Assault charges are serious and can have devastating consequences if you're convicted. At minimum, you could face jail time, a fine, and restitution payments to the victim. But it doesn't just stop with punishment through the justice system. Your whole community—family, friends, Joe Blow who you don't even know—might stigmatize you as a violent person. Anyone running a background check on you can see that conviction and pass judgment. Your housing options may become limited, and depending on your occupation, you could even lose your job or professional license.
Missouri Assault Laws
In general, an "assault" occurs when a person causes or attempts to cause physical contact with another person, without the other person's consent. This basic definition can mean any number of things, from the slightest touch to a punch in the face. For that reason, Missouri criminalizes four "degrees" of assault. The conduct constituting each degree of criminal assault is defined by statute, and the maximum punishment ranges from 15 days to life imprisonment, with fines of up to $10,000.
The slideshow below provides a condensed overview of Missouri assault laws:
Assault, First Degree - RSMo. § 565.050
Attempt to kill, or knowingly cause or attempt to cause serious physical injury
Class B felony
Class A felony
10-30 years, or life
*** "Special Victims" include various types of law enforcement officers and emergency service personnel; the elderly and other vulnerable persons; utility and highway workers; and public transit employees.