Missouri Defense Attorney: Do I Have to Be Arrested for Domestic Violence?


If your spouse or partner accuses you of domestic violence, the police are not required to arrest you immediately, but they might choose to – depending on the circumstances.

Whether or not you are arrested, being charged with domestic violence can have serious consequences. For this reason, it is critical to contact a Missouri defense attorney as soon as you can and take the steps necessary to protect your rights and freedom.

Domestic Violence in Missouri – Is An Arrest Mandatory

Unlike many other states, Missouri does not have mandatory arrest laws regarding domestic violence. Because of this, it is not necessary for the police to make an arrest while responding to a domestic violence call. Under Missouri law, an arrest becomes mandatory only under the following circumstances:

  • If police are called to the same place two times within a span of 12 hours
  • If police have probable cause to believe that the primary aggressor (the person who is accused of domestic violence by their partner or spouse) has committed an act of violence or abuse against the victim or any other family member

In case an arrest is not made, the officers who responded to the call of domestic violence are required to explain – in writing – as to why they decided not to arrest the aggressor.

Domestic Violence Penalties in Missouri

As any Missouri defense attorney can tell you, domestic violence is a charge you cannot afford to take lightly. Depending on the severity of the situation, you could be charged with domestic assault in the fourth, third, second, or first degree.

Domestic violence in the fourth degree can result in a misdemeanor charge in Missouri. Domestic violence in the third, second, or first degree, on the other hand, can result in a felony charge.

How a Missouri Defense Attorney Can Help You

There are several ways an attorney can defend you against charges of domestic violence.

Self Defense

If your spouse or partner initiated the confrontation by trying to physically attack you, and if you reacted in order to protect yourself, your Missouri defense attorney can make the argument that you acted in self defense and cannot be accused of domestic violence.

False Allegations

False or exaggerated allegations of domestic violence are extremely common in Missouri. If there are glaring inconsistencies in the accuser’s statement, the police report, and the evidence presented by the prosecution, your Missouri defense attorney can easily establish that the charges against you are made up or greatly exaggerated.

Burden of Proof

If the case against you is built solely on the basis of the victim’s allegations and statements made by alleged witnesses, your attorney can make the argument that the instance of domestic violence (which you are accused of) cannot be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Facing Domestic Violence Charges in Missouri We Can Help You!

At Miller & Hine, we know a false or exaggerated domestic violence charge when we see one. We can investigate your case, develop an aggressive defense strategy, and fight hard to get the charges against you dismissed or reduced to the highest extent possible.

Do not let an accusation of domestic violence ruin your reputation and life. We can review your case free of cost – over the phone or in person – and tell you what your options are. Call us today at (314) 413-2053 or fill out this online contact form to set up a free consultation with one of our domestic violence attorneys.