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5th degree assault charges are extremely serious allegations. You face jail or prison time if a judge or jury convicts you of that crime. Additionally, you could receive probation, fines, and lose a laundry list of rights that you enjoy if you lose your case.

Take swift action to prevent losing your case if you have charges alleging 5th degree assault in MN by calling the dedicated and award-winning criminal defense lawyers from Arechigo & Stokka. Our criminal defense team has the experience and resources you need, as well as a track record of successfully defending clients in tough situations like yours.

Do not wait to see if the state has a case against you before aligning yourself with a criminal defense lawyer who gives you the best chance to experience a favorable outcome.

What Is 5th Degree Assault?

Minnesota statutes section 609.224 defines 5th degree assault as either a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony. The difference between the three charges depends on the presence of certain factors. Remember that no matter what degree of charge you face, you need to have a lawyer who will take the time to understand your situation completely. 

Misdemeanor 5th Degree Assault

A judge or jury could find you guilty of misdemeanor 5th degree assault based on two theories. You are guilty of misdemeanor 5th degree assault if the jury or judge finds that you either:

  1. committed an act while having the intent to cause fear in another person of immediate bodily harm or death; or 
  2. Intentionally inflicted bodily harm or attempted to inflict bodily harm on another.

The maximum sentence you face for a misdemeanor 5th degree assault conviction is 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. 

Gross Misdemeanor 5th Degree Assault in MN

A gross misdemeanor carries the possibility of a one-year jail sentence, along with a fine of not more than $3,000, or both fine and imprisonment. Minnesota law indicates that committing a 5th degree assault on the same person within the last 10 years qualifies as a gross misdemeanor if the previous crime qualified as a domestic violence offense. 

Minnesota law also says that you can commit a gross misdemeanor if you commit a 5th degree assault within three years of another domestic offense. In this case, the prosecutor does not have to prove that you committed the crime against the same person. Instead, any domestic violence incident can suffice.

Under both scenarios, the prosecutor can use a juvenile finding of delinquency against you as a qualifying charge.

5th Degree Assault as a Felony

Minnesota law ups the ante on repeat offenders. You could face a felony 5th degree assault charge if you have two domestic violence convictions against the same person in 10 years. Also, you face a felony charge if you had two prior domestic violence convictions in the last three years, even if the events involved different victims. The prosecution can use juvenile delinquency findings on your record to build a felony case against you.

The penalty for a conviction of 5th degree assault as a felony is a maximum of five years in the state prison. The judge could assess a fine of not more than $10,000 or order both a fine and imprisonment. 

5th Degree Assault and Firearms

Minnesota law prohibits a person from possessing a pistol with a prior conviction for 5th degree assault, among other offenses. You cannot have a pistol for three years after a 5th degree assault conviction. However, you can possess a pistol again if you do not pick up any charges within those three years. 

Violation of this part of the law is a gross misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is one year in jail, a fine of $1,000, or both. 

Why Is It Important to Vigorously Contest Charges of 5th Degree Assault in MN?

A conviction for any offense, even a misdemeanor, can come back to haunt you. As we discussed, the prosecution can use a previous conviction to file enhanced charges against you. You face more severe penalties if you pick up another charge with a prior conviction for a 5th degree assault. 

By vigorously contesting your charges, you could prevent a conviction from appearing on your criminal record or your juvenile record. 

Your right to possess a gun after any 5th degree assault conviction is in jeopardy. You may get your pistol back if you do not commit any violent criminal offenses within three years. The statute clearly says that you retain your property rights to have a pistol. However, the law gives judges the power to restrict your ability to possess a firearm.

Those aren’t the only problems you face. You could lose the right to vote after a felony conviction. Also, you could also lose your job or professional license or have difficulty finding employment if you have a conviction for a violent offense.

You Must Take Charges of 5th Degree Assault in MN Seriously

Start your defense immediately by contacting the award-winning criminal defense lawyers with Arechigo & Stokka. Waiting to see what happens could only make matters worse. Don’t wait to see if the alleged victim is going to cooperate with the prosecution of the case. Take control of your future instead.

Contact Arechigo & Stokka at 651-222-6603 today!

Author Photo

John T. Arechigo, Esq.

Attorney John Arechigo has a passion for criminal defense in St. Paul, MN. John received his J.D., from Hamline University School of Law and also carries a Bachelor of Arts from, The University of Minnesota. John was named Attorney of the Year for 2019 by Minnesota Lawyer. Additionally, John was also named as a 2019 Rising Star and was selected to Minnesota Super Lawyers in 2021. He devotes nearly 100% of his practice to defending individuals charged with a crime.

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