Assault is a serious crime no matter where you live. The laws for assault in the state of Minnesota, are some of the tougher penalties in the country. When you’re facing criminal charges that could affect that rest your life and your future, you need the assistance of an experienced local defense attorney.
Minnesota Assault Laws
First Degree Assault
The most serious of all assault charges in the state, 1st degree assault is characterized by physically assaulting someone to the point of great bodily harm. Great bodily harm means that you’re accused of putting this person at risk of death, or caused disfigurement or loss of use.
First degree assault is a felony charge and carries up to 20 years in prison with $30,000 in fines.
Second Degree Assault
Assault in the 2nd degree is the applicable charge when the prosecution believes you assaulted someone with the use of a dangerous weapon. This doesn’t have to be a gun, it could be a baseball bat, or any other weapon that could be considered dangerous when wielded.
A charge of second degree assault carries up to 10 years in prison if the act caused “substantial bodily harm” to the alleged victim. However, if no such harm was done, you will face up to 7 years in prison and $14,000 in fines.
Third Degree Assault
Another felony assault charge, assault in the 3rd degree is less serious than the previous assault charges, though it still carries the potential of 5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. If the prosecution has probable cause that you committed any of the following, you could face this charge:
- Assaulted someone under the age of 4,
- Assaulted a minor where there is a history of abuse,
- Assaulted someone resulting in substantial bodily harm
Fourth Degree Assault
A fourth degree assault charge is dependent on the alleged victim in your case. If your assault doesn’t meet the criteria for one of the more serious assault classifications, as above, then you could face 4th degree assault charges.
If the assault is against a police officer, school official, corrections officer (including parole/probation), firefighter, or emergency medical personnel, you can face a gross misdemeanor 4th degree assault charge and up to one year in jail and $3,000. You can also face the same penalty if it’s determined the assault is committed against someone because of their race, religion, disability, or sexual preference.
In some situations, 4th degree assault can be elevated to a felony charge. Consulting with a local defense attorney will help you determine the classification of the charges against you.
Fifth Degree Assault
Assault in the 5th degree is a misdemeanor charge. It carries up to 90 days in jail and fines. Typically, this charge is applied when none of the other assault definitions can be fulfilled.
If you commit an assaultive act with intent to cause fear or bodily harm, or if you intentionally inflict or attempt to inflict harm on another, you could face this charge. If you notice, you don’t have to succeed at the assaultive act to be faced with this charge—an attempt is enough.
Ref: Minnesota Statute §609.221-224
An assault charge can follow you for the rest of your life. Consulting with a local attorney can help you get a handle on what sort of penalty you’re facing and what options you have.