If you’ve been arrested or charged with assault charges in Missouri, you have the right to a criminal defense attorney. In the state of Missouri, assault charges are a serious crime, and if found guilty of the charges, you could potentially face jail time and other adverse legal consequences. Knowing your rights, the laws, and how a Missouri criminal defense attorney can help you, are vital components to making sure you win your case and avoid a criminal charge on your permanent record.
Missouri Assault Laws
Assault charges can occur in many situations and are categorized by the seriousness of the offense. The following list illustrates what acts are considered to be a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd-degree assault charge and the penalties faced for each particular crime.
1st Degree Assault
Ist Degree Assault (Class B Felony) is defined as the attempt to kill someone or to attempt or knowingly cause the serious physical injury of a person or persons.
If you have been arrested and convicted of assault in the 1st degree, you could face anywhere from 5-30 years in a Missouri prison.
2nd Degree Assault
A charge for assault in the 2nd degree ( Class C Felony) means that the prosecution believes and wants to prove beyond all doubt that you have committed at least one of the following offenses:
- Reckless causing harm to a person by discharge of a firearm.
- Knowingly attempts to kill or seriously injure another person under the influence of passion rising or an adequate cause.
- Attempting to or knowingly causing injury to another person by use of a deadly weapon.
- While driving under the influence, a person causes physical injury to any other person than himself.
If you are charged and found guilty of 2nd Degree Assault in Missouri, you could face 5-15 years in prison.
3rd Degree Assault
You could face a charge in the 3rd degree for assault (Class C or Class A misdemeanor) for any of the following reasons:
- Recklessly causing or attempting to injure another person physically.
- Causing physical contact with someone who is incapacitated.
- Threatening or placing someone in fear of immediate physical injury.
- Causing injury to another individual with reckless use or criminal negligence of a weapon.
- Engaging in behavior which could result in a serious injury or death.
- Knowingly causing offensive or inappropriate physical interaction with another person.
If you are facing a 3rd Degree assault charge and this is your first offense, the penalty in Missouri is 15 days in jail and $500 in fines. If this is not your first assault offense, a 3rd Degree assault can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which carries additional penalties and up to one year in jail.
What To Do If You’re Facing Assault Charges in Missouri
If you have been charged with assault in Missouri, you must consider the charges against you seriously, even if you have been falsely accused of the crime. Once you have been charged, there are certain steps you will need to take to ensure that you have the best possible outcome for your trial–if your case gets taken to court.
- First, contact a criminal defense attorney to get a better understanding of your rights as well as an opportunity to understand your side of the situation in this case.
- Hire an attorney that you trust to handle your case with care and one that is reasonably within your budget.
- Make sure to keep all evidence and keep a detailed record of events and incidences relevant to the case. Furthermore, make a list of witnesses that may be able to help in your case.
- Remain hopeful. Even if you believe that your case doesn’t have a “fighting chance,” an experienced criminal defense attorney in Missouri may be able to uncover evidentiary support that would negate the charges against you.
As you can see, there are various factors that can play into how the courts determine an assault charge, because of these factors, there are many components that can help to decrease or even eliminate the charges filed against you. Fight against any assault charges in Missouri with a criminal defense attorney that understands the Missouri assault laws and has years of experience in this particular area.
If you have been arrested for or charged with assault in Missouri, contact your Missouri assault attorney today for a free consultation. Let us help remove or reduce all criminal charges you are facing. We can help you win your case!