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Matthew Radefeld & Dan Juengel
Matthew A. Radefeld and Daniel A. Juengel

Assault laws and penalties

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2021 | Violent Crimes |

Today, many people in court are battling against various assault cases such as domestic assault, sexual assault, cases where the victim was not fatally shot, vehicular assault, and assault of a law enforcement officer. An assault mainly involves threats of bodily harm, but this does not require any personal contact. The victim must, however, believe it is a credible threat. 

Will my assault charge be considered a felony or misdemeanor?

The seriousness of the action or threat will determine whether the assault charge is a felony or misdemeanor. The first-time offenders of an assault charge may receive more leniency, while those with an extensive criminal record may receive stiffer assault penalties.

What are the defined degrees of assault in St Louis?

The state of Missouri divides assault charges into four different degrees, which include:

  • First-degree assault: This occurs when an alleged is suspected of attempting to kill or cause serious physical injury to someone
  • Second-degree assault: This charge may be applicable if a defendant is suspected of trying to kill or physically hard someone, with the added danger of reckless behavior or actions resulting from passionate emotions
  • Third-degree assault: This assault charge is declared when a defendant knowingly caused physical injury to someone
  • Fourth-degree assault: This charge is applicable for defendants who knowingly cause physical injury, in addition to reckless or negligent behavior 

What are possible assault penalties and fines?

Both misdemeanor and felony assault charges carry penalties and fines:

  • First-degree assault is classified under class B felony. If found guilty, the offender faces imprisonment for 5 to 15 years
  • Second-degree assault is listed under class D felony. The penalties for this charge include imprisonment for up to seven years, fines of up to $10,000, or both
  • Third-degree assault is classified under class E felony. The offender faces up to four years imprisonment, fines of up to $10,000, or both
  • Fourth-degree assault is divided into two classes. For a class A misdemeanor, the offender faces imprisonment for up to one year, fines of up to $2,000, or both. For class C misdemeanor, the offender faces imprisonment for up to 15 days, penalties of up to $750, or both

With these potential jail time and fines, it is vital to treat any assault charge seriously. Failing to get proper legal advice can lead to a conviction and other negative consequences of having a criminal record.