Under Missouri law, criminal charges are separated into three categories: Felonies, Misdemeanors, and Infractions. Even though misdemeanors appear in the middle category, dealing with misdemeanors should still be taken seriously as they can result in large monetary fines and possible jail time. The state of Missouri classifies misdemeanors into four categories, with Class A being the most…
A Missouri Victim Representation Attorney Discusses Domestic Violence Laws
A qualified victim representation attorney can be important, if not an essential, resource to assist in a domestic violence situation in Missouri, particularly given the amorphous nature of the term itself. Domestic violence can include the entire range of sexual, emotional, and physical abuse. Various types of domestic violence include abuse, neglect, domestic assault, stalking, and more.
In Missouri, regardless of whether you are the initial aggressor in the situation, both parties involved in a violent altercation can still be arrested and charged with violation of a domestic violence law. If you are the victim in the situation, ensure your advantage and consult with a victim representation attorney to better equip yourself with the legal tools at your disposal.
Understanding Domestic Violence Cases
Throughout the past few years, Missouri has both amended existing laws and enacted new legislation to address deficiencies in domestic violence law. Accompanying this new wave of increased legislative attention is the increased attention from the police, with many counties and jurisdictions, specifically designating units and dedicating areas to deal with the increasing spotlight.
For example, in 2017, the fourth degree of domestic assault charge was added. This addition allows victims to seek prosecution for any physical or isolating abuse, regardless of whether the act was life-threatening. However, the relationship requirement, either familial or intimate relationship, to classify an assault as domestic violence remains.
Types of Charges
As a result, those accused and charged with domestic violence are increasingly facing aggressive prosecution from district attorneys, harsher punishments imposed by the courts, and less leniency overall from the judicial and executive branches in Missouri.
Possible respective punishments related to domestic violence charges are separated into how the crime was ultimately classified:
- Class A: 10 years – life imprisonment
- Class B: 5-15 years
- Class C: up to 7 years, and a possible fine not to exceed $5,000
- Class D: up to 4 years, and a possible fine not to exceed $5,000
- Misdemeanor: up to 1-year imprisonment, and a possible fine not to exceed $1,000
Complications and Various Issues
The primary complication for domestic violence issues stems from the intimate or familial relationship, which is necessary for a domestic violence charge. In other words, it usually requires those involved in the relationship to testify against another person. Regardless of the abuse, such a request is still emotionally taxing on the person for various emotional, psychological, and financial factors. In addition, a witness to any domestic violence may not want to testify for fear of later retribution against them.
Notwithstanding any of the legitimate complications present within such domestic violence cases, it is essential to seek help when suffering from such a situation. A proper victim representation attorney can be one of the easiest first steps in helping to intervene in this problem.
Proper Legal Defense
It is crucial to seek professional legal representation when
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NOTE: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice
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