Criminal defendants accused of specific crimes against children could be facing longer prison sentences if convicted under proposed changes to the law in Missouri. Potential modifications, supported by advocacy group Missouri KidsFirst, would result in longer prison terms for family members accused of sex crimes against kids. Adults accused of abandonment could face similarly heightened consequences.
Missouri lawmakers in both the House and Senate have passed two different versions of the new criminal code. Now, they must work together to hammer out a new draft by mid-May. The bills are designed to bridge sentencing gaps for those who commit sex crimes; however, they could also lead to longer prison terms for those convicted of certain offenses. Defendants who are convicted of repeat offenses, inflicting serious injury, engaging in a ritual and other contributing factors could also face additional punishment. Kansas attorneys may be able to help defendants learn more about the impact of these changes on their individual criminal cases.