.

To obtain an expungement, a person must meet all three of the following requirements:

  • It must be the first time he or she pleaded guilty to or was found guilty of MIP
  • One year has passed from the time he or she pleaded guilty to or was found guilty of MIP or the minor has reached 21 years of age
  • He or she has had no other alcohol-related convictions or “alcohol-related enforcement contacts” as defined in Section 302.525(3)

Contact the MIP Lawyers of Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. to Fight For You

A minor in possession charge can have serious consequences and can negatively impact your job, your education, and your future. This charge should not be taken lightly. The St. Louis criminal defense attorneys of Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. have represented individuals facing a wide variety of criminal charges, including MIP offenses. We understand the serious nature of these charges and the consequences involved. We will aggressively fight to protect your criminal record and driving privileges, while minimizing the long-term consequences of a MIP charge.

Missouri Harassment Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested or charged under the Missouri harassment statute, you need a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Our St. Louis harassment criminal defense lawyers can provide you with the vigorous defense you need to combat a charge of harassment or electronic harassment. Attorney Mick Henderson, Managing Partner of Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C., is a recognized authority on the Missouri harassment statute. Not only has Mick represented individuals charged under the new Missouri statute, but he has also extensively studied, researched, and written about the new statute. One of Mick’s articles has been published in the Missouri Law Review, which is one of the oldest legal publications west of the Mississippi, first published in 1936. His article focuses on the new Missouri harassment statute and discusses recent court decisions, legislative acts, and provides an in-depth analysis of the new statute.

What is Harassment?

A person can be charged with the crime of harassment in the second degree if he or she, without good cause, engages in any act with the purpose to cause emotional distress to another person.  Harassment in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.  If the individual’s act or actions actually cause emotional distress to another person, the charge can be elevated to a class E felony.  A class E felony carries with it a maximum term of imprisonment of up to four years and/or up to a $10,000 fine.

Contact the St. Louis Harassment Lawyers of Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C.

In Missouri, a harassment charge carries the potential for significant jail time, stiff fines, and a period of probation. If you have been charged with harassment in the state of Missouri, you need a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and defend your freedom. At Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C., our St. Louis criminal defense attorneys will aggressively and effectively represent you to obtain the best possible result. We offer free consultations and are available 24/7.

St. Louis, MO Theft Lawyer

In effort to minimize loss, stores all across Missouri are increasing security to catch shoplifters. Whether you have been falsely accused or made a big mistake, Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. can defend and protect your rights. We firmly believe that a stealing or larceny charge does not have to ruin your life.

Shoplifting, also known as theft, occurs when a person steals merchandise from a from a retail store. Typically, a security officer will witness an individual placing store merchandise in their bag, pants, or pocket. When this occurs, the individual is usually detained while the police are called. At this point, the police will arrive at the store and arrest the suspect with retail theft.

If you have been charged with larceny, the St. Louis stealing defense lawyers of Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. can help. We start each case by carefully and thoroughly examining all the facts to determine the basis on which we can fight the shoplifting or retail theft charge. We will determine if the store has evidence that you actually intended to steal the item. We will also determine whether the store has violated your constitutional rights by illegally searching you. No matter what the facts are surrounding your specific situation, Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. will vigorously defend and protect your rights.

Penalties for Stealing / Shoplifting in Missouri

Misdemeanor theft occurs when the value of the property or services is less than $750. If the value of the goods is less than $750 but more than $100, an individual will be charged with a class A misdemeanor of stealing.  If the goods or services is less than $100, an individual will be charged with a class D misdemeanor stealing offense.  The penalty for a misdemeanor theft conviction can range from 1 day to 1 year in jail, and a fine up to $2,000.00.

Felony theft occurs when the value of the property or services is valued at $750.00 or more. Missouri law has two different classifications of felony theft. If the value of the property or services is valued between $750 and $25,000, it is considered class D felony stealing. If the value of the property or services is valued at more than $25,000, it is considered Class C felony theft. Felony stealing carries a penalty of potentially 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Multiple Theft Offenses in Missouri

A fourth offense of stealing, no matter what the value of the property or services, is considered a Class E Felony, unless the specific crime committed is already a more severe criminal offense.

Contact a St. Louis Stealing Attorney

Contact the St. Louis stealing and theft lawyers of Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. today for a free consultation. We can help you understand your theft charge and what the potential outcome may be. At Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C., we will ensure that your rights have not been violated and afford you the best possible outcome.

Missouri Bench Warrant Defense Law Firm

If you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest for failure to appear at a court appearance, you need the assistance of a skilled St. Louis warrant lawyer to address the situation before you are arrested at your home, during a traffic stop, or at your place of employment. At Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C., our criminal defense lawyers can proactively address your predicament before you are arrested due to the outstanding warrant.

What is a Bench Warrant?

A bench warrant is an order issued by a judge for the arrest of an individual who has committed some form of contempt against the court. Most often, bench warrants are issued by a judge when a person fails to appear at his or her court appearance. When a bench warrant is issued, it allows the police to find and arrest the individual, and bring him or her before the issuing judge to answer the charge of contempt. It is issued for the sole purpose of apprehending an individual who has violated an order or requirement of the court.

Not only may a judge issue a bench warrant for failing to appear at a court appearance, but a judge may also issue a bench warrant for failing to pay a court fine, failing to pay child support, failing to attend a court-mandated substance abuse class, or ignoring a subpoena to appear in court.

Contact the St. Louis Warrant Recall Lawyers of Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C.

Before you are arrested for your outstanding warrant, call the St. Louis criminal defense lawyers of Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. to help rectify your situation before suffering from the embarrassment of an arrest made in public. Our criminal defense lawyers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a free consultation.

St. Louis, MO Non-Support Lawyer

The duty to pay spousal support or child support is often a difficult obligation to meet each month given the current state of the job market and economy. Increasingly, individuals across Missouri are finding themselves in jail for failing to pay spousal support or child support. This doesn’t have to be you. If you are facing a criminal non-support charge, you need an aggressive St. Louis criminal non-support attorney who will fight for you.

In Missouri, a person commits the crime of non-support if he or she knowingly fails to provide, without good cause, adequate support for his or her spouse. A parent commits the crime of non-support if such parent knowingly fails to provide, without good cause, adequate support which such parent is legally obligated to provide for his or her child or stepchild who is not otherwise emancipated by operation of law.

Penalties for Criminal Non-Support

Criminal non-support can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony offense. Criminal non-support is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the total arrearage is in excess of an aggregate of twelve monthly payments due under any order of support issued by the court or any authorized administrative agency, in which case it is a Class E felony.

Whether you have been charged with misdemeanor or felony non-support, you are facing serious consequences, which may include a period of incarceration, stiff fines, restitution, and probation.

Defending Criminal Non-Support Charges

There are many possible defenses to a criminal non-support charge. Under Missouri law, an individual may demonstrate “good cause” to defeat a charge of criminal non-support. Good cause can include any substantial reason why he or she is unable to provide adequate support. At Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. we will carefully and thoroughly investigate all the facts of your case to find our best defense.

Contact a St. Louis Criminal Non-Support Lawyer

Whether you have been unable to pay your support obligation or simply ignored your obligation, the St. Louis criminal non-support lawyers of Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. will vigorously protect your rights and defend your freedom. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

Jefferson County, MO Domestic Assault Attorney

In Missouri, the law distinguishes between assault and domestic assault. Domestic assault laws apply when the victim is a family or household member or an adult who is or has been in a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the alleged perpetrator. Domestic assault can be a misdemeanor or felony crime depending on the specific circumstances surrounding your case. Whether you have been charged with misdemeanor domestic assault or felony domestic assault, you are facing a significant legal problem that requires the immediate help of a qualified and experienced St. Louis domestic assault lawyer.

There are varying degrees of domestic assault offenses ranging from first degree down to fourth degree. Accordingly, domestic assault can be charged as high as a class A felony all the way down to a class A misdemeanor.  A conviction can result in prison or jail time, court-ordered batterers’ intervention classes or anger management classes, probation and limitations on the right to own or possess a firearm. Subsequent offenses and offenses involving serious violence and injury are likely to be charged as felonies and carry far greater consequences.

Domestic violence cases are often associated with the dissolution of a relationship. In divorce proceedings or child custody disputes, one spouse may fabricate or exaggerate domestic assault accusations to gain leverage. Often, an individual may be charged with domestic assault as a result of one spouse filing for an ex parte order of protection.

Contact a St. Louis Domestic Assault Attorney Today

Whether you have been falsely accused or simply made a poor decision in the heat of the moment, the St. Louis domestic assault attorneys of Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. will aggressively protect your rights and defend your freedom. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and offer free consultations. Call us today to learn how the law applies to your specific situation.

St. Louis, MO Assault Defense Lawyer

Missouri, like most other states, has varying degrees of assault charges. For example, in Missouri, assault is typically classified as assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, assault in the third degree, or assault in the fourth degree. Further, in Missouri, assault may be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the case. Whether you have been charged with misdemeanor assault or felony assault, you need the immediate help of a qualified and skilled St. Louis assault defense attorney to protect your rights and defend your freedom.

Missouri Misdemeanor Assault Law

Fourth Degree assault – A person commits the crime of assault in the fourth degree if:

  • The person attempts to cause or recklessly causes physical injury to another person; or
  • With criminal negligence the person causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon; or
  • The person purposely places another person in apprehension of immediate physical injury (C); or
  • The person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person; or
  • The person knowingly causes physical contact with another person knowing the other person will regard the contact as offensive or provocative (C); or
  • The person knowingly causes physical contact with an incapacitated person, which a reasonable person, who is not incapacitated, would consider offensive or provocative.

Assault in the fourth degree is a Class A misdemeanor, unless charged under one of the sections above denoted with a (C), in which case it is a Class C Misdemeanor (unless it is a “special victim”).

Contact a St. Louis Assault Defense Lawyer Today

If you are facing an assault charge in Missouri or Illinois, you need an aggressive, qualified, and skilled St. Louis criminal defense attorney. At Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C., we work tirelessly to protect your rights and defend your freedom. We understand the seriousness of an assault charge and are ready to stand by you as your advocate from start to finish. Please contact us today for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, at Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. we accept major credit cards and offer payment plans.

If you are being investigated or have been charged with any misdemeanors, it is vital that you seek aggressive and skilled representation from the outset. The lawyers at Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. stand ready to defend your freedom. Call 314.645.4400 today to schedule a free consultation.

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