Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney
May 02. 2022.
Domestic assault in Missouri is a serious crime divided into four different levels. Each level has specific conditions to consider, with specific penalties and severities.
Under Missouri law, the term ‘domestic assault’ is defined as an intentional act of causing serious physical injury to another person or killing any person in your family. This is the highest severe case where the convicted person knowingly inflicts physical damage or kills the domestic victim — and it is regarded as ‘4th-degree domestic assault.’
Going through a domestic assault case is a painful process. However, if you retain an experienced domestic assault criminal defense attorney, you will be able to protect your rights in court. The attorneys at Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center have years of experience and can help you in the domestic assault case.
Under the Missouri Revised Statute § 565.076, it will be considered fourth degree domestic assault if a person recklessly engages or causes physical pain, serious physical injury by any means, including
Use of any deadly weapon, or
Creating risks of putting the domestic victim in any condition with a risk of death, or
Causing the isolation of such domestic victims by restricting/her access to telecommunication, other people, or transportation
The offense will be considered a Class A misdemeanor, resulting in harsh penalties and fines
However, if the person has a previous record of domestic assault, no matter if they were found guilty in the case, or is being charged for any other domestic violence case under state law, federal law, or military law, it will be considered as a Class E felony.
In Missouri, a Class E felony offense is punishable by up to four years in prison with a huge fine of $10,000 or more.
Missouri Assault Laws
Missouri has some of the most extensive laws regarding assaults. There are four statutes for the domestic assault case.
What are the Different Degrees of Assault in Missouri?
Missouri Domestic Assault – 1st Degree
Under Missouri Revised Statute § 565.072, first-degree assault is considered knowingly causing physical harm or killing a domestic victim. If the victim sustains serious injuries, this will be treated as a Class A felony. Otherwise, this will be charged as a Class B felony.
Missouri Domestic Assault – 2nd Degree
According to Missouri Statute § 565.073, 2nd-degree assault is charged if:
- The offender knowingly causes serious physical injury to another person or domestic victims by any means, including (but not limited to) using a weapon, dangerous instrument, choking, or strangling the person.
- The offender recklessly causes physical injury to another person or such a domestic victim.
- The offender engages in events to cause injury to the domestic victim through any sort of deadly weapon.
Any second-degree assault will be regarded as a Class C felony. It is punishable from 3 years in prison to 10 years in jail with a fine of $10,000 or more.
Missouri Domestic Assault – 3rd Degree
An offense will be charged as a third-degree assault if:
- The person commits or knowingly attempts or causes physical injuries to a domestic victim.
- The person attempts or causes inappropriate physical contact or physical injuries to a household member.
- Threaten a family member or cause fear of immediate physical injury.
- The person purposely places a family member in events of serious life-threatening dangers or substantial risk.
- Purposefully isolate a family member.
A 3rd-degree assault will be charged as a Class D felony with a sentence of a minimum of seven to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
What is 4th Degree Domestic Assault in Missouri?
Under Missouri law, if a person knowingly or intentionally causes physical harm, physical injury, or puts a domestic victim in danger threatening the victim’s life, it is considered an assault in a fourth-degree domestic assault.
Actions that could be in the fourth-degree assault are:
- Knowingly causing physical injury to the victim with any firearm due to criminal negligence.
- Intentional attempt to drive or recklessly cause bodily harm, pain, or illness.
- Recklessly engaging in acts and events threatening the life of the victim.
- Purposefully causing the victim immediate physical injury.
Generally, assault cases are taken very seriously in the Missouri court system. You would need a great defense strategy to fight for your rights in court. Skilled attorneys at Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center have years of experience in Missouri domestic law and can help you protect your reputation. Feel free to book a consultation call with us.
What is the Sentence for 4th Degree Assault in Missouri?
Since the fourth-degree domestic offense is considered a class A misdemeanor, its penalties will be harsh and can be — but are not limited to a minimum sentence of 10 years to a maximum of 30 years in prison.
Missouri laws and court systems are strict and quick in taking action against domestic assaults. If you have been charged with any type of assault case, including 4th-degree domestic assault, the punishments could be as harsh as possible. Moreover, you would also be on the verge of losing your face and reputation in society.
What Should You Do If You Are Accused of Assault in the 4th Degree in Missouri?
It is best to immediately consult with a skilled attorney experienced in Missouri domestic laws. Your lawyer will help you understand your legal options, the severities of your case, and the next step you should take to protect your rights in court.
At Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center, we have a team of skilled lawyers experienced in domestic assault laws, which have helped several clients protect their rights. To help you through your case, feel free to contact us.