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Case Results
  • July 2018- Jefferson County: DWI – Drug Intoxication Class B. Misdemeanor

    Result: Dismissed
  • August 2018- St. Francois County: Burglary 1st Degree | Class B Felony

    Result: Dismissed
  • September 2018- St. Francois County: Assault 2nd Degree – DWI Class C Felony

    Result: Dismissed
  • December 2018- St. Louis City: Possession of Controlled Substance x4 Class D Felony

    Result: Dismissed
  • December 2018- Wayne County: Possession of Controlled Substance | Class D Felony

    Result: Dismissed
  • January 2019- St. Louis County: Possession of Controlled Substance | Class D Felony

    Result: Dismissed
  • March 2019- Jefferson County: Domestic Assault 4th Degree | Class A Misdemeanor

    Result: Dismissed
  • St. Louis County- 3rd Motion to Revoke

    Result: Probation Complete
  • April 2019 St. Charles Jurisdiction- Domestic Violence Charge

    Result: Dismissed Class A Misdemeanor
  • April 2019- St. Charles/ Multiple Felony Probation Violations

    Result: Successful Discharge

The facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the matters in which results have been provided. All results of cases handled by the lawyer/firm are not provided and not all clients have given testimonials. The results provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the lawyer/firm or of the experience of all clients or other with the lawyer/firm. Every case is different, and each client's case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.

Client Testimonial

  • We all know that underdogs can win–that’s what the story of David and Goliath tells us. The story teaches us a lesson about facing giant problems or impossible situations and overcoming them. I have been a witness to this feat first hand. Karie took on a Goliath sized opponent in my defense, and like David, defeated him. This particular defeat, he will remember for a long time to come.

    If we are not to be impressed by: money, degrees, followers and titles. But to be impressed by: kindness, integrity, humility and generosity. This is Karie And thanks for fighting for the little guys…

    We all know that underdogs can win–that’s what the story of David and Goliath tells us. The story teaches us a lesson about facing giant problems or impossible situations and overcoming them. I have been a witness to this feat first hand. Karie took on a Goliath sized opponent in my defense, and like David, defeated him. This particular defeat, he will remember for a long time to come. If we are not to beRead More ...
    Anthony
  • Karie was awesome! Unfortunately I suffered from an addiction and got into some trouble because of it. Karie is a caring and compassionate person and understands how addiction can affect every aspect of a person’s life. Through the case, I went to treatment and was able to get my life together. In a few days, I can say I’ve been clean and sober for a year! She could see that I was serious, and that I had changed into a better me. She emphasized this to the prosecuting attorney, and fought for probation as opposed to the three years the state was recommending. She understands that addiction is a disease and prison is not a treatment center. Because of her, I am now able to enjoy a free, clean and sober life! I am so greatful that she was able to represent me during this horrible time in my life! I am forever thankful! I would highly recommend her!

    Karie was awesome! Unfortunately I suffered from an addiction and got into some trouble because of it. Karie is a caring and compassionate person and understands how addiction can affect every aspect of a person’s life. Through the case, I went to treatment and was able to get my life together. In a few days, I can say I’ve been clean and sober for a year! She could see that I was serious, and thatRead More ...
    Mike
  • I can’t say enough about Karie. My son has been an addict for 20+ years – in and out of rehab – but always able to hold a job and care for his son. When he was suddenly faced with old charges that would have sent him to prison for several years, we were at a loss. I am so thankful that we found Karie. She immediately went to bat for my son and fought to keep him out of prison and to have him accepted instead into Drug Court. Karie never gave up. She was always professional, and I would highly recommend her. She truly cares about her clients! Thank you Karie from the bottom of my heart!! Joan

    I can’t say enough about Karie. My son has been an addict for 20+ years – in and out of rehab – but always able to hold a job and care for his son. When he was suddenly faced with old charges that would have sent him to prison for several years, we were at a loss. I am so thankful that we found Karie. She immediately went to bat for my son and foughtRead More ...
    The Best!
  • My experience with Karie was unforgettable after-all when were looking for an attorney we are basically trusting our lives in their hands. Karie went above and beyond for me. She is very passionate and committed.! I trusted her 100%. Im in Recovery from drugs and alcohol she made it possible to have THREE felony drug charges dismissed after completing drug court. I was facing multiple years of prison. Now I am 8 Months clean expecting my first child and due to graduate Drug Court in December. I have a new life and it all started with hiring Karie. She set everything in motion to not only taking care of my legalities but getting me the help I needed! Karie is worth every penny! She did the impossible for me! Brittany

    My experience with Karie was unforgettable after-all when were looking for an attorney we are basically trusting our lives in their hands. Karie went above and beyond for me. She is very passionate and committed.! I trusted her 100%. Im in Recovery from drugs and alcohol she made it possible to have THREE felony drug charges dismissed after completing drug court. I was facing multiple years of prison. Now I am 8 Months clean expectingRead More ...
    Brittany
  • I have used Karie Pennington on multiple occasions. Every time I need her, she always goes above and beyond. She goes that extra mile and does not settle for just any recommendation a prosecutor gives. Karie has a passion for her clients and it makes all the difference! I have referred her to many friends, all of whom have been nothing short of ecstatic with her results. She will always be the first one I call when I need legal representation!

    I have used Karie Pennington on multiple occasions. Every time I need her, she always goes above and beyond. She goes that extra mile and does not settle for just any recommendation a prosecutor gives. Karie has a passion for her clients and it makes all the difference! I have referred her to many friends, all of whom have been nothing short of ecstatic with her results. She will always be the first one IRead More ...
    Christopher
  • Karie went to bat for me multiple times, when I was in and out of my addiction. When I was finally ready to get clean she was there to vouch for me. I faced multiple felony charges, and got off on probation and other charges I got dismissed. Shes the best lawyer I ever had and she cares so deeply its not even funny.

    Karie went to bat for me multiple times, when I was in and out of my addiction. When I was finally ready to get clean she was there to vouch for me. I faced multiple felony charges, and got off on probation and other charges I got dismissed. Shes the best lawyer I ever had and she cares so deeply its not even funny.
    Amber
  • I absconded from probation for 6 years and had 2 felony warrants for probation violations and 1 for felony possesion of a controlled substance. I stopped reporting to probation and parole in 2012 after coming home from a 120 treatment. I was in aftercare and the paw warrant went active I didnt want to go back to jail after just getting home. While I was on the run I got into recovery from heroin and felt it was time to move on with my life. After close to six years of running I decided it was time to deal with my past. In march of 2017 I surrendered myself to St Louis County. When I first met Karie Pennington at st louis county jail in an attorney visit through bulletproof glass, I told her there was most likely nothing she could do to help me other than speeding my possesion case up and getting me to prison as fast as possible. I was facing my 7 year back up and wanted to do my time in DOC and not in a county jail. Her words to me were ” I have looked at your cases and I believe I can help you if you have a little faith and trust me”. So I did just that. Karie got my probation dismissed on my 7 year sentence in st louis county. She won my possesion case outright in the prelim and secured my recognizance release from franklin county on the child support. The prosectutor in franklin really wanted me to do prison time even though I have been paying support. Up until my court date I thought i would be going to prison. Karrie found a clerical error in my file where my sentencing judgement was actually in someone elses name( a dead guys no less) I kid you not. She filed a motion to discharge me from probation and 2 days later the prosecutor consented to the motion to discharge. Thank you Karrie I owe you more than just my freedom, you have given me the chance to see my grandchild born in january. I highly recommend Karrie for any case you may have. She completely believes in what she does and will fight tooth and nail to secure the best possible outcome for you.

    I absconded from probation for 6 years and had 2 felony warrants for probation violations and 1 for felony possesion of a controlled substance. I stopped reporting to probation and parole in 2012 after coming home from a 120 treatment. I was in aftercare and the paw warrant went active I didnt want to go back to jail after just getting home. While I was on the run I got into recovery from heroin andRead More ...
    Steve
  • We all know that underdogs can win–that’s what the story of David and Goliath tells us. The story teaches us a lesson about facing giant problems or impossible situations and overcoming them. I have been a witness to this this feat first hand. Karie took on a Goliath sized opponent in my defense, and like David, defeated him. This particular defeat, he will remember for a long time to come.

    If we are not to be impressed by: money, degrees, followers and titles. But to be impressed by: kindness, integrity, humility and generosity. Thank you Karie Pennington for fighting for the little guys…

    We all know that underdogs can win–that’s what the story of David and Goliath tells us. The story teaches us a lesson about facing giant problems or impossible situations and overcoming them. I have been a witness to this this feat first hand. Karie took on a Goliath sized opponent in my defense, and like David, defeated him. This particular defeat, he will remember for a long time to come. If we are not toRead More ...
    Anthony
  • Karrie was awesome! Unfortunately I suffered from an addiction and got into some trouble because of it. Karrie is a caring and compassionate person and understands how addiction can affect every aspect of a person’s life. Through the case, I went to treatment and was able to get my life together. In a few days, I can say I’ve been clean and sober for a year! She could see that I was serious, and that I had changed into a better me. She emphasized this to the prosecuting attorney, and fought for probation as opposed to the three years the state was recommending. She understands that addiction is a disease and prison is not a treatment center. Because of her, I am now able to enjoy a free, clean and sober life! I am so greatful that she was able to represent me during this horrible time in my life! I am forever thankful! I would highly recommend her!

    Karrie was awesome! Unfortunately I suffered from an addiction and got into some trouble because of it. Karrie is a caring and compassionate person and understands how addiction can affect every aspect of a person’s life. Through the case, I went to treatment and was able to get my life together. In a few days, I can say I’ve been clean and sober for a year! She could see that I was serious, and thatRead More ...
    Mike
  • I can’t say enough about Karie. My son has been an addict for 20+ years – in and out of rehab – but always able to hold a job and care for his son. When he was suddenly faced with old charges that would have sent him to prison for several years, we were at a loss. I am so thankful that we found Karie. She immediately went to bat for my son and fought to keep him out of prison and to have him accepted instead into Drug Court. Karie never gave up. She was always professional, and I would highly recommend her. She truly cares about her clients! Thank you Karie from the bottom of my heart!!

    I can’t say enough about Karie. My son has been an addict for 20+ years – in and out of rehab – but always able to hold a job and care for his son. When he was suddenly faced with old charges that would have sent him to prison for several years, we were at a loss. I am so thankful that we found Karie. She immediately went to bat for my son and foughtRead More ...
    Joan
  • My experience with Karie was unforgettable after-all when were looking for an attorney we are basically trusting our lives in their hands. Karie went above and beyond for me. She is very passionate and committed.! I trusted her 100%. Im in Recovery from drugs and alcohol she made it possible to have THREE felony drug charges dismissed after completing drug court. I was facing multiple years of prison. Now I am 8 Months clean expecting my first child and due to graduate Drug Court in December. I have a new life and it all started with hiring Karie. She set everything in motion to not only taking care of my legalities but getting me the help I needed! Karie is worth every penny! She did the impossible for me!

    My experience with Karie was unforgettable after-all when were looking for an attorney we are basically trusting our lives in their hands. Karie went above and beyond for me. She is very passionate and committed.! I trusted her 100%. Im in Recovery from drugs and alcohol she made it possible to have THREE felony drug charges dismissed after completing drug court. I was facing multiple years of prison. Now I am 8 Months clean expectingRead More ...
    Brittany
  • Karie saved my life. I was being accused of something that I was actually the victim of and she was able to save me. I now can pursue my career in social work as well as live my life free of a criminal record. All because of my wonderful attorney!! Karie I just want to say thank you so much for all you do for us!! Your wonderful and truly a great attorney!!

    Karie saved my life. I was being accused of something that I was actually the victim of and she was able to save me. I now can pursue my career in social work as well as live my life free of a criminal record. All because of my wonderful attorney!! Karie I just want to say thank you so much for all you do for us!! Your wonderful and truly a great attorney!!
    Trista
  • Karie did a great job. I was facing multiple traffic tickets including a d.u.i. The court wanted me to pay more than $2000 dollars in fines and take the d.u.i charge. I don’t know how she did it but she got the d.u.i charge dropped to a careless and impeding driving also she got my fines reduced to less than $900 dollars. She really dose care about her clients and making sure you get the best defense possible. Great job.

    Karie did a great job. I was facing multiple traffic tickets including a d.u.i. The court wanted me to pay more than $2000 dollars in fines and take the d.u.i charge. I don’t know how she did it but she got the d.u.i charge dropped to a careless and impeding driving also she got my fines reduced to less than $900 dollars. She really dose care about her clients and making sure you get theRead More ...
    Jeff
  • well karie has helped me more then i ever expected……she is very good at what she dose always keap me informed on what was going on.always did everything she said she would and then some…..i couldn’t of asked for anything more out of her she went above and beyond her job….came and got my outa jail in 6-8inches of snow on a holiday ….worked her but off even though she was sick and in the hospital…….i am so thankful for her and everything she has done for me……very very happy…..that’s again karie ur my one and only superhero of justice……….

    well karie has helped me more then i ever expected……she is very good at what she dose always keap me informed on what was going on.always did everything she said she would and then some…..i couldn’t of asked for anything more out of her she went above and beyond her job….came and got my outa jail in 6-8inches of snow on a holiday ….worked her but off even though she was sick and in theRead More ...
    randy
  • I am a recovering addict on probation and parole. Part of my recovery is healing the wreckage of my past. And it has been a painstakingly long process. Since I met Karie, she has not only supported me in my journey, she has saved me from jail time and done her very best in court and out of court to help the courts realize that people DO change and prison isn’t always the answer. She is caring, attentive and a true go-getter. This alone sets her apart from the rest.

    I am a recovering addict on probation and parole. Part of my recovery is healing the wreckage of my past. And it has been a painstakingly long process. Since I met Karie, she has not only supported me in my journey, she has saved me from jail time and done her very best in court and out of court to help the courts realize that people DO change and prison isn’t always the answer. SheRead More ...
    Christie
  • I have used Karie Pennington on multiple occasions. Every time I need her, she always goes above and beyond. She goes that extra mile and does not settle for just any recommendation a prosecutor gives. Karie has a passion for her clients and it makes all the difference! I have referred her to many friends, all of whom have been nothing short of ecstatic with her results. She will always be the first one I call when I need legal representation!

    I have used Karie Pennington on multiple occasions. Every time I need her, she always goes above and beyond. She goes that extra mile and does not settle for just any recommendation a prosecutor gives. Karie has a passion for her clients and it makes all the difference! I have referred her to many friends, all of whom have been nothing short of ecstatic with her results. She will always be the first one IRead More ...
    Christopher
  • I have used Karie about five different times in the last year. She has always gone out of her way to make sure MY case is her TOP priority. (I’m sure everyone thinks this!). Karie is such a go-getter and so energetic and ready to take on any challenge put before her. On one of my cases she went against one of the most nationally well known firms and she did not flinch! We won! In fact, Karie has won every case she has worked for me. Yes, I would recommend her!

    I have used Karie about five different times in the last year. She has always gone out of her way to make sure MY case is her TOP priority. (I’m sure everyone thinks this!). Karie is such a go-getter and so energetic and ready to take on any challenge put before her. On one of my cases she went against one of the most nationally well known firms and she did not flinch! We won!Read More ...
    anonymous
  • Amazing. Keeps you informed and up to date. Has gotten me out of so much trouble and always gets me the best deals. Every case of mine she has worked has been amended and least amount of fines possible. Will go far and beyond for her clients and actually cares about each one. I can tell this is more than bussiness. She handles my cases as if it was her own. I recommend her before any one else and wouldnt go through any other firm. Thanks karie!

    Amazing. Keeps you informed and up to date. Has gotten me out of so much trouble and always gets me the best deals. Every case of mine she has worked has been amended and least amount of fines possible. Will go far and beyond for her clients and actually cares about each one. I can tell this is more than bussiness. She handles my cases as if it was her own. I recommend her beforeRead More ...
    brandon
  • I had some issues with Missouri Baptist Medical Hospital at the end of my mother’s life. My mother was terminal and had undergone some very dangerous, and ultimately futile heart surgeries when she was already terminal from end stage COPD. After the surgeries the hospital put her through a month of terrible procedures that prolonged her suffering needlessly. The time came to put an end to her suffering. This process was long and difficult, to put it mildly, and in the end the hospital really started to give me problems and make the decision bestowed on me much harder than it already was. I was near a breaking point holding the family together through this process, while having to be the primary decision maker, and having the doctors hound me about worrying about their own liability issues. The doctors kept trying to drag the process out, and it was putting an enormous amount of stress on me and my family as they were not respecting our decision. Karie came to my rescue. She put the doctors and those causing me grief in their place with one phone call, and that allowed me to spend my final day with my mom and family in peace. Words can’t express how much this meant to me. Lawyers get a bad wrap as being dishonest and only caring about their bottom line. I can assure you 100% that Karie is not like that at all. I have known her since 2001 and if you ever need a compassionate, passionate, caring human being to handle your legal needs, she is the one. This goes way beyond a recommendation. This comes from my heart and soul. Thank you Karie for being there for me when I needed it the most.

    I had some issues with Missouri Baptist Medical Hospital at the end of my mother’s life. My mother was terminal and had undergone some very dangerous, and ultimately futile heart surgeries when she was already terminal from end stage COPD. After the surgeries the hospital put her through a month of terrible procedures that prolonged her suffering needlessly. The time came to put an end to her suffering. This process was long and difficult, toRead More ...
    Dr. Jason Ciaramitaro
  • We all know that underdogs can win–that’s what the story of David and Goliath tells us. The story teaches us a lesson about facing giant problems or impossible situations and overcoming them. I have been a witness to this this feat first hand. Karie took on a Goliath sized opponent in my defense, and like David, defeated him. This particular defeat, he will remember for a long time to come.

    If we are not to be impressed by: money, degrees, followers and titles. But to be impressed by: kindness, integrity, humility and generosity. This is Karie And thanks for fighting for the little guys…

    We all know that underdogs can win–that’s what the story of David and Goliath tells us. The story teaches us a lesson about facing giant problems or impossible situations and overcoming them. I have been a witness to this this feat first hand. Karie took on a Goliath sized opponent in my defense, and like David, defeated him. This particular defeat, he will remember for a long time to come. If we are not toRead More ...
    Underdogs can win
  • Karie was awesome! Unfortunately I suffered from an addiction and got into some trouble because of it. Karie is a caring and compassionate person and understands how addiction can affect every aspect of a person’s life. Through the case, I went to treatment and was able to get my life together. In a few days, I can say I’ve been clean and sober for a year! She could see that I was serious, and that I had changed into a better me. She emphasized this to the prosecuting attorney, and fought for probation as opposed to the three years the state was recommending. She understands that addiction is a disease and prison is not a treatment center. Because of her, I am now able to enjoy a free, clean and sober life! I am so greatful that she was able to represent me during this horrible time in my life! I am forever thankful! I would highly recommend her!

     

    Karie was awesome! Unfortunately I suffered from an addiction and got into some trouble because of it. Karie is a caring and compassionate person and understands how addiction can affect every aspect of a person’s life. Through the case, I went to treatment and was able to get my life together. In a few days, I can say I’ve been clean and sober for a year! She could see that I was serious, and thatRead More ...
    Mike W.
  • Karie Cares should be her slogan. She got things done for me as easily as possible. She made everything easy even with me being out of state. I am grateful for her help. Highly recommend her.

    Karie Cares should be her slogan. She got things done for me as easily as possible. She made everything easy even with me being out of state. I am grateful for her help. Highly recommend her.
    Billie B.
  • I hired Karie to handle a case that had taken me off my probation and placed me on parole. It was felony number 8 for me and wasn’t resolved before DOC granted my parole…so instead of going home I was released to jail. I posted bond and contacted Karie. I’d heard of her through my 12 step and support group network. I thoroughly believe she was a gift to me from working my program. If you are serious about getting your life straight,this woman is gifted to help you. I believe her wisdom and accurate judgement of a person’s character guide her to those who seem like a lost cause in the systems eyes, and those who are sincerely ready to be the success story the world needs to see more of. She managed to pull no less than a miracle out of a blind plea with my judge…granting this 7 time convicted felon SIS probation ran concurrent with her parole in about an eight month time frame…start to finish…at a very manageable price/plan. I know being proactive in my own life and recovery ultimately played a co starring role with her. She’s truly amazed me and it’s a joy to finally know an attorney with the passion,understanding and work ethic you rarely see anymore. I highly recommend her, but only if you’re serious about finally shining😉

    I hired Karie to handle a case that had taken me off my probation and placed me on parole. It was felony number 8 for me and wasn’t resolved before DOC granted my parole…so instead of going home I was released to jail. I posted bond and contacted Karie. I’d heard of her through my 12 step and support group network. I thoroughly believe she was a gift to me from working my program. IfRead More ...
    Jennifer R.
  • Karie Pennington LOVES her job. How many people can wake up and say that? She cares about MY LIFE– about ME. She sees a broken justice system taking advantage of the weak and less fortunate, swallowing people whole, and has dedicated herself to saving us. She is literally SAVING LIVES from a failing system. She says it is her “calling.” She realizes that we are not all bad people, that we’ve made bad choices and ended up in even worse situations. She will do whatever it takes to keep you from falling through the cracks and getting lost in that system.

    I met Karie as I was being released from Prison with a pending felony. She not only made sure I go to go home that day, she got me probation without jail time.

    Most recently, she’s fought Probation and Parole over a violation that was carelessly written, threatening to put me back in prison for over 3 YEARS, and WON. She got me a recog bond on a capias warrant! For those of you who know what a challenge that is…. she did it!!

    She is different because she loves her job and she loves making a difference in people’s lives. She recognizes that our current justice system is horribly broken and not designed to give people a chance to change. She believes I still deserve a chance at life despite my past. And she fought for me. Nothing gets past her. She made me realize that my past does NOT have to ruin my future. She has changed my life.

    She fought for me, and in turn allowed me to again fight for myself.

    Karie Pennington LOVES her job. How many people can wake up and say that? She cares about MY LIFE– about ME. She sees a broken justice system taking advantage of the weak and less fortunate, swallowing people whole, and has dedicated herself to saving us. She is literally SAVING LIVES from a failing system. She says it is her “calling.” She realizes that we are not all bad people, that we’ve made bad choices andRead More ...
    Christina S.

St. Louis Criminal Defense Attorneyst-louis-criminal-charges

Everyone makes mistakes or chooses poorly in some situations. Most of the time, we can move on from our mistakes and go forward with our lives. But what if your mistake or poor choice results in an arrest? Will you be forced to pay the consequences of your lapse in judgment for the rest of your life? Or even worse, what if you were falsely accused or wrongly arrested for a crime that you did not commit?

 

Criminal Charges In St. Louis, Barnhart Areas

When you’ve been charged with a crime, regardless of what that crime may be, you need professional criminal defense representation. An aggressive, qualified Missouri criminal defense attorney can make all the difference when it comes to the outcome of your case.

 

Experienced And Zealous Criminal Defense

I am committed to passionately and zealously defending the rights of my Arraignment-lawyer-st-louisclients through each stage of the justice process, from the first consultation to the end of the trial. I will work closely with you and with expert witnesses who can testify on your behalf in your case. I will examine all the evidence available and will pursue every defense strategy applicable to your case. I will work hard for a complete and total victory and when that is not possible, I will do everything within my power to use my experience and negotiation skills in order to have the charges against you reduced.

 

Get Help With Your Criminal Charges In The St. Louis and Barnhart Areas Today

You don’t have to let being accused of a crime take your life down a road you weren’t planning on going. Call me today for a consultation. 314-681-9000

Providing Creative Solutions and Passionate Defense for the Accused in St. Louis Since 2013

Are you looking for a dependable criminal defense lawyer in St. Louis, MO? Look no further, you’ve come to the right place. Hi, I’m Karie Pennington. Whether you are facing your first criminal charge or you’re a repeat offender, you can rely on me to work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome in your criminal case. 

As a native of St. Louis, I feel a deep sense of loyalty and connection to the community. 

That’s why I decided to return here in 2013 to start my practice after passing the bar in Florida. Over the last seven years, my law firm, KP Defense has built an impressive track record of securing case dismissals, acquittals, and not guilty verdicts for countless clients throughout Eastern Missouri. 

If you or someone you love is under investigation or has been arrested and charged with a criminal offense in St. Louis or the surrounding areas, it’s critical that you contact me as soon as possible.

Act Now to Protect your Rights, Freedom, and Reputation

The clock is always ticking in a criminal case. I’m happy to offer a free, initial consultation to discuss your case. I’ll help you understand the charges and penalties you face and put forth a personalized and creative defense strategy tailored to your needs and circumstances.  Call 314.681.9000 today to schedule an appointment. 

My office is conveniently located in St. Louis but I serve clients throughout Eastern Missouri including in Saint Louis County, Saint Louis City, Jefferson County, St. Charles County, St. Francois County, and Franklin County. 

Criminal Defense Practice Areas 

I defend against a broad range of misdemeanor and felony criminal charges in Circuit, Municipal, and Federal Courts throughout Eastern Missouri, including: 

  • Assault
  • Domestic Assault
  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Drug Charges
  • Arson
  • Sex Crimes
  • Theft/Robbery
  • Burglary 
  • Kidnapping
  • White Collar Crimes
  • Traffic violations/Municipal Court Tickets
  • Fine Collection Center tickets and Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) citations

I also provide representation for criminal matters related to: 

  • Bond Reductions
  • Warrant Recall/Withdraw
  • Probation Violations
  • Interstate Probation and Parole/Missouri Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS)

Benefits of Hiring St. Louis Criminal Defense Lawyer Karie Pennington 

Peace of mind: Being placed in handcuffs or a holding cell can leave you feeling humiliated, anxious, and scared – especially if you’ve never been in trouble with the law before. The criminal justice system can be intimidating and difficult to navigate without a competent criminal defense lawyer by your side. When you hire me, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing you have a competent legal professional in charge of your case. 

Compassionate and Personalized Attention: As my client, you’ll never be just another case file number. You deserve my undivided time and attention and that’s exactly what you’ll get. I am available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and alleviate your concerns. I’ll keep you well informed with status updates at every stage of the criminal process. 

Protection from self-incrimination: During a criminal investigation or arrest, it can be tempting to want to tell your version of the story. However, it’s never wise to speak to law enforcement or prosecutors without first consulting a criminal defense lawyer. Fom the moment you hire me, I can swiftly intervene and accompany you during police questioning to make sure you don’t say anything that could jeopardize your case. 

Knowledge of Local Courts: The legal procedures and rules governing the criminal courts in Missouri can be very overwhelming and complicated for the average person. I’ve practiced in the Missouri criminal courts for nearly a decade and I’m familiar with the police departments, prosecutors, judges, and probation officers in the area. 

Pre-trial investigation resources:  My firm has the resources needed to perform a thorough and complete investigation of your case. I will review the police report, interview relevant witnesses, and gather and examine the evidence. I’ll then leverage the findings to poke holes in the prosecution’s case and reveal inconsistencies and other discrepancies that give rise to reasonable doubt. 

Savvy Negotiation Skills:. My skills as a negotiator have enabled me to negotiate deals with prosecutors that result in reduced or dismissed charges and more lenient sentencing such as entry into diversionary programs.

Solid Defense Strategies: Did you act in self-defense? Did law enforcement engage in an illegal search and seizure? Are the charges against you based on the claims of an unreliable witness? Do you have an alibi? Does the prosecution lack sufficient evidence to prove the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt? You can rely on me to pursue a defense strategy that will be most impactful in your case. 

Tough Litigation Skills: I meticulously prepare every case for trial. When a favorable plea deal isn’t possible, I will be prepared to vigorously fight the charges against you in court. I’ll be involved in selecting the jury, raising objections to improper evidence and testimony, cross-examining prosecution’s witnesses, and presenting your defense in the most convincing manner possible. 

Crimes in Missouri: Infractions, Misdemeanors, and Felonies

Under Missouri Law, crimes are categorized as infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Infractions are the least serious offenses that don’t lead to jail time or probation. Misdemeanors are less serious than a felony but can still warrant up to one year in county jail and other serious penalties. Felonies carry the heaviest punishments including one or more years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. 

St. Louis Traffic Ticket Defense 

Were you recently pulled over and issued a traffic ticket or Fine Collection Center (FCC) ticket in one of the following counties — St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson, St. Francois, or Franklin? You have three options when dealing with a traffic ticket: 

  1. Pay the ticket — plead guilty to the alleged charge
    • You will receive points on your driver’s license which will be reported to the Department of Revenue
    • Your insurance rates will increase
    • You could potentially lose your license if too many points have accumulated 
  2. Do nothing 
    • You will be charged with failure to appear
    • You will pay a $1,000 fine or spend up to one year in county jail
    • Your driver’s license will be suspended
  3. Hire DP Defense

Common Traffic Violations

I have experience fighting traffic tickets from every municipality and police agency in Eastern Missouri, including violations for: 

 

  • Speeding/reckless driving
  • Driving with no insurance
  • Driving on a suspended/revoked license
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Making an illegal turn 
  • Running a red light
  • Failing to yield

 

 

Misdemeanor Criminal Defense Lawyer in St. Louis

Misdemeanors in Missouri are divided into four classes of severity, ranging from Class A to Class D. Each class has a different set of offenses and sentencing guidelines.  Misdemeanors are handled by the Circuit Courts in Missouri.

Misdemeanor Classes and Penalties 

Class (A) misdemeanor – This is the most serious type of misdemeanor in Missouri. If convicted, you could face up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. Class A misdemeanors include possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana, domestic assault in the third degree, and shoplifting items valued at less than $500.

Class (B) misdemeanor – A Class B misdemeanor carries up to six months in county jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Class B misdemeanors can include driving while intoxicated (DWI) and first-degree trespassing. 

Class (C) misdemeanor –  A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. Class C misdemeanors include library theft (goods valued at less than $500) and third-degree sexual misconduct. 

Felony Criminal Defense Lawyer in St. Louis

A felony charge cannot be taken lightly. Missouri has some of the harshest felony statutes in the country. If convicted, you could face anywhere from one year to life in prison. Felonies in Missouri range from Class A, the most serious crimes, to Class E felonies, the least serious felony classification. 

Felony Classes and Penalties 

Class (A) Felony –– A Class A felony carries a prison term between 10-30 years or life imprisonment. Class A felonies include murder, first-degree kidnapping, forcible rape of a child under 12-year-old, first-degree robbery, and some drug crimes such as possession of

More than 30 grams of heroin but less than 90 grams. 

Class (B) Felony – For a Class B felony, the court can impose a sentence of 5-15 years in prison. Crimes like rape, voluntary manslaughter, first-degree assault, and first-degree domestic assault are considered class b felonies. 

Class C Felony — A Class C felony is punishable by a prison sentence of 3-10 years and up to $10,000 in fines.  Crimes that can be classified as Class C felonies include involuntary manslaughter, third-degree child molestation, identity theft, and chronic DWI. 

Class D Felony — For a class D felony, the punishment could be one year in jail or up to 7 years in prison. 

Class E Felony  – A Class E felony carries up to one year in jail or up to four years in prison. 

Repeat Offenders Face Enhanced Penalties 

Prior, persistent, and dangerous offenders in Missouri face enhanced penalties.

    • A prior offender is someone who has one prior felony conviction. 
    • A persistent offender is someone who has been convicted of two felonies at different times. 

 

  • A dangerous offender is someone who has been found guilty of a Class A or Class B felony and is being sentenced for a felony in which he/she knowingly murdered or endangered or threatened the life of another person or knowingly inflicted or attempted or threatened to inflict serious physical injury on another person. 

 

How Sentence Enhancement Works for Repeat Offenders in Missouri

If you are deemed to be a prior, persistent, or dangerous offender and are convicted of a new crime, the prosecutor may try to get the judge to impose a sentence for a crime that is one or two classes higher than the offense you are found guilty of. For example, if you are convicted of a Class C felony, you would be subject to the enhanced Class B range of punishment. This would be 5-15 years in prison instead of the Class C range of 3-10 years. 

Prosecutors often seek enhanced sentences for predatory sexual offenders, prior and persistent domestic violence offenders, and drug offenders. 

Facing criminal charges as a prior, persistent, or dangerous offender can have life-altering consequences. This can be frightening but it’s important to remember that the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed a crime. As your criminal defense attorney, I am ready to use my skills and experience to expose weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and fight to help you avoid conviction or a harsh sentence.

Minimum Terms of Imprisonment

In addition to sentence length enhancements, Missouri imposes mandatory minimum prison sentences for defendants who have served a prior “commitment” to the Missouri Department of Corrections or are presently charged with a “dangerous felony.” 

If a minimum term applies to your case, you would not be eligible for parole until serving a certain percentage of your prison sentence.

  • 1 Prior Commitment: must serve 40% of sentence 
  • 2 Prior Commitments: must serve 50% of sentence 
  • 3 Prior Commitments: must serve 80% of sentence 
  • Dangerous Felony: must serve 85% of sentence 

Alternatives to Criminal Convictions and Jail Time in Missouri 

As your criminal defense lawyer, I will always be searching for ways to shield you from the most severe penalties. The criminal courts in Missouri do offer sentencing alternatives and diversionary programs that focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment, especially for first-time non-violent offenders. 

Examples of alternative sentences to jail may include: 

  • Fines and restitution,
  • Electronic monitoring (ankle bracelet tracking device),
  • Home confinement,
  • Probation,
  • Community supervision

Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be eligible to take part in a diversionary or treatment program such as: 

  • DWI Treatment Court
  • Juvenile Treatment Court
  • Veterans Treatment Court
  • Drug Treatment Court
  • Family Treatment Court
  • Diversion Programs
  • Redirect Programs
  • Deferred Prosecution

Missouri Circuit Courts

Criminal cases in Missouri are heard in the Missouri Circuit Courts or trial courts. There are 46 separate judicial circuit courts in the state — each circuit covering at least one county and the city of St. Louis. Each county has its own Prosecuting Attorney’s Office which is responsible for prosecuting all violations of state criminal laws that occur within their jurisdiction. 

Each circuit court is divided into three divisions: 

  • Municipal Division – has jurisdiction over tickets/summons for municipal ordinance violations
  • Associate Division — has general jurisdiction over traffic tickets, and criminal misdemeanors and felonies. 
  • Circuit Division — has general jurisdiction over criminal felony cases transferred from Associate Court; Juvenile cases; domestic cases when assigned; and oversees Probate Court.

Federal Courts

Federal crimes are heard in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. This is a trial-level federal district court based in St. Louis, MO with jurisdiction over 50 counties in the eastern section of Missouri 

St. Louis Criminal Court Process

The criminal court process in Missouri involves a number of steps and procedures. 

A general overview of what you or a loved one might expect 

Arrest and Booking 

If you were arrested in St. Louis, it was most likely by one of the following law enforcement agencies: the Metropolitan Police, the Sheriff’s Department, or the Missouri State Highway Patrol.  During the arrest, the police officer will handcuff you and advise you of your rights including the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. 

You will be taken to the St. Louis County Jail in nearby Clayton and placed in the custody of local jail officials or correctional officers. There, you will be “booked.” The booking process involves being stripped searched, fingerprinted and photographed. You will likely be placed in a holding cell and allowed to make one phone call to begin the jail release process. 

During this time, it may be tempting to want to deny any involvement in the alleged crime but the smartest thing you can do is to exercise your right to remain silent until you have an attorney present. 

Arraignment

Within 48 hours of your arrest, you will have your initial appearance in court known as an arraignment. At the arraignment, a judge formally reads the charges against you and asks you to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. The judge will also decide whether to set bail or release you on your own personal recognizance.  Being released on your own recognizance means you can leave jail without posting bond in exchange for promising to return for future court dates. Recognizance is often granted in cases where the crime is relatively minor and you are not considered a flight risk or danger to the community. 

Release and Bail

If bail is set and you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor crime, the courts have pre-determined bail schedules that list bail amounts for specific misdemeanor crimes. For more serious felony crimes, a bond hearing is usually scheduled. 

Types of Bonds

I understand how scary and stressful it can be to sit in a jail cell. My priority is to secure your release as soon as possible. Depending on ,  several types of bond options that may be available to you:

A cash bond requires paying the entire bond amount but allows a co-signer to help with the payment. 

A surety bond involves the hiring of a bail bondsman. This is a viable option if you cannot afford to pay bail with cash. A bondsman will post the entire bond amount with the court but will charge you a non-refundable fee of 10%. 

A 10 percent cash bond allows you to pay 10 percent of the bail amount in cash to the clerk of the court. You will likely get this money back after the case is over if you attend all scheduled court dates. 

If you are unable to post bond, I can try to negotiate with the prosecutor or file a motion for bond reduction to lower the bail. 

Pre-Trial Hearings 

Once the arraignment is over, the case enters the pre-trial phase. During this time, Karie and the Circuit Attorney may trade discovery, file motions, and attempt to negotiate a resolution to the case without having to go to trial. This may include plea bargaining which may result in a plea deal that requires you to plead guilty but to a lesser charge with a reduced sentence. 

Trial 

When a resolution to your case cannot be reached in pre-trial, I will take your case to court and present a vigrours defense to a jury of your peers.

Begin Building Your Defense Today 

If you or a loved one is the target of a criminal investigation or has been arrested and/or formally charged with a crime in St. Louis, it’s critical to get a skilled criminal defense lawyer in your corner as soon as possible. For nearly a decade, I’ve fought to protect the rights of the accused throughout Eastern Missouri. I’m prepared to do whatever is necessary to help you avoid jail, clear your name, and get your life back on track. Call me 314.681.9000 to schedule a free consultation.

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