A person commits an assault in Minnesota when he or she intentionally inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily harm upon another or commits an act with intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death. This means that a person can face criminal charges even if an alleged victim does not suffer any kind of physical injury.
When the alleged victim is a family or household member, then this crime becomes classified as domestic assault. These criminal charges can be enhanced if an alleged offender has been previously convicted of domestic violence.
Apple Valley Domestic Assault Lawyer
If you have been arrested for this crime in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, you should not delay in seeking legal representation. James Blumberg is a former prosecutor who is committed to getting the best outcome for all of his clients, and James Blumberg Law serves numerous communities in Anoka County, Hennepin County, Dakota County, and Ramsey County.
Our Dakota County domestic assault attorney fights to protect the rights of people facing these charges in Minnetonka, St. Cloud, Eagan, Maple Grove, Blaine, Coon Rapids, Plymouth, and many other nearby areas. Call (952) 431-7758 right now to take advantage of a completely free consultation that will allow our firm to review your case and answer all of your questions.
Minnesota Domestic Assault Information Center
- When can a person be charged with this crime?
- What are the possible consequences if an alleged offender is convicted?
- Are there any defenses against these allegations?
In these types of cases, the court must determine a couple of factors as listed under Subdivision 3 of Minnesota Statute § 609.2242. The first such factor is whether the alleged assault was committed against a family or household member.
Family or household members are defined under Minnesota Statute § 518B.01 as being any of the following:
- Spouses and former spouses;
- Parents and children;
- Persons related by blood;
- Persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past;
- Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time;
- A man and woman if the woman is pregnant and the man is alleged to be the father, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time; and
- Persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship.
If an alleged offender is charged with this crime for the first time and has no previous qualified domestic violence-related offense conviction or adjudication of delinquency, then this is classified as a misdemeanor. However, one prior qualified domestic violence-related offense conviction or adjudication of delinquency within 10 years will make this a gross misdemeanor and the crime becomes a felony if the first of any combination of two or more previous qualified domestic violence-related offense convictions or adjudications of delinquency was within 10 years of the alleged domestic assault.
There are several consequences for alleged offenders who are convicted of these crimes. Generally, the statutory maximums for misdemeanor offenses are as follows:
- Misdemeanor — Up to 90 days imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000; or
- Gross Misdemeanor — Up to one-year imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $3,000.
Additionally, the other factors that the court determines in domestic assault cases concern whether the alleged offender owns or possesses a firearm and whether that firearm was used in any way during the commission of the assault. If the court does determine that an alleged offender owns or possesses a firearm that was used in any way during the commission of the assault, then it will order that the firearm be summarily forfeited. In certain cases, the court may allow an alleged offender to permanently or temporarily transfer firearms he or she possesses to a federally licensed firearms dealer, a law enforcement agency, or a third party who may lawfully receive them.
The court may also order that the alleged offender be prohibited from possessing any type of firearm for a minimum of three years up to possibly the remainder of his or her life. If the alleged offender violates this order, he or she can be charged with a gross misdemeanor.
It is important to understand that the court will make a determination as to whether an alleged offender poses an imminent risk of causing another person substantial bodily harm by a preponderance of the evidence. This is a far less rigorous standard than the standard requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt in most criminal law cases.
Convictions in these types of cases are never automatic. There are usually a multitude of factors that can be uncovered through a basic investigation, such as inconsistent statements from alleged victims or biased or unreliable statements from alleged witnesses.
A few of the most common defenses in domestic assault cases include, but are not limited to:
- Alleged victim consented to risk of harm;
- Defense of another person;
- Defense of property;
- False allegations;
- Lack of evidence;
- No intent to cause reasonable fear of bodily harm or death; or
James Blumberg Law – A Domestic Assault Lawyer in Dakota County
Were you recently charged with assaulting a family or household member in the Twin Cities? You should know that a conviction can have enormous immediate and long-term consequences, and the state will pursue these cases even when alleged victims say they do not want to press charges.
James Blumberg Law fights for clients accused of these crimes in Brooklyn Park, Woodbury, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Burnsville, Lakeville, and several other surrounding communities. You can have Dakota County domestic assault attorney James Blumberg review your case by calling (952) 431-7758 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.