Assault charges and their penalties depend on the individuals involved in the incident and their prior criminal history. To fully understand the full range of charges and penalties that you might face for this crime, contact a Bloomington assault lawyer. Working with a skilled criminal attorney may allow you to build a strong defense and mitigate or avoid the serious penalties of these charges.
Types of Assault Under State Law
Assault takes various forms under state law, ranging from first-degree, the most severe crime, to fifth-degree. Assault that occurs between family and household members can result in domestic assault charges, a separate offense.
First Degree Assault
Under Minnesota Statutes § 609.221, first-degree assault occurs in two significant circumstances. An individual can face this charge if they cause great bodily harm to another person by assaulting them. They also may face first-degree charges for using or attempting to use deadly force against a police officer, a prosecuting attorney, a judge, or an employee of a correctional facility who was performing their official duties.
Second Degree Assault
Assault in the second degree under Minn. Stat. § 609.222 occurs when an individual uses a dangerous weapon to commit assault against another person. The sentence increases if the individual inflicts substantial bodily harm during the assault.
Third Degree Assault
Under Minn. Stat. § 609.223, an individual commits third-degree assault when they assault others and inflict substantial bodily harm. The charge may result in harsher penalties when the crime involves a child.
Fourth Degree Assault
Fourth-degree assault under Minn. Stat. § 609.224 involves actions against members of specific classes, including police officers, firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, correctional employees, judges, school officials, and probation officers, among others. This offense also includes assaults motivated by bias against race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, or national origin of the alleged assault targets.
Fifth Degree Assault
Fifth-degree assault can be a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor under Minn. Stat. § 609.224. This offense may be charged when an individual intentionally causes another person to fear immediate bodily harm or death, or if they purposely inflict or attempt to inflict physical harm on another. Multiple fifth-degree assault convictions can result in increased charges and penalties. Contacting a local lawyer when facing any level of assault charges may be beneficial.
Penalties for Assault
Assault may be a felony, gross misdemeanor, or misdemeanor offense, depending on the situation. First and second-degree assault is often a felony charge that has a penalty ranging from seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine to 20 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. If the alleged targets fall into specific classes of people, a defendant could also face automatic felony charges.
Fifth degree or simple assault is a misdemeanor under state law, meaning that the maximum sentence is less than one year. If the offense qualifies as a gross misdemeanor, the penalty is the same, except that it also may include a $30,000 fine. Domestic assault could also qualify as a felony, gross misdemeanor, or misdemeanor offense, depending on the situation.
More than two convictions for assault and some domestic violence-related crimes within ten years can result in increased charges and penalties. For some assault levels, if the alleged target is a minor, the potential penalties may be more significant. An attorney in the area may advise that alleged bias against characteristics such as race or gender can add to the charges and penalties that an individual may face for assault.
Contact a Bloomington Assault Attorney Today
Assault convictions create a criminal record of a violent crime, which can be damaging to your personal and professional future. You also may face incarceration, fines, probation, counseling, and more if you are convicted. To minimize or avoid these consequences, you may want to call a Bloomington assault lawyer right away.
By consulting qualified legal counsel, you could protect your rights and create the most effective defense strategy available to you. Contact the firm today to get started.