What is Domestic Assault in Missouri?

A photo depicting a domestic assault perpetrator and domestic victim.

Domestic violence occurs at an alarming rate in the U.S. and many other nations around the world. The domestic assault rates in each state vary. However, Missouri is routinely ranked near the top for the number of domestic assault cases as well as the number of women murdered by men.

The most recent data compiled by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) suggests that more than 36 percent of women and 40 percent of men have experienced “intimate partner physical violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetime.” 

Because domestic assault is such a problem, these cases are taken very seriously. And, we know that innocent people are accused every day. 

Those accused of domestic assault typically face an uphill battle. They must deal with the stigma, understanding the charges, potentially losing access to their home, being separated from their children, and the potential criminal consequences if convicted. 

Many of these things can occur before an actual conviction or trial. For this reason, those charged with domestic assault or domestic violence charges in Missouri should consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Contact a domestic assault lawyer in Jefferson City, MO at Kirsch and Kirsch today at 573-222-0826 for your free, confidential consultation. 

What is Considered Domestic Assault in Missouri?

Generally, domestic violence is the deliberate act of intimidation, physical violence, sexual assault, or another form of abuse committed by one intimate partner against another.
The acts, frequency, and severity of domestic assault cases vary. Domestic assault can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the severity of the case. 

Since there are so many forms of domestic assault, Missouri classifies each case based on the attributes mentioned above. In all, the Revised Statues of Missouri define four degrees of domestic assault recognized by the law. Learn more about each below. 

4th Degree Domestic Assault

Domestic assault in the fourth degree is a Class A misdemeanor offense. However, repeat offenders can be charged with a Class E felony. A person can be charged and potentially convicted if they carry out the following acts, but not limited to: 

  • Attempts to cause or recklessly causes physical harm, pain, or sickness to a “domestic victim” 
  • Threatens physical violence or injury to a domestic victim 
  • Reckless or purposeful engagement in acts that create a “substantial risk of death or injury” to a domestic victim
  • Knowingly causes physical contact that the domestic victim deems offensive 
  • Consciously isolates the domestic victim or restricts access to communication, family, friends, transportation, etc. for the purposes of isolation 

3rd Degree Domestic Assault

Third-degree domestic assault occurs when an individual knowingly causes or attempts physical injury, pain, or illness to a domestic victim. A 3rd-degree domestic assault charge is a Class E felony. 

2nd Degree Domestic Assault 

Domestic assault in the 2nd degree is a class D felony. It is defined as a person:

  • Knowingly causes a physical injury to a domestic victim “by any means necessary,” including the use of a deadly weapon, dangerous instrument, choking, strangulation, etc.


  • Recklessly causes a serious physical injury to a domestic victim. 
  • Recklessly injures a domestic victim with a deadly weapon. 

1st Degree Domestic Assault

Domestic assault in the first degree can be a class B felony unless the perpetrator inflicts serious injuries to a domestic victim. In that case, it is a class A felony. An individual commits first-degree domestic assault if they attempt to kill a domestic victim or knowingly causes a serious injury. 

What Are The Penalties For Domestic Assault in Missouri? 

The penalties for a domestic assault conviction vary depending on the charges, history of domestic assault, and other circumstances of the case. Generally, if you’re charged with domestic assault in Jefferson City, Missouri, you potentially face the following consequences.

  • Fines from $1,000 – $10,000
  • Imprisonment ranging from less than a year or up to 30 years depending on the charge
  • Order of Protection or Restraining Order
  • Child custodial issues 
  • Restitution for damages 

Suppose you have been charged with domestic assault in Jefferson City or the surrounding area. In that case, it’s in your best interest to contact a proven Missouri domestic assault criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. 

Contact The Criminal Defense Lawyers at Kirsch & Kirsch Today

Domestic violence is an issue that must be addressed in Missouri. However, many innocent people are charged. At Kirsch & Kirsch, we understand that there are two sides to every story. Our domestic assault lawyers are here to listen to your side and defend you against domestic assault charges. 

Many defenses can be used against domestic assault charges, but the best defense is hiring a skilled criminal defense lawyer in Jefferson City, MO. Contact Kirsch & Kirsch today at 573-222-0826 for your confidential consultation.