Sexual Assault Vs Sexual Battery in Minnesota

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Anyone accused of a sex crime will face a great deal of uncertainty and will likely have a lot of questions. The laws in this area vary from state to state, and there is a lot of misleading information on the topic.  We have tried to provide answers to some of the common questions that arise. However, because a conviction carries serious consequences, a person accused or charged with a sex crime should talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Assault Vs Battery Generally In general, assault and battery are two separate crimes. Typically, assault involves a threat of any violence that causes fear of physical harm. On the other hand, battery is the physical act itself. For example, a threat to punch someone is assault, while the punch is the battery.  Minnesota criminal law does not divide the two into separate crimes. In Minnesota, you can face a relatively similar criminal charge for physically attacking someone as you would if you threatened to assault someone. On the other hand, threatening violence with the intent to terrorize a person is a separate crime. There are subtle differences in the law between a threat and a physical act that can drastically change the type of criminal charge you may face. Sexual Battery Vs Sexual Assault Some states also use assault and battery to define sex crimes.  When this is the case, sexual assault typically involves less severe behavior, such as non-consensual sexual touching. Sexual battery, on the other hand, generally refers to more serious criminal behavior, up to or including rape. Minnesota Sexual Assault Laws In Minnesota, crimes of sexual assault, sexual battery, and rape are all classified as criminal sexual conduct. Criminal sexual conduct can be in the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth degree. First-degree criminal sexual conduct consists of the most serious criminal behavior, such as rape and child sexual abuse. Consent Consent is a critical determining factor in assessing whether a sexual conduct crime has been committed. It is also a common defense against such accusations.  Because of this, consent (or lack of) is often a hotly debated and confusing element in a sex crime case. In Minnesota, consent is agreeing, in words or actions, to any sexual act. A prior relationship—sexual, romantic, or otherwise—by itself is not consent to any sexual act. However, the existence of a prior romantic relationship may help form the foundation for the explanation of consent as a defense to an accusation of sexual assault. Additionally, consent cannot be freely given if an individual is incapacitated or impaired in some way. For example, someone cannot always freely give consent if they have a developmental disability or mental illness. A person also cannot freely give consent when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, whether or not they chose to use them. Defenses Defenses against an accusation of criminal sexual conduct in Minnesota include innocence, insanity or mental incapacitation, mistaken age (in very limited circumstances), and, most commonly, consent.  Contact Our Team Today An accusation or conviction of a criminal sex offense is a serious matter. These crimes are aggressively prosecuted in Minnesota. They should not be taken lightly. Charges can range from a misdemeanor to a felony, and a conviction can carry a sentence of up to thirty years imprisonment.  If you or a loved one has been accused of committing a criminal sex offense, you need an attorney with experience in the area. The attorney must be detail-oriented, accessible, and thorough. Arechigo & Stokka has successfully defended hundreds of clients in criminal cases. Many successful defenses have involved accusations of sex crimes, including high-profile cases in this area.  We are dedicated to being there for you every step of the way and pride ourselves on the access we give our clients. Read testimonials from prior clients, check out our Youtube channel, Facebook profile, or Twitter account to get to know us, and contact our firm today.

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Why Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Might Get Denied in Minnesota

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Although workers’ compensation benefits are based on a no-fault system, it doesn’t mean your claim will be automatically approved. After you submit your application, you may receive notice that your workers’ comp claim is denied. If you do receive a workers’ compensation denial, don’t give up hope. You have the right to appeal this decision. For more information on how to proceed with an appeal, contact a St. Paul workers’ compensation attorney. Work Injuries and Workers’ Compensation Being injured at work is not necessarily uncommon. Some people are injured due to an accident, like a trip and fall. Other workplace injuries develop over time and are the result of exposure to toxic chemicals or are repetitive stress injuries. When you are injured at work, you expect that your employer’s insurance will cover your medical expenses and missed time from work. If you receive a workers’ compensation denial, you need to find out the reasons why. Reasons a Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied Do not give up your potential right to benefits because you received a workers’ compensation denial. Reasons for the denial can vary from simple paperwork mistakes to pre-existing conditions. Here are some of the most common reasons your workers’ comp claims are denied: You did not notify your employer of your injury within the allotted time frame; You did not file a workers’ compensation claim within the deadline; Your condition doesn’t meet Minnesota state guidelines; You filed a claim after quitting, being laid off, or being fired; Your employer disputes that your injuries are work-related; You did not seek any medical treatment; You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the injury occurred; You refused to cooperate with the workers’ compensation carrier; You sought treatment with a provider not approved by workers’ compensation; or Your injuries are a pre-existing medical condition. There may be additional reasons for a workers’ compensation denial, which is why you must find out the exact reasons why. That will help you decide what your next steps are. What to Do If Your Claim Was Denied If your workers’ comp claim was denied, you need to find out why. Look at the letter, which will likely include the reasons for the denial. If the denial appears to relate to a mistake in paperwork, start by contacting the workers’ compensation adjuster to correct the problem. If this doesn’t fix your claim, your next step should be to contact a St. Paul workers’ compensation attorney. Filing an Appeal Your denial letter may contain information on how to appeal the decision. In most cases, your appeal starts with filing an Employee’s Claim Petition. You need to answer all the questions and get a medical report from your doctor that supports your work injury claim. You will send everything to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (MDLL). You also need to forward copies to your employer and their workers’ compensation carrier. The MDLL may respond with a decision, schedule a settlement conference, forward your claim to the Office of Administrative Hearing, or take other action. When to Hire a Lawyer When your workers’ compensation is denied for any reason other than a simple mistake, you should contact a St. Paul workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney can help you decide whether filing an appeal is the right course of action. The appeals process can be complicated, and it may require you to attend multiple hearings in person. It’s crucial to have all the necessary evidence at the start as you may not be able to present additional information as you move through the various appeal levels. If you need assistance with your workers’ compensation denial, contact Arechigo & Stokka to schedule an initial consultation. We specialize in Minnesota workers’ compensation claims and can help you fight for your workers’ compensation benefits.  

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Can I Sue for Pain and Suffering in a Workers’ Comp Case?

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If you were injured on the job, you might be wondering, Can I sue workers’ comp for pain and suffering?  When you file a personal injury claim, you can recover medical bills, time off work, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. Understandably, you might assume it’s the same with workers’ compensation claims. However, you cannot pursue your employer for payment related to your pain and suffering in a workers’ comp claim.  Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, which means you don’t have to prove that your employer was negligent to receive compensation. The downside of this system, however, is that the compensation you can recover is limited to medical bills and wage-replacement benefits. Nevertheless, there may be some limited scenarios where you could pursue a claim for pain and suffering against a third party. If you have questions about the compensation you will receive from a work-related accident, you need to speak with an experienced St. Paul workers’ compensation attorney.   Can I Sue for Pain and Suffering in a Workers’ Comp Case? At Arechigo & Stokka, one of the most common questions we get is, does workers’ comp pay for pain and suffering?  Pain and suffering damages are meant to compensate you for the physical discomfort you experienced from your injuries caused by someone else’s negligence. It may also address your emotional pain, including sadness, depression, anger, etc.  Pain and suffering typically falls outside the scope of workers’ compensation coverage. Each state’s laws may differ some, but generally, you won’t be able to pursue pain and suffering damages in a workers’ comp claim.  Where pain and suffering and workers’ compensation can intersect is when a third party is involved and has some fault for your injuries on the job. If you were involved in an accident while driving between job inspection sites, for example, you could sue the driver who caused the accident. This would allow you to receive pain and suffering damages from the driver, as well as your workers’ compensation benefits. How to Prove Pain and Suffering Pain and suffering damages are not necessarily easy to calculate. Numerous factors can influence your compensation, including: Your pain levels and the severity of the injuries; The expected recovery period; How your injuries impacted your daily activities, job, hobbies, etc.; How often you need medical treatment; and Your ongoing and future care. Your attorney will work with you to prove that you deserve the maximum compensation possible for your pain and suffering. Recovery Options Although workers’ compensation doesn’t usually cover pain and suffering, there may be some recovery options. Are you a federal employee that may have other options outside of Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits? For example, an injured railroad worker could file a claim under FELA, the Federal Employee Liability Act. Another option, as discussed above, is a third-party lawsuit against another party who shared some responsibility for your injuries. For example, if you work construction, you might have a claim against a contractor or manufacturer. Depending on the circumstances of your workplace accident, there may be additional recovery options. Your attorney can go over all the potential ways you might recover compensation for pain and suffering.  When to Contact a Lawyer If you believe you have a valid personal injury lawsuit in addition to your workers’ compensation claim, you should meet with a skilled St. Paul workers’ compensation attorney. Contact Arechigo & Stokka today to schedule an initial consultation. We have years of experience handling personal injury claims and can help you fight for the maximum compensation for your pain and suffering.  

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This past month, attorney John Arechigo of Arechigo & Stokka, P.A. successfully had threats of violence charges against a client dropped by the prosecution. The client, a 21-year-old female college student, was accused of making threats directed at classmates in October 2019. Two students in one of the client’s classes reported that she allegedly stated that she was so frustrated with their lecture that she could shoot up the school. After they brought a complaint to school administrators, police were called and arrested Arechigo’s client at her home. She was jailed until her bail hearing, where the state sought a $75,000 bail. Attorney Arechigo secured her release without bail. According to Section 609.713 of the Minnesota Statutes, in order to charge someone with a threat of violence, the state must prove that the defendant carried an intent to commit an act of violence. During the defense, Arechigo and the client were able to convince the prosecutor that the client’s statements did not rise to an actual, specific threat but were a result of passing frustration. As a result, the prosecutor dismissed the case prior to trial. The dismissal of this case is a tremendous relief for Arechigo’s client and her family. As a result of this charge, the client was forced to leave the school she was attending and was unable to continue in her education. Since the charge was dropped, the client’s educational future is no longer at risk. Arechigo is now pursuing a full expungement of his client’s records. Congratulations to attorney John Arechigo for the successful defense of his client!

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How Long Can the Police Detain You?

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The duration of the vehicle stop depends on the initial reason for the traffic stop and any other criminal suspicion that develops after the stop.   The Minnesota Supreme Court states that the duration of the vehicle stop must be temporary and cannot last any longer than is necessary to investigate the initial reason for the traffic stop.   However, there is no concrete time limit for a lawful length of a traffic stop. The police need to suspect other criminal activity separate from the reason for the initial traffic stop before they can continue to lawfully detain the vehicle beyond the time it would have taken to write a traffic citation.   Examples for Determining How Long Minnesota Police Can Detain You In determining how long can police detain you for failing to use a blinker while turning, the officer cannot approach the vehicle and ask the driver if there are drugs in the car.   That would be an unlawful expansion of the reason for the traffic stop.   The officer stopped the vehicle for not using a blinker, not because he suspected there were drugs in the car.   Before the officer can expand the duration of the traffic stop, he would need a reason to believe there were drugs in the car.   If the officer thought he smelled marijuana in the vehicle then he could question the driver about having drugs.   In this situation, the officer could detain the driver as long as the officer acted to confirm his suspicions of drugs in the car.   How long police can detain you or your vehicle increases with each additional suspicion of criminal activity. How Long Should a Traffic Stop Last? The duration of the traffic stop will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding each individual traffic stop situation.   In one case, the Minnesota Supreme Court held a 61-minute traffic stop to be lawful under the circumstances. If you find yourself in the middle of a traffic stop, it is important to remember that you DO NOT have to answer any of the officer’s questions.   You have the absolute right to remain silent.   In most cases, it is in your best interests not to answer any questions.   Instead, simply tell the officer that you are not going to answer any questions without St. Paul, MN criminal defense lawyer present.   After that, call the St. Paul criminal defense lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka.   Our Minnesota criminal defense lawyers will advise you on how to handle the situation and tell you what to say if anything.   If you find yourself arrested or facing criminal charges following your traffic stop, our St. Paul criminal defense lawyers will investigate the reasons behind the initial traffic stop and the officer’s reasons for expanding the length of the stop.   If the officer unlawfully expanded the duration of your traffic stop, our St. Paul criminal defense lawyers will fight to have the evidence suppressed. Contact our Minnesota criminal defense lawyers today if you or someone you know recently faced an expanded traffic stop.

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St. Paul, Minnesota Terroristic Threats Statute

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The Minnesota Terroristic Threats statute punishes anyone who “threatens, directly or indirectly, to commit any crime of violence with purpose to terrorize another or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror.” The offense is a felony and is punishable by up to five years in prison.   In order to convict someone under the Minnesota Terroristic Threats statute, the state must prove that the defendant: Threatened to commit a crime of violence; and Made that threat with either Specific intent to cause extreme fear in another, or Reckless disregard of the risk that it would have that effect. THE MOST COMMONLY SEEN THREAT THAT LEADS TO A CHARGE OF TERRORISTIC THREATS IS A THREAT TO KILL SOMEONE. During an argument – domestic or otherwise – if a person tells someone, “I’m going to kill you,” or “You make me so mad, I could kill you sometimes,” or any type of similar threat to commit a crime of violence, the speaker will almost certainly face a charge of Terroristic Threats under the Minnesota Terroristic Threats statute. Speaker’s Intent and Defense Charges of Terroristic Threats The speakers’ intent and the context in which the threat was made both be a defense to a charge of terroristic threats. As noted above, the state has to prove that the speaker made the threat with either a specific intent to cause extreme fear in another or with reckless disregard of the risk of causing extreme fear in another. The context in which the threat was made is a factor in determining the speaker’s intent. In State v. Balster, the Minnesota Court of Appeals noted that the context in which it is uttered determines whether the speaker intends the literal meaning or a harmless expression of anger, frustration, or annoyance. This is sometimes referred to as “transitory anger.” “TRANSITORY ANGER” IS NOT FOUND IN THE MINNESOTA TERRORISTIC THREATS STATUTE, BUT IT IS A PART OF THE HISTORY OF THE CRIME OF TERRORISTIC THREATS IN MINNESOTA. Prior cases have concluded that the Minnesota Terroristic Threats statute is designed to punish threats that are “more serious than would be covered by petty offenses like disorderly conduct or breach of the peace.” The statute is not intended to apply to “the kind of verbal threat which expresses transitory anger rather than [the] settled purpose to carry out the threat or to terrorize the other person.” Most Terroristic Threats charges will turn on whether the state can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant made the threat with the required intent to make the subject of the threat extremely fearful.   The defendant, through his or her lawyer, would most certainly urge the jury that the speaker’s threat was a harmless expression of anger, frustration, or annoyance. CONTACT US Contact our Minneapolis criminal defense lawyers for a free consultation if you or someone you know if facing a charge under the Minnesota Terroristic Threats statute.   We’ve had terroristic threats charges dismissed for clients. We know how to defend against this charge.

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How Do I Maximize My Workers’ Comp Settlement in Minnesota?

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Injuries happen in the workplace every day. Some injuries that appear insignificant can leave you with lasting health problems and require extensive rehabilitation. But it might be difficult to determine the extent of your injuries when you file for workers’ comp through your employer. Below are some workers’ compensation tips to help you maximize your workers’ comp settlement and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.  Keep Track of Your Medical Records and Attend All Scheduled Appointments Even if you believe your injuries don’t require medical attention, you still need to visit a doctor after a workplace injury. You should schedule your doctor’s appointment right away. Insurance companies and employers will use delays in medical treatment to lower your workers’ comp claim by questioning the extent and severity of your injuries. Doctor visits provide important paper trails that will help you prove the cost of your medical treatment and rehabilitation. Your doctor will assess the full range of your injuries and help you calculate the full extent of your medical treatment, including any future treatments and ongoing rehabilitation. Your doctor will provide you with a detailed description of your injuries and the recommended treatment. Additionally, make sure you follow all recommended medical treatments. If you fail to follow your doctor’s advice, your employer or the insurance company can use this information against you. Beware of Insurance Companies Insurance companies will try to minimize the amount they pay for any workers’ comp claim. If an insurance adjuster contacts you after your injury, they will likely promise you immediate payment, but the amount will undervalue the cost of your injuries. Do not accept the initial offer. Instead, wait to negotiate until you receive medical treatment and speak with a qualified workers’ comp attorney. You should also wait to meet with the insurance adjuster until you have legal representation. Often, insurance adjusters will record your meeting and use your answers against you. Your attorney can help guide you through this meeting and protect your interests.  What Should I Do If I Disagree with My Workers’ Comp Payment Amount? Employers and insurance companies normally want to pay as little as possible for workers’ comp claims. Although the amount they offer may cover up-front medical costs, it might not be enough to cover all future medical treatment and other injury-related expenses.  Calculating workers’ comp amounts can be confusing and difficult. An experienced workers’ comp attorney understands these calculations and how to prove the value of your claim. Before agreeing to any workers’ comp payment, you should first consult with an attorney to make sure you get a fair offer.  Contact a Qualified Workers’ Comp Attorney Today If you suffered a workplace injury, you deserve fair compensation. The attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka have extensive experience handling our clients’ workers’ comp claims. We believe you should focus on recovering from your injuries, not on fighting to receive fair compensation. We will work diligently and fight for your interests. Our dedicated staff will answer your questions and provide you with support and guidance throughout the claims process. For a free consultation, call our office at 651-505-5943 or fill out an online form today. 

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What to Know Before a Workers’ Comp Mediation Hearing in St. Paul

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Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It takes place prior to a hearing in court to try to resolve issues and agree on a settlement. Workers’ comp mediation hearings generally take between two and four hours but can be shorter or longer depending on the facts of your case and the attitude of the parties involved. If you’ve suffered a workplace injury and are considering mediation, a workers’ comp lawyer can help you through the mediation process and negotiate for the settlement you deserve. What Happens at a Workers’ Comp Mediation Hearing? A workers’ comp mediation hearing takes place at either the mediator’s office, one of the attorneys’ offices, or a neutral office. Parties who attend workers’ comp mediation hearings include: You, Your attorney, The mediator, The workers’ compensation insurer’s attorney, and The workers’ compensation insurance adjuster. You may also have your spouse, a close family member or friend attend to support you. After arriving for the mediation, both parties are sent to separate conference rooms. The mediator begins by making an opening statement outlining the goals for the mediation and his or her role in the process. You and your attorney will then have a chance to outline the key points of your case.  After outlining your arguments, the workers’ compensation insurance company will begin by making an offer and you will have the chance to counteroffer. All offers and counteroffers are made to the mediator, who then relays the information to the other party. This process will repeat throughout the mediation until you either agree on a settlement amount or decide you no longer want to continue the mediation. How Should I Prepare for a Workers’ Comp Mediation Hearing? To prepare for your workers’ comp mediation hearing, you should first meet with your attorney. You should discuss the facts of your case and the medical and legal issues involved. It is also important to discuss the arguments you want your attorney to make during the mediation and the strengths and weaknesses of those arguments. Prior to the mediation, your attorney will submit documents so that the mediator understands the facts of the case, the issues involved, and the amount of compensation you wish to receive. You may need to get your attorney certain records, such as medical or employment records, to support the documents submitted by your attorney. On the day of the mediation, you should make sure you are well-rested, arrive on time, dress professionally, and are polite to all parties involved. Do I Need a Workers’ Comp Lawyer? Because most workers’ compensation claims that go to mediation are complex, you should hire a workers’ comp lawyer. A workers’ comp lawyer will help you provide a detailed analysis of your workers’ compensation claim, calculate a reasonable settlement demand, and negotiate for the best possible settlement during the mediation. Our workers’ comp lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., have handled hundreds of Minnesota workers’ comp cases. We will use our experience to negotiate the best possible settlement for you during your workers’ comp mediation.Contact us today with any questions you may have or to schedule your free consultation.

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How to Win a Workers’ Comp Case in St. Paul, MN

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If you suffered a work injury, you are likely concerned about getting the workers’ compensation benefits you need and deserve. The odds of winning a workers’ comp case depend on the facts of your case and whether you took the appropriate steps throughout the claims process. But there is more than one way to win a workers’ comp case. Accepting a reasonable settlement can be a win because you receive compensation for your injuries without the risk of going to trial. If you have suffered an injury at work, you should speak with a Minnesota workers’ comp lawyer today. A lawyer can give you guidance regarding how to win your workers’ compensation case. Steps You Can Take to Win a Workers’ Comp Case To increase your chances of winning your workers’ compensation case, you should consider taking the following steps. File Your Claim Quickly and Accurately First, you should file your claim quickly and accurately. You can accomplish this by reporting your injury to your supervisor right away. In Minnesota, failing to report your injury within 14 days can prevent you from filing a workers’ comp claim. After reporting your injury, you should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you file your claim, the more likely you’ll win your case. Get Prompt Medical Treatment Next, you should seek medical care immediately after the accident. Medical records are important evidence in workers’ comp cases. They include a description of your injuries and statements by medical professionals. It is important to understand that failing to seek immediate medical treatment could hurt your chances of winning a workers’ comp case. Your insurance company may argue that failing to seek immediate medical treatment means you weren’t as severely injured as you said you were. Be Careful of Surveillance and Private Investigators It is also important to be aware that private investigators might follow you if your insurance company believes that you are not being truthful about your injuries. Investigators may try to videotape you performing physical acts that are inconsistent with your injuries. Keep Detailed Records You should also keep detailed records of all other information relating to your workers’ comp claim. Records other than medical records include: Letters from your employer or insurance company; An accident report; and Forms stating your workplace restrictions. Keeping detailed records will help your attorney quickly and accurately file your workers’ comp claim. Do I Need a Workers’ Comp Lawyer? If you have been injured at work, you should strongly consider hiring a workers’ comp lawyer. A lawyer can help you avoid making mistakes in the complicated workers’ compensation claims process, file your claim on time, and increase your chances of receiving a high settlement. A lawyer can also give you leverage when dealing with insurance companies. Our workers’ comp attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., will help you through the workers’ comp claims process. We believe in fighting for the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on recovering from your workplace injury. Contact us today with any questions you may have or to schedule your free consultation.

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Is Sexual Assault a Felony or Misdemeanor in Minnesota?

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Sexual assault, also called criminal sexual conduct in Minnesota, refers to alleged sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the consent of the victim. Allegations can include: Unwanted sexual touching; Forcing the victim to perform unwanted sexual acts; and  Penetration of the victim’s body. Minnesota law splits sexual assault into five degrees depending on the circumstances of the alleged act. First-degree through fourth-degree sexual assault are felonies, while fifth-degree sexual assault is a gross misdemeanor or felony depending on the situation. If you face sexual assault charges in Minnesota, you should contact a sexual assault lawyer as soon as possible. First-Degree Sexual Assault First-degree sexual assault is the most serious form of sexual assault in Minnesota. It involves an allegation of sexual penetration of any person or an allegation of sexual contact with a minor under 13 years old. Some, but not all, of the alleged circumstances that could give rise to a first-degree sexual assault charge include: The victim was under 13 and the accused was more than three years older than the victim; The victim was between 13 and 16, the accused was in a position of authority over the victim, and the accused was more than four years older than the victim; or The accused had a dangerous weapon and used or threatened to use the weapon to force the victim to submit to the act. First-degree sexual assault carries a maximum punishment of 30 years in prison and a $40,000 fine. Second-Degree Sexual Assault Second-degree sexual assault covers alleged sexual contact under at least one of the circumstances also applicable to first-degree sexual assault. It carries a maximum punishment of up to 25 years in prison and a $35,000 fine. Third-Degree Sexual Assault Third-degree sexual assault involves sexual penetration of any person. Some, but not all, of the alleged circumstances that could give rise to a third-degree sexual assault charge include: The victim was under 13 and the accused was no more than three years older than the victim; The victim was between 13 and 16 and the accused was more than two years older than the victim; or The accused knew or had reason to know that the victim was mentally impaired, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless. Third-degree sexual assault carries a punishment of up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. Fourth-Degree Sexual Assault Fourth-degree sexual assault involves sexual contact with another person. Some, but not all, of the alleged circumstances that could give rise to a fourth-degree sexual assault charge include: The victim was under 13 and the accused was no more than three years older than the victim; The victim was between 13 and 16 and the accused was more than four years older than the victim; or The accused used force or coercion to accomplish the sexual contact. It carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Fifth-Degree Sexual Assault Acts that constitute an allegation of fifth-degree sexual assault include: Nonconsensual sexual contact; or Knowingly masturbating or exposing one’s genitals in the presence of a minor under 16 years old. When charged as a gross misdemeanor, it carries a maximum punishment of up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine. When charged as a felony, it carries a punishment of up to seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine. Can I Get Sexual Assault Charges Dropped or Reduced? Depending on the facts of your case, an attorney might get your sexual assault charges dropped or reduced. However, getting your charges dropped or reduced can be difficult because key defenses do not apply in sexual assault cases. For example, consent is not an available defense to allegations involving minors and some cases involving alleged intoxication. The defense known as “mistake of age” is also generally unavailable in sexual assault charges involving minors. You should speak with a sexual assault lawyer today to get a betters sense of what defenses are available in your individual case. How the Sexual Assault Lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., Can Help You If you face sexual assault charges in Minnesota, our sexual assault lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., will work to get your charges reduced or dismissed. We will thoroughly explain your options to you so that you can make informed decisions throughout your case. We have achieved many positive results for our clients because of our experience in the Minnesota criminal justice system and dedication to our individual clients’ needs. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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