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When is an assault a felony in Missouri?

On Behalf of | Oct 10, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

For the most part when people physically harm others in Missouri, they could be charged with a crime. There are times when people may have defenses such as self-defense, but for the most part, if people are seen as the aggressor in a situation, they will at least be charged with an assault.

Assaults come in different forms, and some are more serious than others. Less serious assaults may be charged as misdemeanors, but many other assaults are charged as felonies, meaning they carry penalties including more than one year in prison.

Types of felony assaults

The most serious assault charge is a first-degree assault. People can be charged with this level of assault if a court finds they attempted to kill another person, if they attempted to or did in fact cause serious injury to another person.

It is a class A felony if people cause serious injuries, or if the alleged victim is considered a special victim. It is a class B felony if people attempt to kill or cause serious harm.

A second-degree assault occurs if people attempt to kill or seriously injure another person under sudden impulse and passion.

Defendants may also be charged with a second-degree assault if they use a dangerous weapon or a gun to cause harm to another, or if they recklessly cause serious injuries. This is generally considered a class D felony.

The last type of assault that is considered a felony is a third-degree assault. These occur if people knowingly cause physical harm to another person. This is considered a class E felony.

As you can see, assaults in Missouri are serious criminal charges, most of which can result in a felony. Simply being charged with a felony assault does not mean that people are automatically guilty though.

Experienced attorneys understand the potential defenses and may be a useful resource.