Defending Your Rights In Aggravated Assault Cases
Penalties for causing or attempting to cause death or serious bodily harm are very harsh. If you have been charged with an assault crime, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
At Richard H. Sindel, Inc., we have extensive experience in all types of state and federal assault crimes, including first-degree assault, second-degree assault and third-degree assault. We have successfully represented numerous people accused of assault, sexual assault and attempted murder. When you retain our firm to represent you, we will fight for your rights and freedom.
What Is Considered Aggravated Assault In Missouri?
In Missouri, the crime of “aggravated assault” does not exist in the formal sense, and there is no exact definition of an aggravated assault charge.
Instead, Missouri law divides assault into three categories: first-degree assault, second-degree assault and third-degree assault. There are enhanced penalties when the victim of the crime suffers serious injuries, assault with a deadly weapon is used in the commission of a crime or certain other conditions apply.
Defining the types of aggravated assault charges in Missouri
In Missouri, first-degree assault is defined as knowingly causing serious physical injury to another person or attempting to kill another person with malice aforethought. First-degree assault is a class B felony unless it causes serious injury, in which case it is considered a class A felony. (Missouri Revised Statutes § 565.050)
Serious physical injury is defined as physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ.
Second-Degree Assault – Missouri Revised Statutes § 565.052
This statute outlines the definition and penalties for the second degree assault in Missouri. It states that a person commits assault in the second degree if they engage in any of the following actions:
- Attempt to kill or knowingly cause or attempt to cause serious physical injury to another person while under the influence of sudden passion arising from adequate cause.
- Attempt to cause or knowingly cause physical injury to another person by using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
- Recklessly cause serious physical injury to another person.
- Recklessly cause physical injury to another person by discharging a firearm.
The statute also notes that the defendant has the burden of proving that they were acting under the influence of sudden passion arising from adequate cause in situations covered by subdivision (1) of subsection 1.
Finally, the statute specifies that assault in the second degree is generally classified as a class D felony. However, if the victim of the assault is considered a “special victim” under Missouri law (such as a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or child), the offense is elevated to a class B felony.
565.054. Assault in the third degree. — 1. A person commits the offense of assault in the third degree if he or she knowingly causes physical injury to another person.
2. The offense of assault in the third degree is a class E felony, unless the victim of such assault is a special victim, as the term “special victim” is defined under section 565.002, in which case it is a class D felony.
Consult With Respected Assault Defense Lawyers About Your Case
At Richard H. Sindel, Inc., we are a team of criminal defense attorneys that aggressively defends the rights and freedom of people accused of felony crimes. We have the experience and trial advocacy skills needed to demonstrate to prosecutors, judges and juries that a particular crime did not meet the definition of the crime or does not warrant enhanced penalties.
In your case, we will provide tenacious defense representation, seeking the best possible outcome for you. For a consultation with a St. Louis lawyer, email Richard H. Sindel, Inc. We have earned a reputation for our strength in trial. Let us apply our talents to your assault defense case today.