Domestic assault in Missouri is defined by violence against a spouse, someone with whom you were/are in a romantic relationship with, or a family member (including children). There are three different degrees or levels in which a person can be charged with domestic assault; these are domestic assault in the first, second, and third-degree, each of which will be explained below.
Domestic Assault in The First Degree
A person will be charged with first-degree domestic assault if he or she:
- Knowingly attempts and/or causes serious physical injury to a family member or spouse.
- Attempts to kill a family member or spouse.
If the crime does not result in an injury, it is considered a Class B felony with 5-15 years in prison. However, the offender could face a Class A felony, punishable by 10 to 30 years or life in prison, if they do, in fact, cause serious physical injury while committing the crime or have a prior conviction for domestic assault.
Domestic Assault in The Second Degree
Second-degree domestic assault is a Class C felony and is punishable by up to 7 years in prison and/or a fine up to $5000. If a person commits the following, they are guilty of domestic assault in the second degree:
- Recklessly causes serious physical injury with or without means of a deadly weapon.
- Knowingly causes or attempts to cause physical injury by way of a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon.
- Knowingly causes or attempts to cause physical injury by means of choking or strangulation.
Domestic Assault in The Third Degree
Domestic assault in the third degree is defined by the following acts against a domestic victim:
- Recklessly does or tries to physically injure a domestic victim.
- Makes a domestic victim afraid of immediate physical injury.
- Negligently causes physical injury with a deadly weapon.
- Knowingly isolates a domestic victim from others and family members
- Offensively touches the domestic victim
- Recklessly engages in a situation that could result in severe injury or death.
In Missouri, domestic assault in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by fines up to $1000 and/or up-to one year in jail. According to Missouri State Law, there are additional charges a domestic assault offender may be subject to, these include, but are not limited to:
- False Imprisonment
- Parental Kidnapping
- Elder Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Child Molestation
If you have been arrested for domestic assault, it is critical that you contact a Missouri criminal defense attorney immediately. A conviction of domestic assault will follow you for the rest of your life. This can negatively impact your career, professional license, and even applying to rent or buy a home could prove to be complicated. Once you set up a consultation with your attorney, they can begin investigating specific details of your case to better understand the charges you’re up against. Missouri Legal will ensure you have strong representation during your trial and will work diligently to protect your rights.