When to Hire an Assault Lawyer
Often, police, prosecutors, defendants, and even judges use the term “assault and battery” as a single phrase. However, many states actually differentiate between the two. Two states with differing rules for assault and battery are Kansas and Missouri. In Kansas, the term “assault” refers to any situation where one party makes a threat that they can reasonably follow through on. In contrast, “battery” refers to one party causing actual physical harm to another party.
However, Missouri treats these crimes differently. In fact, there’s no crime in Missouri called “Battery.” Instead, crimes that other states would consider battery are just lower levels of assault.
In Kansas, like in most states, assault and battery are two different crimes. Often, Kansas law uses terms like “knowingly” or “recklessly.” These terms each have specific legal definitions:
- Someone acts knowingly when they know their actions could reasonably cause another person harm. For instance, if a person attacks another with a knife, they can reasonably assume that their actions will cause damage or death.
- Someone is “reckless” when they identify a risk in a situation and decide to act anyway. For example, if someone street races on the highway.
If the state is charging you with assault or battery, it’s important to consult a lawyer immediately. A lawyer can help you draft an answer to the charges against you in your assault and battery case and represent you in court.
Types of Assault Charges
These definitions are important to an assault and battery lawyer. If they can prove that their client didn’t act knowingly or recklessly, they may be able to dismiss their clients’ case.
Instead of having any battery laws, Missouri has differing levels of assault charges. Assault charges in Missouri can depend on several factors. They include:
- First-degree assault includes attempting to kill someone or cause them serious injury. First-degree assault is a Class B felony punishable by up to 15 years in jail.
- Second-degree assault includes causing serious injury or death to another person while in the clutches of an act of passion. Also includes causing harm through recklessly shooting a gun. Second-degree assault is a Class D felony punishable by up to seven years of incarceration and $10,000 in fines.
- Third-degree assault is a crime where one party knowingly injures another, but that injury may not be serious. Class E felony punishable by up to four years in jail and $10,000 in fines.
- Fourth-degree assault includes recklessly causing an injury or pain or causing some kind of physical contact that might be considered offensive. Fourth-degree assault is only a misdemeanor that could result in up to one year in jail and $2,000 in fines.
While these crimes don’t specifically designate “battery” as a crime, punishments that would usually be equated with battery in other states are considered low-level assaults in Missouri.
In the Kansas City, MO area, the location where someone commits a crime is an important piece of information. It will determine which state’s laws you’ve broken and which consequences you’ll face. However, when you hire Jeff as your violent crimes lawyer, you don’t need to worry about that. With more than three decades of experience, he understands how assault and battery laws work on either side of the state line. If you need help, call Jeff today to schedule your free consultation.