THE MINNESOTA DOMESTIC ASSAULT LAW IS FOUND AT MINNESOTA STATUTE 609.2242.
In Minnesota, Domestic Assault can be charged as either a Misdemeanor, Gross Misdemeanor, or Felony.
The severity of a assault charge will depend on the offender’s prior criminal history, if any. Domestic Assault in Minnesota is referred to as an “enhanceable” offense.
This means that the more domestic assault convictions a person has, the more severe new charges become. And, as you can imagine, increased penalties accompany a more severe charge.
A FIRST-TIME CHARGE OF DOMESTIC ASSAULT WILL TYPICALLY BE TREATED AS A MISDEMEANOR OFFENSE.
A person could face a Felony charge of Third Degree Assault if the victim suffered “substantial bodily harm.” A first-time Misdemeanor charge of domestic assault typically results from an act causing fear of immediate bodily harm in a family or household member or intentionally inflicting or attempting to inflict bodily harm upon a family or household member.
The level of harm inflicted will control the severity level of the charge. If the victim alleges the accused choked, strangled, or otherwise impeded the victim’s airway during an assault, the accused could end up facing a charge of Minnesota Domestic Assault by Strangulation. This is a Felony offense and is separate from a charge of domestic assault.
In order to end up facing a charge of Misdemeanor Minnesota Domestic Assault, the alleged victim of the offense must be either a family or household member of the accused’s.
If the victim is not a family or household member, then the accused will most likely end up facing a charge of Fifth Degree Assault (assuming the victim did not suffer substantial bodily harm). If the current charge of Domestic Assault is the accused’s second domestic assault charge – and the accused was convicted of a prior Domestic Assault charge within the previous ten years – then the current offense will be charged as a Gross Misdemeanor offense.
If convicted of a second Domestic Assault charge within a ten year period, the offender will face a minimum of 20 days in jail. The penalties can increase depending on the circumstances of each individual Minnesota Domestic Assault case. Three Domestic Assault convictions in a ten year period will result in a Felony conviction and will trigger significant penalties.
A MINNESOTA DOMESTIC ASSAULT CONVICTION ALSO TRIGGERS FIREARM RESTRICTIONS.
If a firearm was used during the commission of the Domestic Assault offense, the court may order that the firearm be forfeited. This means the state would seize the firearm and the offender would no longer own the weapon. Even if a firearm was not used during the assault, an offender may be prohibited from possessing a firearm for up to three years following a Domestic Assault conviction.
A Domestic Assault charge is a very serious criminal offense, even if it is a first-time Misdemeanor offense. If charged with Domestic Assault, you need an experienced Minnesota criminal defense lawyer on your side.
Our St. Paul criminal defense attorneys have successfully handled numerous Domestic Assault cases. Our aggressive criminal defense lawyers will thoroughly investigate every aspect of the allegations against you and prepare a solid defense.
Contact us today if you or someone you know if facing a Minnesota Domestic Assault charge.