Domestic Violence Laws in Columbia, MO
The Law Firm of Haden & Colbert is dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence protect themselves through legal action and advocacy. Domestic violence can result in a variety of charges and in the state of Missouri, domestic violence laws criminalize violence against spouses, family members and persons with whom the offender is or has been in a romantic relationship.
Domestic violence is a serious crime and our team is trained to respect the victims dealing with this complicated, sensitive, and sometimes scary issue. The attorneys at Haden & Colbert are here to help abuse victims in Missouri understand and navigate our states complex legal system. We combine extensive sensitivity training with top-notch legal advice to help our clients pursue legal action and move past their abusive experience.
We know that victims are in a vulnerable state when they seek legal counsel for domestic abuse and we promise to advise and defend our clients to the best of our ability.
What Determines Domestic Violence in Missouri?
In the state of Missouri, domestic violence laws criminalize violence against spouses, family members and persons with whom the offender is or has been in a close or romantic relationship. There are many misconceptions about what differentiates domestic violence from other forms of abuse and our legal experts are trained to pursue the right legal action on your behalf. In addition to a physical altercation in a home, acts of domestic violence also include verbal threats of violence, assault, battery, or forms of harassment such as stalking.
The attorneys of Haden and Haden stand ready to help victims of domestic violence pursue legal action in the following areas:
Abuse by a current or former spouse
Abuse by a family member (known by blood or marriage)
Abuse by a person that lives or cohabitates with the victim
Abuse by a person that has a dating or romantic relationship with the victim
Abuse by an individual that shares a child and parental rights or responsibilities with the victim
What Happens During An Act Of Domestic Violence In Missouri?
If you or someone you know is currently being abused in a home then dial 9-1-1 to report the incident as soon as possible. The responding offers will open an investigation, interview both or multiple parties and witnesses, file an incident report, and respond to the situation at hand with necessary force as needed. If their investigation reveals enough evidence to establish that one or multiple individuals present are being abusive, that may result in an immediate arrest.
It is important to know that state police are not obligated to make an arrest as soon as they report to the scene. The state of Missouri differs from many other jurisdictions where it is mandatory to place an individual under arrest when they are called out to a domestic disturbance. This should not discourage victims from calling the police because an incident report will be filed regardless and have an impact on any future legal action.
The Four Types of Domestic Assault Charges In Missouri
In 2017 the state of Missouri added a fourth degree of domestic assault charges to ensure that victims are able to take legal action against any level of physical or isolating abuse, including non-life-threatening abuse.
For an alleged crime to result in domestic assault charges, the prosecutor must prove that the alleged aggressor and victim were related by blood, marriage, or in an intimate relationship. Here are the four types of charges that can be brought against an abuser in Missouri.
Domestic Assault In The 1st Degree: “A person commits the offense of domestic assault in the first degree if he or she attempts to kill or knowingly causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to a domestic victim, as the term “domestic victim” is defined under section 565.002. The offense of domestic assault in the first degree is a class B felony unless in the course thereof the person inflicts serious physical injury on the victim, in which case it is a class A felony.”
Domestic Assault In The 2nd Degree: “A person commits the offense of domestic assault in the second degree if the act involves a domestic victim, as the term “domestic victim” is defined under section 565.002, and he or she: (1) Knowingly causes physical injury to such domestic victim by any means, including but not limited to, use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, or by choking or strangulation; or (2) Recklessly causes serious physical injury to such domestic victim; or (3) Recklessly causes physical injury to such domestic victim by means of any deadly weapon. The offense of domestic assault in the second degree is a class D felony.”
Domestic Assault In The 3rd Degree: “A person commits the offense of domestic assault in the third degree if he or she attempts to cause physical injury or knowingly causes physical pain or illness to a domestic victim, as the term “domestic victim” is defined under section 565.002. The offense of domestic assault in the third degree is a class E felony.”
Domestic Assault In the 4th Degree: “A person commits the offense of domestic assault in the fourth degree if the act involves a domestic victim, as the term “domestic victim” is defined under section 565.002, and (1) The person attempts to cause or recklessly causes physical injury, physical pain, or illness to such domestic victim; (2) With criminal negligence the person causes physical injury to such domestic victim by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument; (3) The person purposely places such domestic victim in apprehension of immediate physical injury by any means; (4) The person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to such domestic victim; (5) The person knowingly causes physical contact with such domestic victim knowing he or she will regard the contact as offensive; or (6) The person knowingly attempts to cause or causes the isolation of such domestic victim by unreasonably and substantially restricting or limiting his or her access to other persons, telecommunication devices or transportation for the purpose of isolation.
The offense of domestic assault in the fourth degree is a class A misdemeanor unless the person has previously been found guilty of the offense of assault of a domestic victim two or more times, in which case it is a class E felony. The offenses described in this subsection may be against the same domestic victim or against different domestic victims.”
Contact An Experienced Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic violence can be complicated, but our lawyers are here to help. We will use our decades of experience to help you live a life free of abuse and represent you throughout the entire legal process. We recommend that you obtain or consult a domestic abuse advocate or legal counsel as soon as you feel that someone is threatening you in your home.
The Law Firm of Haden & Colbert was founded on the philosophy of providing a client-centered approach when offering legal advice and representation to our clients. Do you need legal help with a domestic violence case? We’re here for you. Schedule your free initial consultation today.