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Every state treats domestic violence crimes a bit differently. While the precise penalties may vary among jurisdictions, domestic violence charges are universally serious. 

In Minnesota, a domestic violence conviction can land you behind bars—sometimes for a lengthy amount of time.

Minnesota prosecutors pursue domestic violence cases aggressively, often seeking jail time whenever possible.

You need a knowledgeable, keen defense lawyer if you have been accused of a domestic violence crime. Contact the team at Arechigo & Stokka to begin your defense today. 

Minnesota Domestic Assault Law

Before addressing possible jail time for domestic violence, it is critical to understand the law itself. In Minnesota, one of the most common crimes charged is domestic assault.

Under Minnesota law, assault is intentionally inflicting or attempting to inflict bodily harm on another or committing an act intending to place another in fear of immediate bodily harm or death.

When the assault victim is a family or household member, as defined by law, the crime is domestic assault.

A family or household member includes spouses, former spouses, parents and children, related individuals, people who lived together in the past or presently, individuals engaged in a sexual relationship, individuals who have a child together, and pregnant women and the alleged fathers of their children.

Domestic violence does not stop at assault charges and can include a range of offenses, including:

  • Sexual assault or abuse,
  • Physical abuse,
  • Verbal threats of violence,
  • Emotional or psychological abuse,
  • Financial abuse, and 
  • Stalking and cyberstalking.

No matter the charge, any domestic violence-related offense comes with steep penalties. Contact the domestic violence lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka for a thorough review of your case.

Potential Sentence for Domestic Violence Crimes

The exact penalty and domestic violence jail time you might face depend on the crime charged.


If it is your first offense, and you have no prior domestic assault convictions, you are likely to be charged with misdemeanor domestic assault. A conviction is punishable by up to 90 days in jail. In addition, you can be fined up to $1,000.

Gross Misdemeanor

If a defendant has one prior domestic violence conviction within the past 10 years, the charges are elevated to a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.

A conviction under these circumstances can trigger mandatory jail time and extensive court-ordered therapy or counseling.


A defendant with two or more prior domestic violence-related convictions may be charged with a felony offense.

A conviction is punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. A conviction under these circumstances can lead to increased mandatory jail time and extensive probationary conditions.

In Minnesota, domestic assault by strangulation is a separate chargeable felony. A conviction is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Collateral Consequences for Domestic Assault Conviction

In addition to jail time and other statutory penalties, there are other collateral consequences of a domestic assault conviction. These may include a no-contact order, firearms prohibitions, mandated therapy or counseling, community service, probation, alcohol monitoring, and anger management.

Contact a Minnesota Domestic Violence Lawyer Today

If you find yourself accused of domestic violence, you are likely wondering, How much jail time for domestic violence will I face? At Arechigo & Stokka, our goal is to do all we can to keep you out of jail.

We are a small firm that provides personal, individualized attention with big firm results. With over a decade of experience defending clients’ rights, freedom, and reputation, let us help you through this challenging time.

Contact us for a confidential, no-obligation consultation 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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