Assault And Battery Charges Have Harsh Penalties
If you have been charged with assault in St. Louis, you need aggressive legal representation from an experienced assault and battery attorney. Whether a domestic violence altercation between two well-acquainted people, or a shooting, punching or stabbing incident, the St. Louis assault and battery defense attorneys at Rogers Sevastianos & Bante LLP can provide effective and aggressive legal assistance.
We have handled cases for a broad range of clients, including nationally renowned sports figures and other high-profile individuals and cases. For instance:
- We recently defended a local professional accused of assaulting a prospective employee. We successfully demonstrated to the jury that the accuser’s hysterical voice-recorded accusations were inconsistent with other facts of the case, resulting in a win.
- We recently defended an individual who was involved in a fistfight in a bar that led to a fatality. We successfully argued that our client made the fatal punch in self-defense.
Decades Of Combined Criminal Defense Experience
Missouri assault and battery crimes can come with serious consequences if convicted. Typically, a conviction is part of the public record, meaning that it can be found by anyone who has enough curiosity and knows where to look. A felony on your record is something that can stick with you for the rest of your life.
In addition to legal issues, some of the specific issues that can arise in your daily life as a result of an assault conviction include the following:
- Difficulty getting a job – More and more employers are making a criminal background check a standard part of the hiring process. Conviction of a violent crime such as assault can raise red flags for potential employers and may make it very difficult to secure employment. Additionally, convicted felons are prohibited from holding certain types of jobs, such as law enforcement, the education system and those in the medical industry.
- Forfeiture of certain civil rights – While completing your sentence and probation/parole, you’ll lose your right to vote and partake in jury duty. Upon completion of your sentence, you can re-apply to restore your voting rights. However, under Missouri and Federal Law, convicted felons are not allowed to possess firearms or run for state or local office in Missouri.
- Difficulty renting an apartment – Landlords regularly conduct background checks on people who want to rent their apartments or homes and may not want to rent to someone who has been convicted of a violent crime.
- Sanctions imposed by your school or work – If you are currently employed or attending school, an assault conviction could result in sanctions being imposed by your employer or the school’s administration, including those as serious as expulsion or termination.
Missouri Assault And Battery Law
What Is The Difference Between Assault And Battery?
The main difference between assault and battery is that battery requires intentional physical contact with the victim, while assault merely requires the threat of violence, placing the victim in fear of physical harm.
In Missouri, battery is a more serious form of an assault charge and will lead to worse felony assault charges. In Illinois, battery is its own criminal charge, with harsher penalties than assault. Regardless of where your charges occur, it is wise to recruit a proven St. Louis criminal defense attorney to ensure your rights are protected in these cases.
A person commits assault in the first degree if they attempt to kill or cause serious injury to another person. It is considered a class B felony unless the victim is seriously injured, in which case it is classified as a Class A felony.
Second-degree assault is a Class C felony and can be committed in a variety of ways. A person commits second-degree assault if they:
- Attempt to kill or knowingly cause serious physical injury to another person while under the influence of sudden passion arising out of adequate cause
- Attempt to cause or knowingly cause physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument
- Recklessly cause serious physical injury to another person
- Recklessly cause physical injury to another person by means of discharge of a firearm
An individual commits assault in the third degree if they:
- Attempt to cause or recklessly cause physical injury to another person
- Cause physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon
- Purposely place another person in apprehension of immediate physical injury
- Recklessly engage in conduct which creates a grave risk of death or serious physical injury to another person
- Knowingly cause physical contact with another person knowing the other person will regard the contact as offensive or provocative
- Knowingly cause physical contact with an incapacitated person, which a reasonable person who is not incapacitated would consider offensive or provocative
Assault in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor unless the person places another person in apprehension of immediate physical injury or knowingly causes offensive or provocative physical contact with another person, in which case, it is a Class C misdemeanor.
Difference Between Missouri And Federal Assault Charges
Assault and battery charges typically fall under state laws, however, some situations could fall under federal law depending on where the incident occurred. For example, if a person commits a crime on federal property, such as a park or other land or building owned by the federal government, or harms a federal officer or employee, they will face federal charges.
The differences between Missouri and Federal convictions primarily is who has power over the case (District Court/Federal Court, local/state police or FBI/DEA, State Prosecuting Attorney or U.S. Attorneys, Missouri State Judge or U.S. Federal Judge), and the penalties for assault and battery crimes. Typically, federal penalties are longer than state penalties for the same or similar crimes.
Schedule A Free Consultation With A St. Louis Assault Defense Lawyer
Assault and battery is a serious offense. If you are facing an assault and battery charge in Missouri, call Rogers Sevastianos & Bante LLP today. With 100-plus years of combined experience in criminal defense cases, we can prepare an effective defense and work tirelessly to protect your rights and produce the best possible outcome for your case. To schedule a no-charge consultation with a firm that has handled more than 200 jury trials, call (314) 354-8484 or reach out online to schedule your appointment.