Official Blog of the Education Exchange Corps

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Missouri Assault Law: New Definition of Physical Injury Makes It Harder to Prove

I've posted about the changes in Missouri assault law as they pertain to kids in school. I've also posted about how the juvenile justice system works.

This post compares the changes in the definition of "physical injury" in Missouri criminal law.

Each crime is defined under the law, and each type of assault has its own definition (in 2017, we will have Assault 1st, Assault 2nd, Assault 3rd, and Assault 4th). These definitions are important because they include the requirements of what a prosecutor must prove - beyond a reasonable doubt - to convict a defendant of a crime.

Let's look at the definition of Assault 1st as it will be in 2017:
"A person commits the offense of assault in the first degree if he or she attempts to kill or knowingly causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to another person." RSMo 556.050.1.

One way to commit Assault 1st is to knowingly cause or attempt to cause "serious physical injury."

To commit Assault 3rd (the one everyone is talking about), you don't need to cause serious physical injury. You just need to knowingly cause "physical injury." No serious needed.

What qualifies as serious or regular physical injury?

That's defined in another part of the law. And the definition has changed for 2017. So here's a chart:

Nothing has changed about serious physical injury. But the definition of physical injury has changed. (Unfortunately, it appears that the old versions of these statutes are being deleted off of the state's website to make room for the new ones. You can see the old definition on this website or in this court case.)

Starting in 2017, physical injury will include less violence than it once did. In 2017, causing "physical pain" will no longer be enough. Causing "illness" will no longer be enough either. And "any impairment of physical condition" has been limited down to an impairment of body functions or temporary loss of use of a body part.

So, in 2017, you've got to do something worse than the minimum you had to do before 2017 to be convicted of a crime requiring a "physical injury." The new definition has raised the bar on what counts as "physical injury."

This new definition will make it harder for a prosecutor to prove that defendants caused a physical injury to someone, which will make it harder for the prosecutor to prove certain crimes occurred.

When it comes to kids who do make it into criminal court, this new definition will make it harder for kids to be convicted of the new Assault 3rd for school fights.

Bottom line: Law enforcement, school staff, and others should not be using this new definition to refer more kids to the juvenile or criminal justice systems.

And again, even with this new definition, kids are still facing tremendous obstacles to success. We have to do better.

In the coming days, we will put out potential steps folks and organizations can consider taking to
address at least some of those obstacles.

(Click here for our first blog post about the changes in the assault laws.)
(Click here for our blog post on the juvenile justice system.)
(Click here for our blog post on school reporting requirements.)
(Click here for our blog post on the harassment law.)

Elad Gross is a former Assistant Attorney General of Missouri. He graduated from Washington University School of Law. 

This blog post is not meant to provide legal advice. If you are in need of legal assistance, please contact an attorney.

Elad Gross, J.D.
President and CEO
Education Exchange Corps


  1. It's offensively easy to seek out any matter on web as compared to books, as I found this text at this website.
    car totaled

  2. A lawyer will usually fight for your rights; stand up for you in every way permitted by the law to ensure your fair treatment and the right amount of compensation. Family law

  3. Gaylord Popp is the option if you are looking for the services of proficient criminal lawyers in NJ. Our highly experienced criminal lawyers fully understand the process of trails, arrest, and pleas while the logical way of arguments helps the clients to minimize the punishment and get immediate bail.

  4. • กำจัดขน
    • กระตุ้นการผลิตคอลลาเจนชูกระชับผิวหน้า (Tightening) ลบเลือนหายไปริ้วรอยช่วยทำให้ผิวเรียบเนียน
    • รอยหลุมสิวตื้นขึ้นแล้วก็รูขุมขนกระชับขึ้นผิวหน้าละเอียดและก็เรียบเนียน
    • รักษาสิวอักเสบรอยแดงจากสิวหรือเส้นเลือดฝอยที่ไม่ปกติ
    • ลดความหมองคล้ำผิวกระจ่างขาวใสดูอ่อนกว่าวัย
    • กำจัดเส้นโลหิตขอดแล้วก็เส้นเลือดฝอย
    • รักษาเส้นโลหิตขอดเล็กๆได้โดยไม่ต้องเสียเวล่ำเวลาผ่าตัด ไม่ต้องนอนพัก แต่ว่าบางทีอาจจะต้องทำต่อเนื่องกันบ่อยมากก็เลยจะได้ผลลัพธ์ที่ดี

    เลเซอร์ กำจัดขนหน้า
    เลเซอร์ กำจัดขน รักแร้

  5. Very Cool blog and the great article about on Law. Thanks author your Awesome topic and outstanding Content. Truly I like it and Looking forward to read your Upcoming post. Fremont defense attorneys

  6. Wow, happy to see this awesome post. I hope this think help any newbie for their awesome work. By the way thanks for share this awesomeness from Personal Injury Lawyer Colorado Springs

  7. Thanks for sharing it is important for me. I also searched for that from here. Visit our site Epson Printer belgie contact

  8. Really Nice Post Admin, Very helpful looking for more posts, Now I have to share some information about How To Fix “Lexmark Troubleshooting Guide” problem. If you are going through this problem you can simply visit Lexmark Printer nummer

  9. That’s a nice article, thank you for a great article. It helped me a lot. Keep it up Must Visit: Dell helpdesk bellen.

  10. hi, Your post is very helpful for me,finally i got exactly what I want. If you want to know more about antivirus then please visit Bitdefender technische ondersteuning help.

  11. hi, your post is very helpful for me. Finally, I found exactly what i want. If need information regarding antivirus then you can visit Kaspersky antivirus nummer belgie for help.

  12. hi, Your post is very helpful for me, If you want to know more about antivirus then you can visit Canon Printer helpdesk telefoon for help.


  13. hi, your post is very helpful for me. Finally, I found exactly what i want. If need information regarding printers then you can visit our Xerox Printer nummer for help.


  14. hi.. Actully i am new here I just read your blog which is good. i like that kind of blog which is written on laws and information. So thanks for amazing sharing. Must visit on avast contact nederland

  15. hi.. Actully i am new here I just read your blog really gud and amazing informatiomn. So thanks for amazing sharing. Must visit on facebook ondersteuning


  16. Your blog is very informative and interesting to read, finally, I found exactly what I searching for. There are lots of users of Macfee antivirus in the world because of its features and easy interface. If you want to explore more interesting facts about Mcafee antivirus or want to resolve your technical issues then must visit Mcafee bellen Nederland.

  17. Unbelievable blog! This blog provides a brief introduction which is very helpful for me. Instagram is the most usable platform in the world because of its latest features but the user sometimes confronts some issues on Instagram. For more information, you can visit Instagram suomi.

  18. Really Nice Post Admin, Very helpful looking for more posts, Now I have to share some information about How To Fix “Avast Troubleshooting Guide” problem. If you are going through this problem you can simply visit Avast ondersteuning belgie

  19. Car interior led lighting
    Many Christmas decorations can be lit up with LED strips lights. The Christmas tree is undoubtedly the centerpiece of any Christmas scene. To decorate stockings and the chimney, you can use LED light strips. Christmas lights on doors, walls, roofs, roofs and ceilings are always a joy and put everyone in a festive spirit.
    click here

  20. The #1 online furniture shopping in North East. Discover a large selection of products by top brands ✔ Low Prices ✔ Big Discounts ✔ Fast Shipping ✔ Genuine Brand beds, sofas, bed room, lighting, accessories, living room, mirrors, dining, seatings and pictures. For more information's and details to visit us:

  21. Hola, mi nombre es Rosanna Hart. Vivo en Madrid y trabajo como técnico auxiliar y en informática. Ofrecemos contactos de McAfee. Nuestra empresa ofrece los mejores expertos. Para obtener asistencia calificada para solucionar los problemas de actualización de McAfee, se considera que la mejor idea es ponerse en contacto con el Servicio de atención al cliente de McAfee. Si tiene algún problema relacionado con McAfee, visite nuestro sitio web o llame a nuestro Numero de McAfee

  22. Na het lezen van je blog besloot ik dat je blog geweldig is, maar ik kijk naar HP Printer klantenservice in Nederland

  23. Hallo, mijn naam is Pegran Jessie. Ik woon in Drenthe, Nederland en werk bij Facebook Klantenservice Nederland. We bieden Facebook gerelateerde problemen tegen een redelijke prijs. Gewoon Bellen Facebook telefoonnummer voor snelle hulp.

  24. Hopelijk heb je niet meer te maken met het probleem 'Hotmail e-mail werkt niet' op je website. Als je nog steeds problemen ondervindt, neem dan contact op met Hotmail Bellen Nummer Nederland. Ons team streeft ernaar om de meest actuele Hotmail Klantenservice-informatie te vinden, zodat gebruikers kunnen profiteren van deskundig advies.

  25. Hallo, mijn naam is Godina Buva, woon in Amsterdam, Nederland en werk bij Gmail Klantenservice Nederland. We hebben een team van technische Gmail-experts, als je een probleem hebt met het Google Mail account, bel dan Gmail Nummer voor een oplossing.