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  1. #1
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    May 2009
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    Default Assault 3rd Degree in Missouri

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Missouri My fiance and I were charged with assault 3rd degree after calling Wright City police to "what we thought" would be a sensible solution to my fiance coming back into the home to remove some personal items for the evening, until cooler heads could prevail. After the officers showed up they took our statements and issued is both tickets for assault 3rd degree. We did NOT press charges on each other and just simply wanted their assistance in diffusing the situation. We were given court dates which we both appeared together and explained to the judge and prosecuting attorney that we had no history of violence and were unsure as to why we had been charged. We were told we could either pay the fine of $150 and costs of $24.50 or ask for a trial in which the costs could be much greater, and would end up being found guilty anyway unless we hired an attorney. We dont have the money to pay attorney fees, and decided to pay our fine. We were not told that this would give us an automatic criminal record since we were essentially leading guilty.
    I can now not volunteer at my childrens school since I have a criminal history, their school does a background check on potential volunteers.
    I also am a professional person who has a history, which i feel is unfair. I have never even received a speeding ticket.
    My question is how to begin expungement proceedings, and do I stand a chance at this.
    Just seems when you contact law enforcement for help to diffuse, and it becomes a worse decision its simply unfair.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Assault 3rd Degree in Missouri

    Police are not babysitters. They dont just come out to make sure everyone is happy and move along. They obviously saw something or heard something which led to the tickets on both parts. They were doing there job. If you didnt want it on your record you should have gone to trial and not paid the tickets. I found below what it says about expungement in Missouri. You would definitely need to hire a lawyer and there is probably a certain amount of time you have to wait. By paying your fines, you pretty much plead guilty to the charge. I know you say it is unfair, and honestly, I know how you feel. But you have to remember, it's the government we are talking about and many things they do is not fair!

    Expungement

    In Missouri, under some circumstances, you may be able to have a criminal record expunged, which is the process of legally destroying, obliterating or striking out records or information in files, computers and other depositories relating to criminal charges.

    You are eligible in Missouri for expungement if your arrest was based on false information and the following conditions exist:

    There is no probable cause to believe you committed the offense
    No charges will be pursued as a result of the arrest
    You have no prior or subsequent misdemeanor or felony convictions
    You did not receive a suspended imposition of sentence for the offense
    No civil action is pending relating to the arrest or records sought to be expunged
    If you qualify, you may file a verified petition for expungement in the civil division of the circuit court in the county of your arrest. The court then sets a hearing on the matter no sooner than 30 days from the filing of the petition. If the court finds that you are entitled to expungement of any record, it must enter an order directing expungement.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Assault 3rd Degree in Missouri

    Quote Quoting kaylan1971
    View Post
    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Missouri My fiance and I were charged with assault 3rd degree after calling Wright City police to "what we thought" would be a sensible solution to my fiance coming back into the home to remove some personal items for the evening, until cooler heads could prevail. After the officers showed up they took our statements and issued is both tickets for assault 3rd degree. We did NOT press charges on each other and just simply wanted their assistance in diffusing the situation.

    The problem is that when police are summoned, their PRIORITY is to detect if a crime has been committed and respond accordingly. Things aren't like they were 20 years ago - where police showed up, separated parties, told one of them to take a walk around the block and cool off, and gave a stern warning that they'd better not have to come back. These days, domestic violence, including verbal threats or threatening actions (which constitue an assault) is treated as the CRIME that it is. It's even a crime if BOTH sides do it, and it's STILL a crime if both sides don't want charges brought (because the state prosecutes crimes on behalf of ALL of society, NOT just on behalf of any particular victim). Police are law enforcement officers, not marriage counselors, mediators, etc. If those are the services needed, there are people who provide those services. Inviting police into a already escalated situations like this one when angry words and actions have already been exchanged is risking one or both parties facing criminal charges. A better course of action, for the benefit of other posters, is to summon police to the scene BEFORE a confrontation errupts - even people who hate each other's guts will usually NOT escalate their behavior if a cop is standing right there - and prevention is preferable to reaction after the fact.


    We were given court dates which we both appeared together and explained to the judge and prosecuting attorney that we had no history of violence and were unsure as to why we had been charged.
    You were charged because in one or more ways, police believed, based on statements you both gave that the following statute was violated:


    Assault in the third degree.

    565.070. 1. A person commits the crime of assault in the third degree if:

    (1) The person attempts to cause or recklessly causes physical injury to another person; or

    (2) With criminal negligence the person causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon; or

    (3) The person purposely places another person in apprehension of immediate physical injury; or

    (4) The person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death or serious physical injury to another person; or

    (5) The person knowingly causes physical contact with another person knowing the other person will regard the contact as offensive or provocative; or

    (6) The person knowingly causes physical contact with an incapacitated person, as defined in section 475.010, RSMo, which a reasonable person, who is not incapacitated, would consider offensive or provocative.

    2. Except as provided in subsections 3 and 4 of this section, assault in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.

    3. A person who violates the provisions of subdivision (3) or (5) of subsection 1 of this section is guilty of a class C misdemeanor.

    4. A person who has pled guilty to or been found guilty of the crime of assault in the third degree more than two times against any family or household member as defined in section 455.010, RSMo, is guilty of a class D felony for the third or any subsequent commission of the crime of assault in the third degree when a class A misdemeanor. The offenses described in this subsection may be against the same family or household member or against different family or household members.


    Which particular sections they felt applied can probably be found in your court paperwork - but things like pushing, shoving, throwing things, breaking things, etc. could all certainly apply.

    We were told we could either pay the fine of $150 and costs of $24.50 or ask for a trial in which the costs could be much greater, and would end up being found guilty anyway unless we hired an attorney.
    Exactly WHO told you that you'd be "found guilty anyway"????? I'd like this person's name and phone number - there's a killer lottery drawing coming up and I'm ready to retire early! When facing criminal charges, the ONE and ONLY person to take advice from is your attorney, whether that's a private attorney you've retained, or a Public Defender that the court appoints for you. Whoever gave you that advice MIGHT have a pretty good shot at being right, but if that person wasn't YOUR attorney, that advice should have gone in one ear and out the other.

    We dont have the money to pay attorney fees, and decided to pay our fine.
    Did you request a public defender??

    We were not told that this would give us an automatic criminal record since we were essentially pleading guilty.
    Is there some reason to think that pleading guilty would result in anything OTHER than a criminal record? Pleading guilty or "no contest" GIVES you a criminal record (which your attorney would have told you).

    I can now not volunteer at my childrens school since I have a criminal history, their school does a background check on potential volunteers.
    I also am a professional person who has a history, which i feel is unfair. I have never even received a speeding ticket. My question is how to begin expungement proceedings, and do I stand a chance at this.
    The way I read the Missouri statutes, you can't get expungement if you pled because the major requirement is that the arrest was based on false information. Pleading guilty tells the court that the information wasn't false. You can and SHOULD, however, check out the info from the Missouri courts at http://www.courts.mo.gov/page.asp?id=1462, AND should at least consult with an attorney (most will give at least an initial consultation for free) to determine if you have possibility of qualifying or not).

    Just seems when you contact law enforcement for help to diffuse, and it becomes a worse decision its simply unfair.
    The politically incorrect reality is that summoning police to a domestic-type heated situation is MORE likely to end with a police action, and NOT a diffusion (and from the police standpoint, one or more arrests ACCOMPLISHES diffusion). Remember, police are OBLIGATED to act when they have reason to believe that a crime has been committed, ESPECIALLY in domestic situations.
    Catherine NeSmith
    Executive Director
    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
    http://www.aardvarc.org

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