Twin Cities’ Domestic Violence Lawyers

Minnesota has various laws that address assault and domestic assault offenses. These cases are often difficult to prove because they regularly rest on a “he-said/she-said” routine. Despite the fact that an assault case may seem rather innocuous, the consequences for conviction of either an assault or a domestic assault are quite substantial.

1. Assault:

In the State of Minnesota, there are 5 levels/degrees of assault charges that one can face, each carrying with it vastly different penalties if convicted.

a. First Degree: This offense is a felony. A person can be charged with this offense of they cause Great Bodily Harm, or uses deadly force against a peace officer or correctional employee. The maximum punishment is 20 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

b. Second Degree: This is a felony offense. A person can be charged with this offense if they use a dangerous weapon during the commission of an assault. The maximum punishment is 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine;

c. Third Degree: This is a felony offense. A person can be charged with this offense if they cause Substantial Bodily Harm, or due to a pattern of child abuse, or cause bodily harm to a child under the age of 4. The maximum punishment is 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

d. Fourth Degree: This can be either a felony or gross misdemeanor offense. It mostly encompasses assaults on peace officers. The level of crime depends on the level of harm. The maximum punishment is 3 years in prison and a $6,000 fine.

e. Fifth Degree: Under most circumstances, this is a misdemeanor offense. It can be a gross misdemeanor if the offender had been convicted of assaulting the same victim within the past 10 years, or a different victim within the past 3 years. The maximum punishment for a misdemeanor is 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. The maximum punishment for a gross misdemeanor is 1 year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

 

2. Domestic Assault:

Domestic assault is virtually identical to assault, the primary difference being the relationship with the alleged victim. If the alleged victim is a “family or household member”, offense will be considered a Domestic.

In addition, a first offense is a misdemeanor, a second offense within 10 years is a gross misdemeanor, a third offense is 10 years is a felony, and any offense where it is alleged that the victim was strangled is a felony.

The following are considered a “family or household member” in the State of Minnesota:

a. Spouse/former spouse;
b. Parents/children;
c. Persons related by blood;
d. Persons living together or have lived together;
e. Persons having a child in common;
f. Persons involved in a significant relationship

External resources: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/domabuse.pdf

The attorney’s at Heefner Nelson Law have over 30 years combined experience dealing with the complexities of Minnesota’s assault laws. Contact us with any questions you may have, or for a free initial consultation