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Missouri assault: From felony to misdemeanor, know your risk

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Facing assault charges is incredibly daunting, especially given the complex legal landscape in Missouri. Navigating your trip through the justice system is best done with experienced representation.

At the same time, having a basic grasp of the different degrees of assault and their potential consequences can empower you to make informed decisions about your defense early on.

Is assault the same as battery?

Missouri incorporates battery offenses within its assault statutes. It means acts charged as battery elsewhere would probably be charged as assault here.

What it does not mean is defendants are safe from potentially severe penalties for assault convictions.

Are there different levels of severity?

Yes, depending on your alleged actions, intent and the outcome of the incident, you could face a range of charges.

First-degree assault. The most severe charge applies in attempts to kill or severely harm someone. It is a class B felony, carrying potential imprisonment of 5 to 15 years.

Second-degree assault. Also severe, this involves causing physical harm through factors like recklessness or strong emotions. The penalty varies depending on the circumstances but typically results in class D felony penalties.

Third-degree assault. Causing a physical injury to someone on purpose results in class E felony assault charges and may be punishable by incarceration.

Fourth-degree assault. As the least severe situation, this charge covers reckless or negligent acts that cause harmful physical contact or fear of harm. It is generally a class A misdemeanor, carrying less severe penalties.

Make no mistake, facing any of these charges constitutes a threat to your freedom and way of life. An experienced legal representative can help circumvent possible complexities and fight for the most favorable possible outcome.