Oftentimes, desperate situations result in desperate actions. In rough times, it’s not uncommon that people turn to stealing when trying to feed their families or keep a roof over their heads. However, in Missouri, stealing charges present a serious offense that can result in:

  • Substantial Jail or Prison Time
  • A permanent criminal record and an inability to obtain employment or housing.
  • Significant fines
  • Deportation or the inability to become a US citizen

Common theft offenses such as petty or petit theft, grand theft, or larceny are different terms for the same crime in Missouri. Missouri law (MO ST 570.030) calls these offenses stealing or taking someone else’s property or services without their consent.

If you are facing a stealing charge in Missouri, there are defenses that can be raised to protect your rights. While no attorney can guarantee a result, we at The Law Offices of Brian J. Cooke do guarantee that we will do everything possible to obtain the best possible outcome in your case. 

Is Theft in Missouri a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

Missouri theft crimes can be prosecuted as misdemeanor or felony theft. Whether a theft is considered a misdemeanor or felony can depend on the value of the property or services taken, the type of property, as well as the person’s criminal history. Theft charges can also be influenced by specific circumstances. For instance, the theft of firearms is immediately classified as a felony theft, regardless of the property’s value. 

Understanding Missouri Theft Crimes and Penalties

In Missouri, theft crimes are categorized based on the value of the property stolen and can lead to varying penalties, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. Understanding the nuances of theft crime legal categorizations is crucial for anyone facing theft charges.

Class A Misdemeanor involves property valued under $750, but more than $150. Conviction can result in penalties including up to one year in jail and fines reaching $2,000.

Class D Misdemeanor involves the first offense of theft of property valued at less than $150. A conviction leads to a $500 fine.

Class E Felony – the offense involves stealing an animal. The crime is also considered a class E felony if an individual has been found guilty of a theft-related offense three times within 10 years. A Class E felony conviction can result in a prison term of up to 4 years.

Class D Felony – is a theft crime that involves stolen property valued at more than $750 but less than $25,000 or if the property includes specific types of property such as a firearm or a credit card. Penalties can include imprisonment of up to seven years and significant fines.

Class C Felony – is theft involving property worth more than $25,000. This serious charge can lead to between three to ten years of imprisonment.

Class B Felony – involves stealing specific types of property, such as property containing liquid nitrogen. A conviction carries a term of imprisonment of 5 to 15 years.

Class A Felony – involves stealing certain property, such as a tank truck, rail tank car, or a field applicator containing any amount of anhydrous ammonia, a chemical used to make methamphetamine. A conviction can result in 10 to 30 years in prison or life imprisonment.

How an Attorney Can Assist With a Theft Charge

Navigating the complexities of theft charges in Missouri requires skilled legal counsel, as the implications of a conviction are profound and lasting. An experienced theft attorney plays a pivotal role in the defense of those accused, leveraging several strategies to mitigate the charges or reduce the penalties.

At The Law Offices of Brian J. Cooke, we focus entirely on criminal defense. Our legal team has extensive experience across various practice areas, which enables us to address different challenges and concerns our clients may face.

We handle a wide range of stealing cases, including:

Misdemeanor and Felony Stealing
Receiving Stolen Property
Fraudulent use of a credit device

Defense for Your Stealing Case


Missouri’s criminal laws are complex. If you are facing criminal charges, having a good criminal defense lawyer on your side can be beneficial for the outcome of your case.

If you or a family member has been charged with theft, you need skilled representation from an experienced Missouri stealing lawyer — someone who will listen to your case with compassion, and fight aggressively to get you the best outcome possible under the circumstances of your case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and review the facts of your case.

Practice Areas

Assault Charges

Domestic Violence

Drug Charges

DWI Charges

Fraud Charges

Juvenile Offenses

Murder Charges

Probation Violations

Sex Offenses

Stealing Charges

Traffic Tickets

Weapons Offenses