Minneapolis criminal defense attorney Christopher Keyser represented a St. Paul woman accused of assaulting a co-worker in October, 2014. The City of St. Paul also charged the client with disorderly conduct for allegedly engaging in brawling or fighting. The case involved two female employees at a daycare center. The women agree that an altercation took place, but both claimed the other woman was the initial aggressor. There were eyewitnesses but they did not see the fight begin – only end. The client claimed she was being choked and assaulted the other employee in an attempt to protect herself from harm.
During cross-examination of State witnesses, Mr. Keyser successfully exposed numerous inconsistencies, errors, and lies by the alleged victim. After explaining each inconsistency to the jury, Mr. Keyser argued that the State could not prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt when it relied on the conflicted and inconsistent testimony of the alleged victim. After less than one hour of deliberation, the jury agreed and found the client NOT GUILTY of assault and disorderly conduct.
Under Minnesota law, a person is not guilty of a crime if the person uses reasonable force against another to resist an offense. It is lawful for a person being assaulted to use all force and means that the person reasonably thinks is necessary to prevent injury. There is also a duty to retreat if doing so is reasonably possible.