Any action intending to cause another person to fear the threat of imminent bodily harm or death is considered assault under the Minneapolis criminal statute. Physical contact is not necessary for an arrest and conviction for the crime.
When a person follows through and physically attacks another, they could face charges of assault and battery. An experienced criminal defense attorney could review the charges in detail and answer specific questions. Call a Minneapolis assault lawyer today to schedule a consultation when you need help or legal guidance after an arrest.
Severity of Assault Charges
The degree of the assault charge will depend on the severity and circumstances of the arrest.
Assault in the fifth degree, or misdemeanor assault, occurs when someone causes or attempts to cause another person to fear for their safety. Verbal threats of violence are enough for an arrest and charges. Assaults involving domestic disputes or violence can elevate the severity of the charges, and when there are previous arrests, the person could face felony charges.
A person who assaults government officials, also called protected class members, could be arrested for fourth-degree misdemeanor assault. Protected class members include police, correctional or probation officers, judges, and prosecuting attorneys. A conviction could mean facing a mandatory minimum sentence.
Assault in the third degree is a felony offense and involves causing significant bodily harm to another person. Injuries that cause physical impairment, temporary disfigurement, or fractured bones fall within this category.
Assault with a dangerous weapon is felony assault in the second degree. The statute provides that firearms, whether loaded or unloaded, and flammable liquids qualify as dangerous weapons.
Penalties for an Assault Conviction
The severity of the penalties and other consequences for an assault depends on the level of violence and case specifics. The maximum sentencing guidelines are as follows:
- Misdemeanor assault sentencing is up to $1,000 in fines and 90 days in jail
- Gross misdemeanor assault penalties include fines of up to $3,000 and one year in jail
- Felony assault convictions of the fourth, third, and second degree carry prison sentences of five to 20 years and $3,000 to $20,000 in fines
A person found guilty in court of a violent crime will also lose the right to own certain weapons, such as firearms. It is important to retain a Minneapolis assault attorney to help reduce or dismiss the charges using available evidence.
Assault in the First Degree
Assault in the first degree is the most serious assault charge people can face. A conviction could mean severe and life-altering penalties and other consequences. According to Minnesota Statutes § 609.221, inflicting great bodily harm on another person is assault in the first degree and punishable by as much as 20 years of imprisonment and fines of up to $30,000.
Deadly Force, Dangerous Weapons, and Public Officials
Using deadly force, dangerous weapons, or causing bodily harm to a police officer, judge, prosecuting attorney, or other government officials is first-degree assault. A person guilty of these severe charges faces up to 30 years in prison and $30,000 in monetary penalties.
Cases involving public officials have a mandatory minimum sentencing requirement of 10, 15, or 25 years, depending on the case specifics and whether aggravating factors were present during the attack. An assault defense lawyer in Minneapolis could investigate the evidence and lead-up to the arrest to help determine the best plan for a sound defense strategy.
Call a Qualified Assault Attorney in Minneapolis
The state prosecutes violent criminal offenses aggressively, including assault. You must take the charges seriously if facing assault charges of any degree.
Even a conviction for the lowest level, fifth-degree assault, will result in a permanent record for a violent criminal offense and may cause issues in many areas of your life, like getting a job or renting an apartment. Schedule a consultation with an experienced Minneapolis assault lawyer to begin preparing your defense strategy immediately.