What Is The Law On Compounding A Felony In Missouri And What Are The Punishments For It?
The crime of compounding a felony involves the understanding, agreement, or acceptance of anything of value as a quid pro quo for compounding or conceal a crime, suppressing evidence, preventing the prosecution of a perpetrator beyond the scope of procedure or practice, or refusing to provide evidence thereto.
Unlike Common Law, Statutory Laws across many States identifies the offense of compounding a felony is a felony in itself. While some States codify it under conspiracy or bribery Statutes, the State of Missouri has an explicit Statute Concealment of crimes, wherein it recognizes the key elements of compounding felonies and provides exclusive statutes bearing punishments for each form of concealment.
The Missouri Law for concealment of crimes is notified under MO Rev Stat § 575.020 (2013). According to the said Statute, a person is guilty of the crime of concealing a crime if he or she accepts any consideration or any form of pecuniary benefit to a perpetrator of a crime with the objective of:
- Concealing the crime of the perpetrator.
- Preventing prosecution of the perpetrator.
- Suppressing or withholding evidence pertaining to the crime of the perpetrator.
Punishment for Compounding a Felony in Missouri
If the underlying crime is a felony, then concealing an offense is also deemed as a Class D felony punishable by a maximum prison term of 7 years. Furthermore, depending on how the offender concealed the crime, distinguishable punishments have been cited by the Laws of the State.
1. Under certain provisions of MO Rev Stat § 575.030, if the offender prevents the prosecution of a perpetrator by:
- Concealing or harboring the perpetrator.
- Warning the perpetrator to disable his/her apprehension or discovery, unless the warning is an effort to get another to comply with the law.
- Providing the perpetrator transport, money, disguise, weapons or other means of evading law enforcement.
- Deception, obstruction or intimidation of civic and government duties towards the apprehension of the perpetrator.
Such an offense is a Class E felony punishable by a maximum prison term of 4 years.
2. Under certain provisions of MO Rev Stat § 575.040, if the offender prevents the prosecution of a perpetrator by:
- Perjury i.e. false testimony under oath, of any material fact in any public proceeding.
- Admissibility and knowledge of the materiality of the said fact are immaterial to the offense of perjury.
Such an offense, if given to towards concealment of a felony, is a Class D felony punishable by a maximum prison term of 7 years.
3. Under various provisions of MO Rev Stat § 575, apart from certain exceptions, if the offender prevents the prosecution of a perpetrator by:
- False Affidavit (MO Rev Stat § 575.50) i.e. false sworn statement concealing or contrary to a material fact. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor jail time of up to 12 months and a fine of up to $2,000.
- False Declaration (MO Rev Stat § 575.60) i.e. submission to a public servant which the offender knows to be untrue or forged. The offense is a Class B misdemeanor jail time of up to 6 months and a fine of up to $1,000.
- False Reports (MO Rev Stat § 575.60), wherein a certain kind of false report which implicates another apart from the perpetrator. The offense is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by jail time of up to 6 months and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Tampers with a Judicial officer (MO Rev Stat § 575.095), wherein the offering of pecuniary benefits to said officer and his/her family is a factor. The offense is a Class D felony by imprisonment of no more than 7 years.
- Tampers with a Physical Evidence (MO Rev Stat § 575.100), wherein the physical evidence is destroyed, damaged, altered, concealed, suppressed or invalidated by some other fabricated evidence. The offense is a Class E felony punishable by imprisonment of no more than 4 years