Assault involves crimes of violence from one person against another. The person who commits the crime must intend to either:
- Cause fear of immediate bodily harm or death in someone
- Inflict (or actually inflict) bodily harm upon another
Even in circumstances when assault is charged as a misdemeanor, it’s a serious crime and a serious charge. Some people only need to be questioned by police concerning assault for their lives to change forever.
If you or someone you know has been accused of assault, it’s important to seek legal support. A qualified defense attorney can help you with your case.
What Is Assault In Minnesota?
Minnesota law defines assault as “(1) an act done with intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death; or. (2) the intentional infliction of or attempt to inflict bodily harm upon another.”
What is an assault charge in Minnesota?
An assault charge in Minnesota means that you have been charged with a serious crime. Only knowledgeable and dedicated attorneys can help somebody when they are faced with such a charge.
Even a First Degree Assault charge may result in fines as high as $30,000– and prison sentences can reach 20 years. Penalties only increase from there.
Types of Assault Crimes In Minnesota
The six types of assault crimes in Minnesota
1st Degree Assault
In Minnesota, the term “great bodily harm” has an official context and meaning. Great bodily harm occurs when someone suffers permanent disfigurement, faces a high probability of death, or experiences a protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part of the body.
2nd Degree Assault
A person who assaults another person with a dangerous weapon is guilty of Assault in the Second Degree.
Dangerous weapons are any items designed as weapons and possible of producing death or great bodily harm. Dangerous weapons include:
- Firearms (loaded, unloaded, temporarily inoperable)
- Flammable and combustible liquids
2nd degree assault charges also encompass when somebody assaults another person with a dangerous weapon and inflicts substantial bodily harm. Substantial bodily harm refers to bodily harm that causes:
- Temporary but substantial disfigurement and/or
- Temporary but substantial loss of impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ and/or
- Causes a fracture of any bodily member
3rd Degree Assault
Anyone who assaults another and inflicts substantial bodily harm in Minnesota may be charged with Third Degree Assault. Two other sets of circumstances can lead to the same charges:
- When someone has engaged in a previous pattern of child abuse against a minor and then assaults that minor
- When someone assaults a minor under four years old and causes bodily harm to the minor’s head, eyes, or neck (or otherwise causes multiple bruises to the body)
4th Degree Assault
If somebody assaults a licensed peace officer while the peace officer is executing duties imposed by the law, he or she has committed Fourth Degree Assault.
There are some unique circumstances that may lead to prosecution for Assault in the Fourth Degree:
- If an assault is based on another person’s perceived sex, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, or national origin
- If an assault is against a school official while the school official engages in the performance of their duties and the assault inflicts demonstrable bodily harm
5th Degree Assault
Fifth Degree Assault occurs when someone performs an act with the intent to cause fear of immediate bodily harm or death in another, or when a person intentionally inflicts (or attempts to inflict) bodily harm upon another.
- It’s also important to note that if a person has a prior conviction for 5th Degree Assault, any future convictions become a misdemeanor or a felony
If a person commits an assault considered domestic violence within ten years of a prior domestic assault, the new assault counts as a gross misdemeanor. This is true regardless of whether the two assaults were against different household or family members.
Domestic assault in Minnesota takes a few different forms:
- Misdemeanor domestic assault charges may incite fines up to $1,000 and as many as 90 days in jail; a person can be charged with misdemeanor domestic assault if they intentionally cause fear of immediate bodily harm or death in a domestic setting. This is also true if they actually intentionally inflict or attempt to inflict bodily harm
- Gross misdemeanor domestic assault comes with a penalty of up to a year in jail. Fines may reach $3,000. If someone commits an act of misdemeanor assault within ten years of a domestic violence-related offense, he or she may be charged with gross misdemeanor domestic assault
- Felony domestic assault occurs when someone commits one of the acts of misdemeanor assault within ten years of two or more domestic-violence related offenses. The fine is $10,000 and prison time of up to five years is possible
Assault Convictions In Minnesota Come With Consequences
Outside of fines and jail time, there are other consequences that may apply if someone is charged with assault in Minnesota. Some circumstances involve the loss of professional licenses. Other people lose their right to possess a firearm after an assault charge.
If someone is a non-citizen, he or she may even lose permanent legal residency following assault charges. Present charges can impact how future charges work, too– some charges are different if you’ve had similar ones before.
Judith A. Samson: Criminal Defense Attorney and Assault Defense Lawyer In Minneapolis, Minnesota
Judith A. Samson is a Minneapolis, Minnesota criminal defense attorney who understands what it takes to provide you the most formidable and effective defense to charges … in both misdemeanor and felony cases. Contact me today and schedule a free initial consultation with a skilled Minnesota criminal defense attorney.
Whether you have been arrested on a criminal misdemeanor, gross-misdemeanor or felony charge, including but not limited to assault, theft, drugs, DWI, I will bring over 17 years of legal experience to helping you resolve your concerns. I am able to provide dedicated advocacy for clients facing any and criminal charges.
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