Class C Misdemeanor – Assault in the Fourth Degree
Many people know of the term “assault and battery,” however, in Missouri there is not a “battery” charge. Instead, an act of inflicting physical harm or unwanted physical contact (or the threat of which) is simply referred to as “assault” in Missouri. Assault in the fourth degree is the least ‘serious’ of the assault charges and is the only assault charge considered a misdemeanor.
Misdemeanor Assault Statute
According to MO Rev Statute, Title XXXVIII. Chapter 565.056, a person is guilty of assault in the fourth degree if:
(1) The person attempts to cause or recklessly causes physical injury, physical pain, or illness to another person;
(2) With criminal negligence the person causes physical injury to another person by means of a firearm;
(3) The person purposely places another person in apprehension of immediate physical injury;
(4) The person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person;
(5) The person knowingly causes or attempts to cause physical contact with a person with a disability, which a reasonable person, who does not have a disability, would consider offensive or provocative; or
(6) The person knowingly causes physical contact with another person knowing the other person will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
Penalty of Conviction
In Missouri, Assault in the fourth degree is a Class A misdemeanor. Subsections 3 and 6 are a Class C misdemeanor unless the victim is a special victim (see section 14) in which case they too are considered Class A misdemeanors. A conviction of a Class A misdemeanor carries a punishment of imprisonment for up to 1 year and/or fines of up to $2,000. Whereas a Class C misdemeanor includes imprisonment for up to 15 days and/or fines of up to $750.