The fundamental principles of the Missouri Criminal Code are discussed including crime classifications, offense variations, penalties, and the Civil Activity Forfeiture Act. The organization and use of the Missouri Criminal Code Handbook (MCCH) are emphasized because it will be the primary resource for both academy study and future referencing.


The Purpose of the Code.


A.        In precode days, crimes were sprinkled throughout the Statutes.  For example, see page 54.  All of these were assaults, but you had to read all six (6) provisions - place in proper one.


B.         Thus the code's purpose is to.....


1.         Organize.


2.         Provide consistent and complete provisions regarding sentencing.


3.         Make clear statements of elements of crimes, of defenses, etc.



C.        First Step - Clear definitions.


OBJECTIVE #1 -     

Explain the organization of the Missouri Criminal Code handbook (Manual 121) and demonstrate how to locate information in it.


The organization is explained in MCCH - Ch. 1.2

The trainee will demonstrate how to use the resource book in class exercises.

Locate information in the Handbook by using the index.



Identify the term "crime" and explain the different classifications.

(worksheet):   MCCH - Ch 1.3


What is a crime - Offense for which death or imprisonment is authorized.


How are crimes classified.


a.  Felony - If person convicted may be sentenced to death or imprisonment in excess of one (1) year.


b. Misdemeanor - If person convicted may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term which maximum is one (1) year or less.   


c.         Question - Worksheet (discussion)


A.        Defendant is convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter (page 51) and because of the factors the Judge sentences him to nine (9) months in the County Jail.  Has Defendant been convicted of a felony - Yes.  It is term that may be imposed not what is actually imposed.


Question under the code, how are felonies subclassified and misdemeanors subclassified.

A - D felonies


A - C misdemeanors





Identify the term "infraction."  MCCH - Ch 1.4


An infraction is not technically a crime.  How does an infraction differ from a crime (no jail time).



Identify the term "included offense."


Multiple Offenses//Included Offense


General Rule - One can be prosecuted and convicted for all offenses he has committed, even though they may arise from the same transaction.  But there are four exceptions:         


a.        Included offenses - Offense can be proven by same or fewer facts than offense charged.  MCCH - Ch 1.9




1a.  Are these convictions valid?


2nd degree felony murder                      1st degree Arson

*caused death of another                     *knowingly damaged building while

while committing felony  causing fire and recklessly put person

in building in danger of physical injury

or death.


What facts prove 2nd degree felony murder?  Same facts prove 1st degree Arson.


Answer - 1st Degree Arson is included offense of 2nd degree felony murder because it is established by proof of same or less than all the facts required to establish the commission of offense charged.


Does the greater offense require all of the legal and factual arguments of the lesser offense?


i.e.  For Arson conviction had to show he put someone in danger by damaging building - only way to get felony murder is that he put someone in danger by causing felony.


Discussion Example (738 S.W.2d 531)


D in a two-car accident - D gets out:  1st step throws away his whisky bottle, then goes to ambulance.  Immediately gets in argument with other driver.  Officer shows up - goes to ambulance.  Gives field sobriety test.  Officer arrests for DUI but officer forgets to search and puts prisoner in back seat of car; officer hears handcuffs jiggle - Turns on dome light.  D has gun.  Officer says drop gun.  D does - says "You should have searched me better."  Officer drops him off at jail.  Goes back to car and finds empty holster in D's car which gun would fit in.




1.         Unlawful use of weapon

2.         Unlawful possession of a concealable firearm




1.         *Carrying a concealed weapon on or about his person


2.         *Possesses concealable weapon and has a dangerous felony conviction

Both convictions valid? - Yes  - Different Facts


1b.      Why can't Ray be convicted of both 1st and 2nd Degree Arson?


Answer - Same identical facts proves both - 2nd Degree Arson is an included offense of 1st Degree Arson.


1c.      Attempt and 1st Degree Arson Convictions.  No - an attempt is an included offense of 1st Degree Arson.


Multiple Offenses//Specific v. General.

(Worksheet 1d).


Al cannot be convicted of both running the stop sign and reckless driving.  Nor of robbery and pharmacy robbery because the offenses differ only in that one is designed to prohibit a designated kind of conduct generally and the other to prohibit a specific instance of conduct.


Multiple Offenses//Continuing Course of Conduct.

(worksheet 1e)


1.         If it is continuing course of conduct then it is only one offense.


In example (1e) the only difference is that they took more items not that they did something else to constitute another offense.


2.         D breaks in home; commits sodomy, rape.  If convicted of sodomy and rape can he also be convicted of burglary?  Same victim, single transaction, does not matter. 


Offenses are based on inconsistent facts.





1. Refer to page 7.  Code provides for sentencing range.



2.  Now look at question B on your worksheet.


(a)  Bohlen guilty of Class B felony.  Under the table, what is the maximum sentence he can get (15 years).  How is it he can be sentenced to 30 years, in light of following:


1.  15 years is max for Class B but Bohlen is a persistent offender at the least - 30 years max - Jury does not have role in sentencing here.  (See the elements of Class B Robbery)


Summary -


A.  Lesser Included Offenses


*Does the greater offense require all of the legal and factual elements of the lesser offense i.e. could you have committed the greater offense without committing the lesser offense.


Fact Pattern - (a) Give me your money or I will hit you.


Stealing - appropriate property of another by coercion.


Robbery 2nd - taking of property by use or threatened force.


Stealing is lesser included offense here.  Same facts - had to commit stealing to commit robbery 2nd - no dual convictions.


B.  Inconsistent facts.


Want to charge and convict for both crime A & B - A has (3 factual elements) B has (3 elements)  2nd element if it occurred in A, then 2nd element in B could not have occurred.  Can't convict of both.


C.  Specific & General - Not pharmacy robbery and robbery.  Officer tries to apprehend a suspect.  Suspect points a gun at him and orders the officer to lie on the ground.  The Court said this was resisting arrest.  Then the suspect confined the officer, without his consent, by means of forcible compulsion.  That constituted kidnapping and the suspect could be convicted of both.  See State v. Allen, 756 S.W. 2d 167 (Mo. App. 1987).


D.  Continuing course of conduct.


December 15 woman asleep on couch.  D breaks and enters house.  At knife point rapes victim then sodomizes victim.

December 20 caught trying to break in same home.

Testifies he was breaking into home for sexual relations -

Convicted of:


1. Rape

2. Sodomy

3. Burglary 12/15

4. Attempt Burglary 12/20

No problem with burglary & attempt burglary - different transactions different time:

What about rape, sodomy and burglary of 12/15?


Defendant will say burglary is identical to rape and sodomy since it is same continuous transaction.  Court will allow convictions because -

#1 element differs, deviant sexual intercourse




1.  Enter wrongfully

2.  Building

3.  To commit crime

4.  While armed


                                   SEPARATE AND DISTINCT ELEMENTS FOR EACH,

                                                    MAY BE CONVICTED OF ALL.




Identify the application process of the Criminal Activity Forfeiture Act.


CAFA - MCCH Ch 1.15

Criminal Activity Forfeiture Act - All property of every kind used or intended for use in the course of, derived from, or realized through criminal activity is subject to civil forfeiture.


Upon acquittal or dismissal of a criminal action against a person also named in a CAFA action, the civil action shall be dismissed.


Go through handout. 


What is difference between 2 and 2a?

What you do depends on whether you have probable cause to believe that the property will be lost or destroyed if not seized or not. 

If officer believes property is subject to forfeiture and will be lost or destroyed if not seized - must have probable cause (more likely than not) that its subject will be lost to seize immediately.  With reasonable belief that its subject to seizure he can contact prosecutor - he will decide if there is reasonable cause.




Revised 4/01