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What is a 'three strikes' law?

Felonies are much more serious charges than misdemeanors, and carry much heavier consequences for those convicted of them. However, here in Missouri, individuals who find themselves on the wrong side of the law repeatedly may face felony charges for alleged actions that typically only incur a misdemeanor charge. Missouri is one of a number of states that use some version of a "three-strikes" law that increases some misdemeanor charges to felonies if the defendant has received repeat convictions for the same crime.

Facing a felony is a far different matter than facing a misdemeanor charge. If you are facing a felony charge, you need to consider your next actions very carefully. Without proper legal counsel, you may find yourself convicted of a felony unjustly.

For instance, a person who has already received two misdemeanor DUI charges may receive a felony DUI charge the fourth time. This means that the person could face years in jail and lose a number of rights as a felon, such as the right to own or possess firearms and the right to vote. A number of legal authorities disapprove of three tries laws altogether, claiming that they violate a defendant's right to due process. Hopefully, the law will not stand indefinitely, but for now, you must be prepared for a serious fight.

You should seriously consider seeking out legal help if you face felony charges. An experienced attorney can help identify weaknesses in the cases against you and build a defense to protect your future and rights from a felony conviction that may alter the entire direction of your life.

Source: Findlaw, "Felonies," accessed Oct. 06, 2017

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