What to do, when what started out, as a simple argument, turns physical, the Police are called, and now you are facing a Criminal Charge for Domestic Assault, which can be filed as a Class A Misdemeanor, or in some circumstances, a Felony.
FIRST: You absolutely need Legal counsel. There are Landmines (yes, hidden IEDs), that might not even explode until your case is over, and often because you did not know the consequences of a Conviction. Even if the case is filed as an A Misdemeanor, that alone subjects you fines, AND up to 1 Year in Jail. That, however, is NOT all that is at stake.
SECOND: Of all the things added to Missouri’s Expungement Rules, “Domestic” Assault, was not included.
THIRD: Have you every read ATF Form 4473? Have you read the Federal Gun Control Act?
Yes, there is a lot involved, and you need to deal with issues faced in Court, with experienced and knowledgeable Legal Counsel.
FOURTH: Many people in these situations are Boyfriend/Girlfriend, or Husband/Wife, and by the time the Criminal Charge is filed, they have already made up. Guess what? The victim CAN’T just drop the charge! The number of people that initially believe this, is amazing. These cases, are not CIVIL, like a Divorce case. They are Criminal cases, and so the Victim is NOT the Petitioner. The Petitioner, is the State of Missouri VS. Jack or Jill. If “Jack” is the Defendant, then “Jill” is only a witness for the State. Jill, no longer can dismiss the case. Only the State of Missouri, meaning the Prosecutor’s Office could make that decision. Also, “Jill” is not necessarily the only witness for the State. Law enforcement that were called, and responded, all write up their own statements, and reports, and if the case were to go to Trial, both Law enforcement, and the Victim, would be subpoenaed (a Court Order) to appear and testify. So, the State, doesn’t necessarily just have the Victim, who might even want to see the case dismissed; but the State also often has Law enforcement, and, in some cases, other witnesses, bystanders, etc. available to testify for the State.
On most of these cases, Convictions can be avoided; but you need experienced Legal Counsel to make sure that you get the best results possible. Steven Groce, Attorney (35 years experience, as of 2019). Defending your Record, and your Rights!
Steven Groce, Attorney
1705 N. Jefferson Ave.
Springfield, MO. 65803
Missouri Revised Statutes, pertaining to Assault:
Assault, first degree, penalty. (1/1/2017)
Assault, second degree, penalty. (1/1/2017)
Assault in the third degree. (1/1/2017)
Assault in the fourth degree. (1/1/2017)
Domestic assault, first degree — penalty. (1/1/2017)
Domestic assault, second degree — penalty. (1/1/2017)
Domestic assault, third degree — penalty. (1/1/2017)
Domestic assault in the fourth degree, penalty. (8/28/2017)
Prior and persistent assault offenders — definitions — sentencing — … (1/1/2017)