St. Louis Domestic Assault Attorney
Missouri law distinguishes between assault and domestic assault, and the punishment for domestic assault can be more serious than regular assault under certain circumstances. As the firm with the best St. Louis assault attorney, we have the legal information and protection you need.
Domestic assault law applies when the victim is a member of the offender’s household, such as current or former spouse; a family member by blood or marriage; a person with whom the offender lives with; a person the offender is dating or has a relationship with, or a person with whom the offender has a child. If you have been charged with domestic assault, it is important that you consult with a St. Louis domestic assault lawyer to discuss your options and protect your rights.
Third Degree or Misdemeanor Domestic Assault
Third degree or misdemeanor assault is by far the most common assault charge in Missouri. A domestic assault in the third degree occurs when someone:
- Attempts to cause or recklessly cause physical injury
- Acting with criminal negligence, physically injures a domestic victim by means of a deadly weapon or deadly instrument
- Threatens a victim, causing the victim to fear immediate bodily injury
- Recklessly engages in conduct that creates a grave risk of death or serious physical injury
- Intentionally engages in physical contact with the victim, knowing that the victim will find the contact offensive
- Knowingly attempts to cause or causes isolation of the victim
Third degree domestic assault is a Class A misdemeanor in Missouri, punishable by up to one (1) year in jail and a fine of $1000, or both. If the offense is a third or subsequent conviction for domestic assault in the third degree, it is considered a Class D felony, punishable by up to one (1) year in jail or up to four years in prison and fines of up to $5000, or both.
Second Degree or Felony Domestic Assault
A person is guilty of second-degree domestic assault if he commits any of the following acts against a domestic victim:
- Attempts to cause or knowingly causes physical injury with a deadly weapon, other dangerous instrument, or by choking or strangulation
- Recklessly causes serious physical injury
- Recklessly causes serious physical injury with the use of a deadly weapon
Domestic assault in the second degree is a Class C felony with a range of punishment of up to seven years in jail and a fine of $5,000, or both. To be charged with a felony assault, there must be serious physical injury involving a deadly weapon or resulting from choking or strangulation.
A deadly weapon is an object that can cause death or serious physical injury, such as firearms, large hunting knives, and brass knuckles. A dangerous instrument is defined as an object that is not ordinarily considered to be a weapon but is used in such a manner as to cause death or serious physical injury. Some examples of dangerous instruments include a rope used to strangle someone, a metal pipe used to hit another person, or a vehicle driven to intentionally strike a pedestrian.
First Degree Domestic Assault
A person commits first-degree domestic assault when he or she attempts to kill or knowingly causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to a family or household member, including a child. First-degree domestic assault is charged as a Class B felony, punishable by five (5) to 15 years in prison, unless the offender has been found or previously pleaded guilty to first-degree domestic assault. In this case, it is considered a Class A felony, punishable by 10 to 30 years to life in prison.
Recklessness could be Considered Domestic Assault
A reckless act such as pushing a domestic victim without intending to cause physical injury to the person, but also without regard to the outcome of the action, could be considered domestic assault if the person falls and sustains serious injury. Such an act is one that is not necessarily committed with intent to harm a household member, but is done with utter disregard for his safety.
A domestic assault conviction is a serious matter. Not only will it become a part of your permanent record, but it could also be grounds for the revocation of a professional license. Even a misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence can hurt your chances for employment or your ability to rent an apartment or house.
Kevin J. Roach is an experienced Missouri domestic assault attorney who routinely defends those charged with domestic assault in the St. Louis metro area. He understands the charges you are facing and he will help protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome. Contact The Law Offices of Kevin J. Roach, L.L.C. and set up your initial consultation today. We can help.