If you’ve been charged with felony or misdemeanor assault in Missouri, it is in your best interest to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Assault crimes in Missouri carry hefty penalties and it is your right to understand what charges and penalties you may be facing if you have been arrested for such a crime. Whether you’ve been charged with fourth, third, second, or first degree assault in Springfield, Missouri, the criminal defense team at Missouri legal is here to provide you with experienced help in order to help you win your case, contact us today to set up your free, no obligation initial consultation with us.
Below you’ll find information about what is considered assault in Missouri and the penalties for the varying levels of assault in Missouri.
Assault in Missouri
As of January 1, 2017 the assault laws in Missouri and other criminal codes were changed. If you were charged with assault charges before this date, the laws prior to January 1, 2017 pertain to those charges. If the supposed crime happened after this date, the following laws and penalties apply. Additionally, the term “assault and battery” is often used to describe crimes of assault. In Missouri there are no crimes classified as battery, only assault. Crimes that would generally be considered a battery crime in another state are referred to as assault crimes in Missouri.
Missouri Assault in the Fourth Degree
According to Missouri laws, section 565.056 a person will be charged with the crime of assault in the fourth degree in the state of Missouri if he or she:
- Recklessly causes physical injury to another person or attempts to physically injure another person
- Negligently causes bodily injury to another person with use of a deadly weapon
- Threatens another person on purpose in an attempt to cause that person to feel afraid that he or she may suffer serious physical injury.
- Engages recklessly in behavior that creates a risk of death or physical injury to another person.
- Knowingly engages in provocative or offensive contact with a person who is incapacitated.
- Knowingly engages in physical contact with another person in a way that the victim would find offensive and/or provocative
If found guilty of assault in the fourth degree a person can expect to be either charged with a Class A or Class C Misdemeanor. The person being charged with the crime will be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor if the assault is to a “special victim” as defined by section 565.002. A person who is charged and convicted with a Class A Misdemeanor assault charge in Missouri may be sentenced to a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to one year in jail. A Class C Misdemeanor conviction means that a person could face up to 15 days in jail and a fine of up to $300 or both.
Missouri Assault in the Third Degree
Assault in the third degree is defined as, a person who knowingly causes physical injury to another person.
The offense of assault in the third degree is considered a Class E Felony, unless the victim is a “special victim”, in which case the offense will be charged as a Class D Felony in Missouri.
A Class E Felony conviction is punishable by up to four years in prison, while a Class D Felony is punishable for a prison term to be served to up to seven years.
Missouri Assault in the Second Degree
Missouri law, section 565.052 states that Missouri assault in the second degree is committed it a person commits the following acts:
- Knowingly causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to another person under the influence of sudden passion
- Attempts to cause or knowingly causes injury to another person with the use of a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon
- Recklessly causes physical injury to another person
- Recklessly causes physical injury to another person by means of a the discharge of a firearm
Assault in the second degree is considered a Class D Felony, unless the victim of the assault is classified as a “special victim”, as defined under section 565.002. In this case, assault in the second degree against a special victim is a Class B Felony.
If found guilty of second degree assault in Missouri a person may face a Class D Felony charge which is punishable by up seven years in prison. If found guilty of assault in the second degree that results in a Class B Felony, the defendant can expect to face a minimum of five years in prison, but no more than 15 years. Once you are facing charges of a misdemeanor of felony assault conviction in Missouri, the best thing you can do to have a chance at your future is to contact Missouri Legal, so they can start to build a solid case for the charges against you.
Missouri Assault in the First Degree
Section 565.050 of Missouri assault law defines assault in the first degree as a person who attempts to kill or knowingly causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to another person.
A conviction of assault in the first degree is a Class B Felony, unless the victim in the assault is a defined as a special victim, in which case this would be classified as a Class A Felony.
As previously mentioned a Class B Felony is punishable by a prison term of no less than five years and not to exceed 15 years. A Class A Felony in Missouri is punishable by a prison term of at least ten years, but no more than thirty or life in prison.
Speak With Missouri Legal Today
Even a misdemeanor charge of assault in Missouri will stay on your criminal record for life, possibly keeping you from landing the job of your dreams, getting a home or car loan, as well as potentially causing strain in your personal relationships. If you’re facing criminal assault charges in Missouri, you want a legal team that will not only protect your rights as individual, but that is well versed in complex litigation strategies in order to give you a fighting chance against the allegations against you. If you’d like to discuss your options, contact Missouri Legal today. We will schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation with you at your earliest convenience to discuss the strengths and weaknesses in order to provide you with the best defense in Springfield, MO.