Assault is defined in the Minnesota Statutes as the intentional infliction of or attempt to inflict bodily harm upon another person or an act done with intent to cause fear in another person of immediate bodily harm or death. There are five different degrees of this crime in the North Star State, with criminal charges depending on the type of alleged victim, the nature of the injuries the alleged victims suffers, and whether the alleged offender used a weapon.
As a result, the classification of the crime may be a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony offense. Any person who has been charged with a misdemeanor level assault should not assume that the least severe criminal grade means that prosecutors will not take the case seriously.
Apple Valley Misdemeanor Assault Lawyer
If you were recently arrested in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area for a misdemeanor grade assault, you should quickly contact legal representation for help ensuring you can achieve the best possible outcome to your case. James Blumberg Law defends clients from neighborhoods all over Dakota County, Ramsey County, Anoka County, and Hennepin County.
Our Dakota County misdemeanor assault attorney is a former prosecutor with more than a decade of experience handling these cases for clients all over the Twin Cities, including Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Plymouth, St. Cloud, Woodbury, Eagan, and many more. You can have our firm review your case when you call (952) 431-7758 today to set up a free, confidential consultation.
Minnesota Misdemeanor Assault Information Center
- What is the difference between misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, and felony charges for assault in the fifth degree?
- Which kinds of alleged victims constitute gross misdemeanor charges for assault in the fourth degree?
- Are there any defenses in these cases?
Assault in the Fifth Degree Charges in Dakota County
Under Minnesota Statute § 609.224, an alleged offender who commits an assault against another person with no other aggravating factors is generally charged with a misdemeanor. This crime is punishable by a sentence of up to 90 days imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
However, this crime may be classified as a gross misdemeanor if:
- The alleged offender commits an assault against the same victim within 10 years of a previous qualified domestic violence-related offense conviction or adjudication of delinquency;
- The alleged offender commits an assault within three years of a previous qualified domestic violence-related offense conviction or adjudication of delinquency; or
- The alleged offender possessed a pistol while committing the assault or used a firearm he or she owned or possessed in any way during the commission of the assault.
A gross misdemeanor is punishable by up to one-year imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $3,000. The crime of fifth-degree assault can also be classified as a felony offense if the alleged offender commits an assault against the same victim within 10 years or against any other victim within three years of the first of any combination of two or more previous qualified domestic violence-related offense convictions or adjudications of delinquency.
Felony offenses of assault in the fifth degree are punishable by up to five years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000. In these types of cases, a lawyer could help possibly negotiate a plea to a misdemeanor offense with penalties that are much less severe.
Assault in the Fourth Degree Charges in Apple Valley
Crimes listed under Minnesota Statute § 609.2231 are generally assaults committed against specific types of alleged victims. Some of these are considered felony offenses, but most are classified as gross misdemeanors.
It is a gross misdemeanor if an alleged offender:
- Physically assaults a peace officer when that officer is effecting a lawful arrest or executing any other duty imposed by law;
- Assaults and inflicts demonstrable bodily harm on an employee of the Department of Natural Resources who is engaged in forest fire activities;
- Assaults and inflicts demonstrable bodily harm upon a school official—including teachers, school administrators, and other employees of a public or private school—while the official is engaged in the performance of the official’s duties;
- Assaults and inflicts demonstrable bodily harm upon a public employee with mandated duties—including an agricultural inspector, occupational safety and health investigator, child protection worker, public health nurse, animal control officer, or probation or parole officer while the employee is engaged in the performance of a duty mandated by law, court order, or ordinance—who the alleged offender knows is a public employee engaged in the performance of the official public duties of the office;
- Assaults and inflicts demonstrable bodily harm upon a community crime prevention group member while the member is engaged in neighborhood patrol, whom the alleged offender should reasonably know is a community crime prevention group member engaged in neighborhood patrol;
- Assaults and inflicts demonstrable bodily harm upon a vulnerable adult, knowing or having reason to know that the person is a vulnerable adult—defined in Minnesota Statute § 626.84 as any person 18 years of age or older who is a resident inpatient of a facility, receives services at or from a facility required to be licensed to serve adults, receives services from a home care provider or from a person or organization that exclusively offers, provides, or arranges for personal care assistance services under the medical assistance program, or regardless of residence or whether any type of service is received, possesses a physical or mental infirmity or other physical, mental, or emotional dysfunction;
- Assaults a reserve officer who is engaged in the performance of official public duties at the direction of, under the control of, or on behalf of a peace officer or supervising law enforcement officer or agency, and whom the alleged offender should reasonably know is a reserve officer engaged in the performance of official public duties of the peace officer, or supervising law enforcement officer or agency;
- Assaults and inflicts demonstrable bodily harm upon an employee or contractor of a utility or the United States Postal Service while the employee or contractor is engaged in the performance of the employee’s or contractor’s duties, and whom the alleged offender should reasonably know is an employee or contractor of a utility or the postal service who is performing duties of the alleged victim’s employment or fulfilling the alleged victim’s contractual obligations;
- Assaults a transit operator—meaning a driver or operator of a transit vehicle that is used to provide public transit, light rail transit service, commuter rail service, or special transportation service, whether provided by the Metropolitan Council or by other providers under contract with the council—or intentionally throws or otherwise transfers bodily fluids onto a transit operator while the transit operator is acting in the course of the operator’s duties and is operating a transit vehicle, aboard a transit vehicle, or otherwise responsible for a transit vehicle.
Minnesota Misdemeanor Assault Defenses
Assault is certainly a very serious crime, but the alleged offender’s guilt still needs to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. As a former prosecutor, James Blumberg understands what weaknesses in evidence to look for and how to use any shortcomings to develop a strong defense.
Every assault case is different, so there can often be a multitude of unique factors that need to be examined. Some of the most common defenses in these types of cases generally include, but are not limited to:
- Self-Defense — An alleged offender may be able to claim that he or she only used force or violence in an effort to protect himself or herself from the threat of harm imposed by another party.
- Defense of Others — The alleged offender may be justified in his or her actions if he or she can demonstrate that he or she was acting only to help another person in danger.
- Defense of Property — The alleged offender could also be justified if he or she harmed another person who was clearly intending to steal or damage property.
- Lack of Evidence — Alleged offenders may have their cases dismissed if there were no witnesses, signs of injury, or other criteria that would prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
- No Criminal Intent — It may be argued that the alleged offender’s actions were not intended to invoke fear and involved no attempt to inflict bodily harm.
James Blumberg Law – A Misdemeanor Assault Lawyer in Dakota County
Are you facing misdemeanor charges of assault in Minnesota? James Blumberg Law helps clients arrested for these types of crimes in communities throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, including Maple Grove, Eden Prairie, Coon Rapids, Burnsville, Blaine, Lakeville, Minnetonka, and more.
As a former prosecutor who began his legal career in the Criminal Division of the Dakota County Attorney’s Office, James Blumberg is extremely knowledgeable has handled scores of violent crime cases. You can have our Dakota County misdemeanor assault attorney review your case by calling (952) 431-7758 right now for a free consultation.