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Domestic Assault Law in Minnesota

Minnesota takes violence between family members very seriously, and the state has laws on the books to punish those who harm or threaten those they are close to.

If you have been accused or arrested for domestic assault, you are looking at serious penalties, so you will need the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

At Arechigo & Stokka, our team has defended many people accused of domestic assault in Minnesota, and we can help you, too. Please reach out to a criminal defense attorney today to discuss your options.

What is Domestic Assault?

Domestic assault is essentially violence between family or household members and is different from assault between strangers. Minnesota’s domestic assault law is found at 609.2242, and states that domestic assault consists of:

  • actions that cause (or were intended to cause) fear of imminent bodily harm or death
  • intentional infliction (or attempts to inflict) bodily harm

A family or household member is defined as:

  • Spouse or former spouse
  • Parent
  • Children
  • Blood relative
  • Person who is residing in the home or with whom you have resided in the past
  • A person you have a child with, regardless of whether you were ever married
  • Romantic or sexual partner
  • Man and woman if the woman is pregnant with the man’s child

Under the law, a perpetrator does not have to physically touch the victim. Instead, waving a gun in the person’s face could qualify as an act “intended to cause fear.”

Penalties for Domestic Assault in Minnesota

Domestic assault is a misdemeanor offense that carries the following penalties:

  • Up to 90 days in jail
  • Fine of up to $1,000
  • Both

A defendant can also lose their firearms if convicted. A judge will need to find that the defendant used a firearm in “any way” during the assault. If so, then the judge can order the defendant to forfeit the firearm for a specific amount of time.

If the defendant has a previous domestic violence-related conviction within the past 10 years, then a subsequent conviction will be a gross misdemeanor, which carries up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $3,000.

A third conviction in a 10-year period will qualify as a felony. Felonies carry punishment of up to 5 years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both. Felons can also lose their civil rights, such as their right to vote while incarcerated or on parole.

Protection Orders

A family member might have gotten a protection order against you. If you violated the order at the same time as the assault, you are looking at additional penalties. For one thing, you can be immediately arrested by the police and held in jail subject to posting bond. You are also looking at a misdemeanor offense, including up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Criminal Defense Attorneys You Can Trust

A domestic assault accusation is no small matter. Smart defendants will immediately meet with an attorney to review their case.

At Arechigo & Stokka, we can help you understand your obligations under a protective order, and we can fight to get your domestic assault charge dismissed. Please contact us today for a free consultation.

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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