It is a common misconception that assault must involve causing physical harm, and it surprises many to learn what circumstances could lead to an arrest. While physical harm can lead to charges, assault can also include any action causing another person to fear immediate bodily injuries or death.
An assault conviction of any degree can have severe consequences. Preparing a solid case against the charges is crucial and could be possible with the help of a seasoned criminal defense attorney. Schedule a consultation with a Golden Valley assault lawyer to get started.
Degrees of Assault Charges in Golden Valley
State law divides assault charges into five categories, with first-degree charges being the most severe. An experienced local attorney could review the circumstances of an assault charge and work to determine the best plan of legal action.
Fifth and Fourth-Degree Assault
Fifth-degree assault, or simple assault, involves threats causing a person to fear bodily harm. Assaulting someone performing their duties, such as a police officer, public official, or school administrator, could lead to fourth-degree assault charges.
Causing severe bodily harm to someone could result in third-degree assault charges. Physically injuring a child younger than four years old also falls into this category.
A person who commits assault using a dangerous weapon and causes significant bodily harm could face assault in the second-degree charges. Significant physical harm includes temporary loss of function, impairment, or disfigurement. A dangerous weapon could be any tool or device used to inflict harm.
Inflicting great bodily harm to another person can result in first-degree assault charges, which carry the most severe penalties. According to Minnesota Statutes § 609.221, great bodily harm causes impairment, permanent disfigurement, or has a high probability of causing death. Using or attempting to use deadly force against a judge, prosecutor, or police officer in the line of duty also constitutes a first-degree assault charge under this statute.
Penalties for an Assault Conviction
Penalties for assault vary depending on the circumstances of the alleged crime and the degree of assault. Depending on their criminal history, a person guilty of fourth or fifth-degree assault may receive a misdemeanor or felony conviction carrying jail time and fines.
A conviction for third-degree assault can carry up to five years of imprisonment, monetary penalties of up to $10,000, and a felony conviction on a permanent record. Second-degree assault is a felony, carrying up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines. Finally, an individual found guilty of first-degree assault faces a felony conviction, up to 20 years of imprisonment, and fines of up to $30,000. An assault lawyer in Golden Valley could investigate the circumstances of an arrest and help build a solid defense strategy and work to minimize the penalties someone faces.
Call an Experienced Golden Valley Assault Attorney Today
While the severity of assault charges varies, any criminal conviction could adversely affect your life. Penalties can range from a misdemeanor and probation to a felony and spending 30 years in prison. Any conviction for a violent offense may be permanently on your criminal record.
The best way to protect your future is to understand the charges you face and plan a solid defense to fight them. Schedule a consultation to meet with an experienced Golden Valley assault lawyer ready to fight on your behalf.