St. Louis Domestic Violence Attorney

Missouri police and prosecutors take domestic violence cases seriously. A conviction for Domestic Assault can have life altering consequences, including but not limited to a jail or prison sentence, the inability to legally own or purchase a firearm, substantial fines, the loss of child custody/visitation and a permanent criminal record.

However, just because you have been accused of domestic violence, doesn’t mean you should be convicted. In every Domestic Violence case, there are two sides to the story. Often times, arguments get out of hand. In the heat of the moment, one party may exaggerate or flat out lie about what happened to get revenge.
 

Facing Domestic Violence Charges? Contact The Law Offices of Brian J. Cooke

 
When facing charges of domestic violence, having a strong and experienced attorney by your side is crucial. Brian J. Cooke, a respected St. Louis domestic violence attorney, provides compassionate and effective legal representation. At The Law Offices of Brian J. Cooke, we understand the complex dynamics of these cases and work diligently to ensure that your rights are protected and your side of the story is heard.

Choosing to work with Brian J. Cooke means putting your trust in an attorney who has a deep understanding of Missouri law and a commitment to fighting for the best outcome.

Don’t leave your future to chance. Contact The Law Offices of Brian J. Cooke to discuss your case and explore your legal options. Our team is ready to provide the support and defense you need during this challenging time.

Our firm handles a wide range of Domestic Violence, including:

Domestic Assault
Parental Kidnapping
Abuse of an Elderly Person
Stalking
Endangering the Welfare of A Child
Ex Parte and Order of Protection Defense

Types of Domestic Assault Charges

Domestic Assault 4th Degree

A person commits the offense of domestic assault in the fourth degree if the act involves a domestic victim and: 

  • The person attempts to cause or recklessly causes physical injury, physical pain, or illness to such domestic victim;
  • With criminal negligence, the person causes physical injury to such domestic victim by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument;
  • The person purposely places such domestic victim in apprehension of immediate physical injury by any means;
  •  The person recklessly engages in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to such domestic victim;
  • The person knowingly causes physical contact with such domestic victim, knowing he or she will regard the contact as offensive; or
  • 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.

Domestic Assault 4th Degree is normally a Class A misdemeanor, with a range of punishment of up to one year in jail. However, if you have previously been found guilty of assault, domestic assault, or of any offense committed in a different state which, if committed in this state two or more times, would be a violation of this section, you can be charged with a Class E felony, with a range of punishment of up to four years in prison.

Domestic Assault 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.
Domestic Assault 2nd Degree
A person commits the offense of domestic assault in the second degree if the act involves a domestic victim and he or she:

  • Knowingly causes physical injury to such domestic victim by any means, including but not limited to the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, choking or strangulation; or
  • Recklessly causes serious physical injury to such domestic victims; or
  • Recklessly causes physical injury to such domestic victims by means of any deadly weapon.

Domestic Assault 2nd Degree is a Class D felony, with a range of punishment of up to 7 years in prison.

Domestic Assault 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.

Domestic Assault 1st Degree is a Class B felony with a range of punishment of 5 to 15 years in prison. However, if the assault results in serious physical injury, it can be charged as a Class A felony, with a range of punishment of 10 to 30 years or life in prison.

Protect Your Future With The Law Offices of Brian J. Cooke

If you or someone you know is facing charges of domestic assault, it is crucial to have skilled legal representation. At The Law Offices of Brian J. Cooke, we are dedicated to defending the rights of our clients. Failing to get proper legal support can result in severe consequences, including imprisonment, hefty fines, loss of parental rights, and a permanent criminal record. Protect your future by contacting us today for a comprehensive defense strategy and to ensure your side of the story is heard. Reach out now to discuss your case and explore your legal options.

Defenses to Domestic Assault Charges in Missouri

You Acted in Self-Defense or Defense of a Third Party
Just like with Missouri assault charges, if you were defending yourself or a third party, you may be able to beat your domestic assault charge.
The Allegation Is Not Credible
In many domestic assault cases, the allegation comes as retaliation for infidelity or other problems in the relationship. An experienced St. Louis criminal defense attorney can use these facts to question the victim’s account.
The Person Is Not Actually a Domestic Victim
A domestic victim is defined as a household or family member, which includes spouses, former spouses, any person related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together or have resided together in the past, any person who is or has been in a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, and anyone who has a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have resided together at any time.

Judicial Process in Domestic Violence Cases

 
The judicial process for domestic violence cases in Missouri focuses on protecting alleged victims and ensuring the rights of the accused are respected. Here’s a simplified overview:

Initial Arrest
When someone is charged with domestic violence, they are arrested, booked at the police station (which includes recording personal details, taking fingerprints, and a mugshot), and often held until a bail hearing can be arranged.
Bail Hearing
At this hearing, a judge reviews several factors to decide on the conditions of bail. These factors include the severity of the alleged offense, the accused’s criminal history, the risk they might pose to the alleged victim and community, and personal circumstances like community ties and family responsibilities. Bail conditions might involve restraining orders, GPS monitoring, or regular check-ins with a probation officer. In cases where the charges are not severe and there is no prior record, the accused may be released on their own recognizance.
Pre-Trial Stages
This phase includes handling pre-trial motions related to the admissibility of evidence and witness testimony, as well as arraignments, plea bargain discussions, and case management conferences.

Throughout the process, both the prosecution and defense actively prepare by gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and strategizing for trial. It’s crucial for the accused to have an experienced attorney to navigate these complexities, ensuring their rights are upheld while building a strong defense.

If you or someone you know is facing charges related to domestic violence, contact The Law Offices of Brian J. Cooke for skilled legal assistance. Our dedicated team can help navigate the complexities of your case and work towards the best possible outcome. Don’t hesitate, reach out today.

The Law Offices of Brian J. Cooke Offers a Strong Defense for Your Domestic Violence Case

 

If you or a loved one has been charged with domestic assault, it is crucial to contact an experienced St. Louis domestic violence attorney immediately. Often, the police and prosecutor will favor the complaining witness, overlooking any issues with their credibility. We are committed to ensuring that your side of the story is heard in court and that you are not victimized by a false accusation. To protect your rights and get the defense you deserve, contact The Law Offices of Brian J. Cooke today.

FAQ

Can you own a gun with Domestic Assault charge in Missouri?
No. Under federal law, you cannot own a firearm with a misdemeanor or felony domestic assault conviction or are subject to a restraining order in which the judge found that you had committed domestic violence. Missouri passed a Constitutional amendment to stop state law enforcement officials from enforcing federal gun laws. The Constitutional Amendment is currently being litigated in Federal Court. Generally, an SIS (suspended imposition of sentence), should not prevent you from owning a firearm after your probation is complete, since you did not receive a conviction.
Can the victim drop Missouri Domestic Assault charges with an affidavit of non-prosecution?
Techincally no. It is always to the state to charge someone or dismiss charges. Most prosecutors will consider the alleged victim’s desire to not to pursue charges. An Affidavit of non-prosecution is an informal legal document in which the purported victim notifies the prosecutor that he/she is not desirous of prosecution. Filing an affidavit of non-prosecution is helpful in getting the case dismissed, but not automatic. The prosecutor can still force the victim to come to court and testify.
What probation conditions are placed on someone convicted of Domestic Assault in Missouri?
Generally, the court will require that you have no contact with the alleged victim. Exceptions can be made for exchanging custody of a child. Additionally, the court will generally require that you complete the “Batterer’s intervention program”. The batterer’s intervention program is a long-term counseling program which requires several sessions per week. Probation and parole may also impose domestic violence conditions, which require you to disclose your conviction to anyone you are in a relationship with.
Can a Domestic Assault conviction be expunged in Missouri?
No. Any conviction involving Assault or Domestic Assault cannot be expunged.
Will a Domestic Assault charge cause me to lose custody of my children?
It can. Will a Domestic Assault conviction will not automatically cause you to lose custody, it can be considered in family court if your spouse tries to take your custodial rights away.
Can I talk to my spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend if I am charged with Domestic Assault?
Often, the alleged victim will contact the person charged with domestic assault to make up after the alleged domestic assault. However, if you respond you could be in violation of your bond conditions or probation conditions. This is true even if the alleged victim contacted you first. You could also be charged with tampering with a witness if you do anything to try to convince the other person to drop charges.
Can I return home if I have been charged with Domestic Assault?
Generally, if you have been charged with domestic assault, the judge will order that you stay away from the address where the alleged victim lives as a condition of your bond.

Practice Areas

Assault Charges

Domestic Violence

Drug Charges

DWI Charges

Fraud Charges

Juvenile Offenses

Murder Charges

Probation Violations

Sex Offenses

Stealing Charges

Traffic Tickets

Weapons Offenses

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