Domestic violence charges in Missouri encompass varying forms of abuse or violence in a domestic situation. These include violence against family members by blood or marriage, former or current spouses, and anyone with whom the offender is in or has been in a romantic relationship.
A conviction on domestic violence can have significant repercussions on a person’s life. Even if you avoid jail time, a criminal record can damage your career prospects and affect your rights. You will lose your rights to carry a firearm and may even be denied visitation or custody rights to your child(ren).
3 Degrees of Penalties for Domestic Violence Charges in Missouri
Violent offenses carry grave penalties. If you have been charged with domestic violence in Missouri, you may be facing any of these penalties depending on the gravity of the offense.
1. Domestic Violence in the First Degree
This refers to when a person knowingly attempts to kill or cause serious physical harm to a domestic victim. This is a class B felony. However, if the person succeeds in inflicting fatal injuries to the victim, it is considered a class A felony.
- Class A felony: The accused faces 10-30 years of imprisonment or a life sentence. This category covers the most serious offenses, such as first-degree murder.
- Class B felony: This is punishable by 5-15 years in prison. This classification includes offenses such as voluntary manslaughter.
2. Domestic Violence in the Second Degree
When a person is accused of knowingly trying to or actually causing injury to a family member with a deadly weapon, it is classified as domestic assault in the second degree. This includes violent acts of choking and strangulation.
- Class D felony: The penalty for this is up to 4 years in prison and/or a fine of no more than $5,000.
3. Domestic Violence in the Third Degree
This is the least severe form of domestic violence. The accused is convicted of this if they knowingly cause physical pain or illness to a domestic victim. This is a class E felony. However, if the accused has been convicted of domestic violence more than twice previously, this is upgraded to a class D felony.
- Class E felony: This is also referred to as a class A misdemeanor and is punishable by a year or less in prison. The offender may also pay up to $1,000 in fines.
Michael Taylor Law Defense for Domestic Violence Charges in Missouri
If you or anyone close to you have been charged with domestic violence, you should speak to a defense attorney right away.
With more than 25 years of experience, I understand that there are two sides to every story. I will diligently challenge motives, cross-examine witnesses, and collect evidence to prove your innocence and have the charges dismissed. Protecting your reputation, rights, and freedom means everything to me.