If you are charged with assault in Minnesota, it’s helpful to understand how bodily harm is defined in various degrees. Below, we’re going to break down the law and penalties for you, then let you know how to fight back against your charges.
Understanding Bodily Harm in Minnesota Assault Laws
The Minnesota Statutes break assault into five different degrees, which define different levels of bodily harm, among other things.
Assault in the Fifth Degree
Charge: Intentionally causing fear of immediate bodily harm or death, or intentionally inflicting or attempting to inflict bodily harm upon another person.
Assault in the fifth degree is a misdemeanor, but can be bumped up to a gross misdemeanor (up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $3,000, or both) or a felony (up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both) if specific aggravating circumstances are present.
Assault in the Fourth Degree
Assault against a member of the following classes:
- Peace officers
- Firefighters and emergency medical personnel
- Department of Natural Resource employees engaged in forest fire activities
- Correctional employees
- Prosecuting attorneys
- Probation officers
- Secure treatment facility personnel
- Target due to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, or national origin
- School official
- Certain public employees
- Community crime prevention group members
- Vulnerable adults
- Reserve officers
- Utility and postal service employees and contractors
- Transit operators
Penalties range from gross misdemeanors to felonies depending on the nature of the assault. Any assault against these classes with demonstrable bodily harm become felonies.
Assault in the Third Degree
Charge: Intentionally inflicting substantial bodily harm upon another person, acting with a past pattern of child abuse, or assault upon a victim under the age of four.
Felony: Sentence of up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
Assault in the Second Degree
Charge: Assaulting another person with a dangerous weapon.
Felony: Sentence of up to seven years in prison, a fine of up to $14,000, or both.
Charge: Assault with a dangerous weapon and inflicting substantial bodily harm on another person.
Felony: Sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000, or both.
Assault in the First Degree
Charge: Assault that inflicts great bodily harm upon another person.
Felony: Sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $30,000, or both.
Charge: Using or attempting to use deadly force against a peace officer, prosecuting attorney, judge, or correctional employee while that person is engaged in duty.
Felony: Sentence of at least 10 years and up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $30,000, or both. Ineligible for probation, parole, work release, supervised release, or discharge until sentence is served.
Fighting Back Against Minnesota Assault Charges
If you have been accused of assault in Minnesota, you are facing serious charges, and the level of bodily harm you are alleged to have caused will have a huge impact on the consequences you face.
A conviction will almost certainly result in incarceration and significant fines, and your opportunities for employment, securing loans, and applying for credit may also be permanently affected.
You need an aggressive defender to help you fight your charges. By contacting a qualified Minnesota criminal defense attorney, you will have an advocate who will construct a strong defense to your charges. A strong defense can get your charges reduced or dropped altogether.
Call today for a free case review.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is a Minneapolis-based criminal and DWI defense attorney known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge, and recognized as a Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Star (2014–2015), a Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2013–2015), and a Top 40 Under 40 Attorney (2013–2015).