In Missouri, the law distinguishes between assault and domestic assault. Domestic assault laws apply when the victim is a family or household member or an adult who is or has been in a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the alleged perpetrator. Domestic assault can be a misdemeanor or felony crime depending on the specific circumstances surrounding your case. Whether you have been charged with misdemeanor domestic assault or felony domestic assault, you are facing a significant legal problem that requires the immediate help of a qualified and skilled St. Louis domestic assault lawyer.
A first offense for domestic assault that does not result in physical injury is likely to be charged as a misdemeanor. Conviction can result in jail time, court-ordered batterers’ intervention classes or anger management classes, and limitations on the right to own or possess a firearm. Subsequent offenses and offenses involving serious violence and injury are likely to be charged as felonies and carry far greater consequences.
Domestic violence cases are often associated with the dissolution of a relationship. In divorce proceedings or child custody disputes, one spouse may fabricate or exaggerate domestic assault accusations to gain leverage. Often, an individual may be charged with domestic assault as a result of one spouse filing for an Ex Parte Order of Protection.