Assault in Minnesota

punch-316605_640 Posted: November 16, 2015 Welcome back to the Sieben Edmunds PLLC Criminal Defense Blog Series! In our second installment we will take a closer look at assault and domestic assault crimes in Minnesota. These are serious charges that are very fact specific. Read on to understand key differences among the various degrees and types. The stakes in an assault case are incredibly high. An assault conviction can lead to lifelong consequences. In general, an assault is an “act done with intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death; or the intentional infliction of or attempt to inflict bodily harm upon another.” A common misconception is that physical contact must be made. Throwing a punch and missing can be enough to support an assault charge. An assault based on causing fear must also cause fear of immediate bodily harm. Telling someone that you will shoot them with a gun in two months likely does not meet the immediate harm requirement. Assault In Minnesota, there are five degrees of assault. Certain facts can enhance the level of the charge. The most serious offense is a first degree felony assault.
  • 1st Degree
    • Infliction of great bodily harm, or attempting to use deadly force on a peace officer, prosecuting attorney, judge, or correctional employee
    • Imprisonment for not more than 20 years, a fine not more than $30,000, or both
  • 2nd Degree
    • Assault with a dangerous weapon
      • Imprisonment for not more than seven years, a fine not more than $14,000, or both
    • Assault with a dangerous weapon and inflicts substantial bodily harm
      • Imprisonment for not more than 10 years, a fine not more than $20,000, or both
  • 3rd Degree
    • Assault and infliction of substantial bodily harm
      • Imprisonment for not more than five years, a fine not more than $10,000, or both
    • Assault of a minor when there is a pattern of child abuse
      • Imprisonment for not more than five years, a fine not more than $10,000, or both
    • Assault of a victim under the age of four and causes bodily harm to the child’s head, eyes, or neck, or causes multiple bruises to the body
      • Imprisonment for not more than five years, a fine not more than $10,000, or both
  • 4th Degree
    • Assault to a peace officer, fire fighter, emergency medical personnel, DNR employee, correctional employee, prosecuting attorneys, judges, probation officers, secure treatment facility personnel, school official, public employee performing official duties, crime prevention group member, vulnerable adult, utility/postal service employee, reserve officer, or transit operator.
      • The sentence varies depending on the act and type of person.
  • 5th Degree
    • A first-time assault is classified as a misdemeanor
      • Punishable by up to 90 days in jail, $1,000 fine, or both
    • A second assault within three years, or ten years if it is the same victim, is a gross misdemeanor
      • Punishable by up to one year in jail, $3,000 fine, or both
    • Three or more assaults within three years, or ten years if it is the same victim, is a felony
      • Punishable by up to five years in prison, $10,000 fine, or both
Domestic Assault The victim in a domestic assault must be a family or household member.  “Family or household members” can be spouses, former spouses, parents, children, or persons related by blood. They also can be people who lived or currently live together, have a child in common, a pregnant woman and the alleged father, or who are involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship. Whether you are married or living together does not matter when you have a child in common or are an alleged father. A first-time offense is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail, $1,000 fine, or both. Domestic assault is also an enhanceable offense. This means that if you are convicted of a second domestic assault within 10 years, the charge is enhanced to a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, a $3,000 fine, or both. A third domestic assault within 10 years is considered a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both. I was charged with assault and need an attorney. Who should I contact? You can count on experienced criminal defense attorneys, Kevin Sieben and Samuel Edmunds, for exceptional legal representation if you are charged with any type of assault. They have a reputation and history of success to secure the best possible result in your case. Kevin and Sam will fight for you every step of the way. Contact the attorneys at Sieben Edmunds PLLC at 651-994-6744 for more information. Stay tuned for the next installment in our criminal defense blog series! S|E Criminal Defense Blog  – What happens when I am charged with a crime? You can view our DWI Blog Series here.