Protecting against overcharging is a key aspect of criminal defense. Often the facts of a particular case don’t warrant the charges that are initially filed, and defendants end up facing possible penalties that don’t fit the reality of the situation. In other cases, no crime has been committed at all, and the charge is false.

From the moment an accused individual comes into contact with law enforcement until the legal matter is resolved, it is important to have a skilled criminal defense attorney to protect against overcharging and false allegations.

Two University of Missouri basketball players were arrested in September on suspicion of third-degree assault, but recently the charges against the young men were reduced to peace disturbance by fighting. In Missouri, a peace disturbance charge can result from a wide variety of actions, including the following:

  • Fighting
  • Loud noise
  • Threatening to commit a felonious act against another person in such a way that makes that person believe the act will be committed
  • Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic
  • Obstructing another person’s entry to or exit from a private or public place
  • Creating an offensive odor

The possible penalties for a peace disturbance conviction increase with each subsequent conviction.

In this particular case, the two freshman basketball players, along with another 22-year-old man, are accused of fighting with three other individuals who are not charged with a crime. Initially, the basketball players were arrested on suspicion of the more serious offense of third-degree assault. The Boone County prosecutor reduced the charge to peace disturbance by fighting after reviewing the available information regarding the alleged incident. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has more details on the case.

For more on protecting the rights and freedom of college students facing criminal charges, please visit our Missouri criminal defense website.