Assault Attorney in Thayer, Missouri
Having a criminal record for any reason can haunt you for the rest of your life. One that labels you as a violent person, such as a conviction for assault, can be even more damaging. Even a misdemeanor assault conviction can harm your future.
If you have been charged with assault in Thayer, Missouri, or in West Plains or anywhere in the Ozarks and North Central Arkansas region, you need a solid defense. At The Law Office of Fred O’Neill, I have been providing aggressive criminal defense for clients facing assault and other charges for more than 30 years.
What is Assault?
Assault in general is attempting to harm, threaten, or cause physical injury, pain, or illness to another person. If that person lives or lived with you or is a family member, spouse, or someone with whom you have or had an intimate relationship, it constitutes domestic assault or abuse.
There are four degrees of assault in Missouri. Fourth-degree assault is charged as a misdemeanor. Third-degree assault is a class E felony. Assault in the second degree, a class D felony, may involve the attempt to kill someone in the heat of the moment. Assault in the first degree, the most serious assault charge, involves the intentional attempt to kill someone or seriously injure them. It is a class B felony.
In all cases, if the victim is a “special victim,” such as a law enforcement or corrections officer, emergency responders, an elderly, disabled, or vulnerable person, or a transportation or transit worker, the charge is aggravated assault, which rises to a higher class of misdemeanor or felony.
Related to assault charges are harassment charges which result when a person causes and attempts to cause emotional distress to someone else.
What Are Possible Penalties
for an Assault Conviction?
Misdemeanor conviction penalties in Missouri include fines and/or a jail sentence for up to one year. Class D and E felonies may be punishable by up to one year in jail, while felony convictions may involve prison sentences ranging from four years to up to life in prison, depending on the circumstances.
How Can Legal Counsel Help?
An experienced criminal defense attorney can help clarify the circumstances of the incident that resulted in the charges filed against you. Those circumstances may provide a variety of possible defenses. For example, you may have been wrongly identified as the perpetrator, or you may have been defending yourself or someone else. Your attorney will seek to have the charges dropped or pursue a defense in court that results in acquittal.
Your lawyer will also work to reduce charges which may greatly impact punishment. Proving that the assault occurred in the heat of the moment rather than as a calculated act could make the difference between a conviction for a Class D felony and a Class B felony. Prison terms for the former are up to seven years; for the latter, up to 15 years.
A Real Sense of Justice
I became a lawyer to help people. Everyone, no matter who they are and regardless of guilt or innocence, deserves a compassionate and aggressive criminal defense. At The Law Office of Fred O’Neill, I am dedicated to delivering the best possible results for my clients, even under the worst circumstances possible.
in Thayer, Missouri
If you have been charged with assault in Thayer, Missouri, or anywhere in the Ozarks region, the difference between conviction or acquittal, misdemeanor or felony, may lie with my three decades of experience as a criminal defense attorney. Whatever the circumstances, rest assured that I will work as hard for you as I would for myself in the same situation. Set up a consultation with me today.