Accused of Domestic Assault in St. Louis or St. Charles?

Domestic Assault / Domestic Violence Criminal Charges

Domestic Assault cases are some of the most incorrectly over charged crimes that carry a substantial amount of weight. The majority of domestic assault charges are very minor disputes between spouses, partners, and family members but the cops are called and someone is charged with Domestic Assault.

Domestic Assault cases in Missouri are often one of the most misunderstood areas in the law because of the stigma associated with the concept of domestic violence and abuse, but also because of the State’s interest in prosecuting it to the fullest. Unlike typical assault charges, domestic assault carries with it specific elements and has unique consequences.

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Missouri Domestic Assault Charges

Many times those who are accused of domestic assault don’t know where to start and don’t know how to best approach their case and deal with the consequences it has, not only on their own lives but the lives of their children or oftentimes significant other. It is important that you have someone on your side who is experienced in domestic assault cases. At the Krupp Law Firm, we are experienced in this area of law and know how to approach your unique case.

Domestic Assault First Degree

Also known as Domestic Violence, First Degree.

B to A Felony

In Missouri, a person commits the offense of domestic assault in the first degree

  • if he or she attempts to kill or

  • knowingly causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to a domestic victim,

as the term “domestic victim” is defined by Missouri Law.

The term "domestic victim" is specifically defined under Missouri law, typically encompassing family members, household members, or individuals in intimate relationships with the assailant.

Learn more about the term "Domestic Victim"

The offense of domestic assault in the first degree is a class B felony unless in the course thereof the person inflicts serious physical injury on the victim, in which case it is a class A felony.

Serious injury can include gunshot wounds, knife wounds, or severe physical assault.

Classifications of the Offense

  1. Class B Felony: This is the default classification for a first-degree domestic assault. It implies that the perpetrator attempted to kill or cause serious physical injury without actually inflicting such injury.
    Learn more about Class B Felonies

  2. Class A Felony: The offense is elevated to a Class A felony if the perpetrator inflicts serious physical injury on the victim during the assault. Serious physical injuries are typically significant and potentially life-threatening, including but not limited to gunshot wounds, knife wounds, or severe physical assault.
    Learn more about Class A Felonies

Serious Physical Injury

The term "serious physical injury" plays a crucial role in determining the severity of the offense. This term generally includes injuries that pose a substantial risk of death, cause serious disfigurement, or result in long-term or permanent impairment or loss of the function of any body part or organ.

Legal Implications

The distinction between Class A and Class B felonies is significant, as it impacts the potential penalties upon conviction. A Class A felony typically carries more severe penalties, potentially including longer prison sentences and higher fines.

Defense and Prosecution Considerations

From a legal perspective, the defense and prosecution in such cases focus on several key aspects:

  • Nature of the Injury: Establishing whether the injury qualifies as 'serious physical injury' is critical.

  • Intent: The defendant's intent to kill or cause serious physical injury must be proven.

  • Relationship: The nature of the relationship between the defendant and the victim is examined to establish the 'domestic' aspect of the offense.

Domestic Assault Second Degree

Also known as Domestic Violence, Second Degree.

D Felony - Key Elements of Domestic Assault in the Second Degree:

  1. Victim Status: The victim must be classified as a "domestic victim" as per Missouri's legal definitions. This typically encompasses individuals such as spouses, family members, or those in intimate relationships with the accused.

  2. Nature of the Act: The accused must have knowingly caused physical injury to the domestic victim. This encompasses a broad range of actions and can include:

    • Use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument: This implies the use of an object that can potentially cause death or serious physical harm.

    • Choking or strangulation: Acts that impede breathing or circulation of the blood through the application of pressure on the throat or neck.

  3. Recklessness: The statute also covers situations where the accused recklessly causes serious physical injury or recklessly causes physical injury by means of any deadly weapon. "Recklessness" in this context is a legal term that implies a conscious disregard of a substantial and unjustifiable risk.

Legal Implications:

  • Severity of Charge: As a Class D felony, the charge is serious and carries substantial penalties. In Missouri, a Class D felony can result in significant jail time, fines, or both. The exact penalties can vary based on the specifics of the case, including the severity of injuries and the defendant's criminal history.

  • Legal Proceedings: This charge often involves complex legal proceedings, including arraignments, pre-trial hearings, potential plea negotiations, and possibly a trial. Each stage requires strategic legal decision-making.

  • Defense Strategies: Defending against a charge of Domestic Assault in the Second Degree may involve challenging the evidence of intent or recklessness, the classification of the victim, or the circumstances of the alleged assault. Self-defense or defense of others might also be a viable defense in some cases.

  • Long-Term Consequences: Conviction can result in long-term consequences beyond immediate penalties. These can include loss of certain civil rights, difficulties in employment, and social stigma.

Domestic Assault Third Degree

Also known as Domestic Violence, Third Degree.

E Felony

A person commits the offense of domestic assault in the third degree if he or she

  • attempts to cause physical injury or
  • knowingly causes physical pain or illness to a domestic victim, as the term “domestic victim” is defined under Missouri law.

The offense of domestic assault in the third degree is a class E felony.

Charges of third-degree domestic assault are generally reserved for cases where the victim did not sustain injuries. More severe charges may be applied if the victim of domestic violence was injured as a result of the assault.

Domestic Assault Fourth Degree

Also known as Domestic Violence, Fourth Degree.

A Misdemeanor to E Felony

A person commits the offense of domestic assault in the fourth degree if the act involves a domestic victim, as the term “domestic victim” is defined under Missouri law and;

  • The person attempts to cause or recklessly causes physical injury, physical pain, or illness to such domestic victim;
  • with criminal negligence, the person causes physical injury to such domestic victim by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument;
  • the person purposely places such domestic victim in the apprehension of immediate physical injury by any means;
  • the person recklessly engages in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to such domestic victim;
  • the person knowingly causes physical contact with such domestic victim knowing he or she will regard the contact as offensive;
  • or the person knowingly attempts to cause or causes the isolation of such domestic victim by unreasonably and substantially restricting or limiting his or her access to other persons, telecommunication devices, or transportation for the purpose of isolation.

Fourth-degree domestic assault is categorized uniquely as a misdemeanor. However, if the accused has a history of assault, this charge can escalate to a Class E felony.

Domestic Assault Repeat Offender

The offense of domestic assault in the fourth degree is a class A misdemeanor unless the person has previously been found guilty

  • of the offense of domestic assault,
  • of any assault offense under the domestic assault chapter,
  • or of any offense against a domestic victim committed in violation of any county or municipal ordinance in any state, any state law, any federal law, or any military law which if committed in this state two or more times would be a violation of this section, in which case it is a class E felony.

The offenses described above may be against the same domestic victim or against different domestic victims.

Domestic Assault Frequently Asked Questions

Krupp Law Firm Can Help You

Seek help, as early as possible. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available at 1−800−799−7233.

Domestic Assault charges are often misunderstood, and you may have a great defense, but especially in these cases compared to other cases, having domestic assault attorneys on your side early is important to prevent harsh and unnecessary consequences in the future.

You should seek to hire someone who has experience in the field, who has built up domestic violence cases on the other side by prosecuting those cases, who has handled many different scenarios of domestic violence accusations, and who has tried and won domestic assault cases. We’re confident that you will find that here at the Krupp Law Firm.

James Krupp, St. Louis Criminal Defense Attorney

James Krupp, with over 30 years of experience practicing law in the State of Missouri, has a deep understanding of personal injury, criminal, and other legal matters. As a lifelong St. Louis resident, James is dedicated to helping people in all kinds of legal situations by working closely with his clients and obtaining outstanding results. With his extensive legal background and compassionate approach, James is a valuable asset for anyone facing domestic assault charges.

Clients have praised James Krupp for his excellent representation, stating that he is "a kind and understanding person to deal with" and "well connected, highly educated and able to help quickly." By choosing Krupp Law Firm for your domestic assault case, you'll be working with an attorney who is not only knowledgeable and experienced but also genuinely cares about the outcome of your case.

Ryan Krupp is a criminal defense attorney with a background in both the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and Johnson County District Attorney’s Office. Having appeared in court on behalf of the State of Missouri and Kansas in the criminal prosecution of domestic violence, assault, drug cases, SVU cases, juvenile offenders, and other felonies and misdemeanors, Ryan brings invaluable experience to your domestic assault case.

As someone born and raised in St. Louis and an alumnus of Marquette High School and Missouri Baptist University, Ryan is passionate about using his winning mindset to help people and ensure justice. His experience in prosecuting domestic violence cases, combined with his dedication to his clients, makes him an ideal attorney to represent those accused of domestic assault.

Ryan Krupp, St. Louis Criminal Defense Attorney
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