Between 40,000 and 50,000 domestic violence incidents are reported to Missouri law enforcement every year. Missouri law is unrelenting on those charged with these crimes, especially when the person charged has been convicted for domestic violence offenses before.
A domestic violence conviction can result in lost relationships, jobs, housing opportunities, and freedom. If you have been charged with one, whether you are guilty of the charges or not, you deserve the best criminal defense possible. The prosecution will be aggressive, so your attorney needs to be able to fight back.
I founded The Alsobrook Law Firm to use my decade of experience as a prosecuting attorney to help clients charged with criminal offenses. If you have been charged with domestic violence in Kansas City, Missouri, or in the states of Missouri or Kansas, you can put my experience to work for you.
Domestic assault in Missouri is threatening, attempting, or knowingly causing physical injury or pain to a domestic victim. A “domestic victim” includes:
A current or former spouse
Relative by blood or marriage
Someone you live or used to live with
A current or former romantic or intimate partner;
Someone with whom you share a child, regardless of your relationship with the co-parent
Charges can range from domestic assault in the fourth degree, a misdemeanor, for recklessly or negligently causing injury, placing a victim in fear of injury, engaging in conduct that creates a substantial risk to the victim, touching the victim without consent, or isolating the victim, to domestic assault in the first degree. First-degree assault involves inflicting or attempting to inflict serious physical injury or attempting to kill the victim. Domestic assault in the third, second, and first degree are felonies. Prior offenders can have the class of felony moved up, resulting in greater penalties.
In addition to domestic assault, domestic violence crimes include stalking, false imprisonment, kidnapping, elder abuse, rape, child molestation or sexual abuse, harassment, and coercion.
Law enforcement can arrest you for domestic violence if there is probable cause, even if they didn’t witness the incident. Bail can be denied if the prosecuting attorney can demonstrate that you are a threat to the alleged victims or others.
Convictions range from misdemeanors to felonies. Penalties are based on the severity of the injuries, prior convictions, and whether or not weapons were used. They include:
Jail or prison incarceration. This ranges from up to one year in jail for a Class A misdemeanor to 10 years to life in prison for a Class A felony conviction.
Fines. Fines range from up to $2,000 for a misdemeanor to up to $10,000 for a Class D felony conviction.
Completion of anger management and intervention programs.
Loss of certain privileges such as the ability to possess firearms. Missouri law prohibits those convicted of a felony from owning or possessing a firearm. Federal law prohibits the same for misdemeanor domestic violence convictions or convictions for violating orders of protection.
Loss of child custody and parenting privileges.
Deportation if you are not a U.S. citizen.
Although these are the penalties you face under the law, you can lose significantly more if convicted of a domestic violence crime. You may lose your job or the potential for advancement, or a professional license. Your personal relationships with partners, family, children, and friends will suffer. If you are convicted of a domestic violence charge related to sexual abuse, you will be required to register as a sex offender.
An experienced criminal defense attorney will help you mount a defense against any charges. Three general defenses include:
An alleged victim can accuse someone of something they never did or embellish the actual event to make the alleged perpetrator appear to have committed a violent domestic act. If yours is a case of one person’s word against another, your domestic violence defense attorney can help document evidence of the truth. Law enforcement and the courts initially take the word of the alleged victim over yours and will take immediate steps to protect them until the facts are discerned.
If you inflicted bodily injury or even death upon the alleged victim while attempting to defend yourself against them, your attorney will work to prove self-defense.
You must intend to harm the other person, even if it is only a threat. Injury to someone else without your intent is a defense. For example, you and your spouse have an argument. You leave the house, slam the door, and one of the panes of glass breaks and falls, cutting your spouse’s foot. There was no intent to cause harm, even during the course of a domestic argument.
In the eyes of the law, domestic violence is more egregious because it is committed against a member of the household or someone with whom you have or had an intimate relationship. Those relationships make them more emotional and more volatile and often have higher stakes than convictions for crimes against strangers.
Whether domestic violence charges are justified or not, you deserve the best criminal defense possible. There are always two sides to every story. I can help protect your rights and ensure your side of the story is heard. Call or reach out to my office today to schedule your own one-on-one case consultation.
At The Alsobrook Law Firm, I have prosecuted those charged with everything from DUI to first-degree murder. I now use my prosecutorial experience to defend those charged with crimes, including domestic violence. If you have been charged in Kansas City, Missouri, or elsewhere in Missouri or Kansas, call me today to discuss your case. I know the prosecution is not waiting. You shouldn’t either. Call my office now.