What Is a Class A Misdemeanor in Missouri?

According to Nolo's CriminalDefenseLawyer.com, class A misdemeanors in Missouri include possession of marijuana up to 35 grams, shoplifting less than $500, domestic assault of the third degree and false imprisonment. Class A misdemeanors are considered the most serious category of Classes A through C. The penalty is a fine up to $1,000, up to one year in jail or both.

Missouri law establishes the statute of limitations for prosecuting a person for a misdemeanor as one year. The statute of limitations is the maximum amount of time the state can wait to bring charges against a person after a crime is believed to have been committed. A misdemeanor arrest or conviction stays on a criminal record permanently, reports CriminalDefenseLawyer.com.

A conviction for marijuana can disallow the offender from eligibility for federal financial aid. Misdemeanors may also prevent them from being eligible for certain jobs, housing and professional licensing. If convicted of a second crime, the prior misdemeanor causes the offender to receive a harsher punishment.

A misdemeanor crime is not as serious as a felony. Felony crimes are distinguished from misdemeanors by the harsher weight of the offense, such as the seriousness of an injury, the amount of cash taken or the amount of drugs in a person's possession. They carry higher fines and longer jail sentences as punishment, according to CriminalDefenseLawyer.com.