Domestic Assault 4th Degree
What is Domestic Assault?
Under Missouri law, there are differences between a domestic assault offense and an assault offense. A domestic assault offense involves a family or household member and has harsher penalties.
Domestic assault can be defined as an attempt or an intentional act to inflict physical injury to a household or family member. Practically any kind of violence against a domestic victim can be considered to be domestic assault.
Domestic victims are not just family members through blood or marriage. Under Missouri law, a former spouse, a co-parent of a child, or even a current or former romantic interest can be considered a domestic victim.
Is Domestic Assault a Felony?
There are four degrees of domestic assault offenses in Missouri based on the severity of the crime and penalties.
Domestic assault in the first degree is the most severe and includes an attempt to kill or cause serious injury to a domestic victim. It is a Class B felony in most cases.
Second-degree domestic assault involves a person who knowingly or recklessly causes serious physical injury to a domestic victim, with or without the use of a deadly weapon. This offense is a Class D felony.
Third-degree domestic assault occurs when a person knowingly attempts to cause a serious physical injury, physical pain, or illness to a domestic victim. This crime is also a felony and it is a Class E felony.
However, the offense of domestic assault in the fourth degree is not a felony in the first instance. It is a Class A misdemeanor unless the person who commits the offense has also been found guilty of assault or another offense against a domestic victim. If an individual has already been found guilty of domestic violence or any other offense against the same domestic victim or different domestic victims, the offense of domestic assault would most likely be characterized as a felony.
Facing a domestic assault charge, being arrested and interrogated can be terrifying. Make sure you retain a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney like Bradley S. Dede at Bradley S. Dede LLC. Bradley can analyze your case and work tirelessly to pursue the best possible outcome for your case.
What is Considered to be Domestic Assault 4th Degree?
Missouri law states that domestic assault in the fourth degree is committed if a person recklessly engages in conduct that can create a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury.
It can also occur if a person knowingly causes physical contact with the victim or isolates the victim by restricting his or her access to other people, means of transportation, or telecommunication devices.
Domestic assault in the fourth degree can also occur if a person purposely places a domestic victim in fear of immediate physical injury. It can also arise if an individual is criminally negligent or recklessly causes physical injury or pain to such domestic victim by using a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument.
What Is the Penalty for 4th-Degree Assault?
Since domestic assault in the fourth degree is a misdemeanor, an offender will face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
If there are prior offenses on the offender’s criminal record -especially if they are violence-related- charges would be elevated to a Class E felony. Penalties include up to 4 years in prison and a fine that can go up to $10,000.
Also, bear in mind that persistent offenders with two or more prior assault convictions on their criminal record in the past 10 years would face increased punishment. Penalties would most likely increase by one or two felony classes, which depends on the degree of the current felony charges.
If the prosecution can show that the defendant poses a substantial risk of immediate physical injury or death to the domestic victim, witnesses, or the community, the judge is allowed to deny bail.
How to Beat a 4th-Degree Assault Charge
If you are charged with domestic assault in the fourth degree, your criminal defense attorney will try to get the case dismissed in the first instance. If that is not possible, you may have the chance of being acquitted if you tell the jury your side of the story.
However, if the case against you is strong, exploring plea options may be the best option.
Do I Need a Lawyer for 4th-Degree Domestic Assault?
Although penalties for an assault in the fourth degree are the least severe compared to other assault offenses, that doesn’t mean you can handle the whole process without a capable attorney.
Assault offenses carry other penalties such as a loss of respect from your employers or friends, along with criminal penalties. An offender may also have to deal with restraining orders, divorce proceedings, and child custody battles.
In addition, an alleged victim may also file a civil lawsuit demanding compensation for suffered injuries. This means that individuals facing domestic assault charges must also retain a personal injury lawyer who has enough experience and knowledge to help them with the civil aspects of the case.
Bradley S. Dede LLC offers trusted legal counsel who can help you with the intricacies of your case no matter how serious the charges are.
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