Assault charges are serious, ranging from misdemeanor, 5th degree assault all the way to felony domestic assault, you need to these charges very seriously as they can not only land you in jail, but you lose your gun rights, have no contact orders issued against and your future job prospects can be severely diminished.
5th Degree Assault
This is the most common and least serious of all the assault charges in Minnesota. It is a misdemeanor and punishable by up to 90 days in jail. it can range from threatening to hit someone to a simple punch or even a slap. The law requires that you “intended to cause fear of bodily harm or injury” OR “intentionally inflicted or attempted to inflict bodily harm”.
4th Degree Assault
This is a little less common assault charge and is triggered if you assault a police officer, school official, firefighter or EMT that is working in the line of duty. a 4th degree assault is a gross misdemeanor and punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine.
3rd Degree Assault
This level of assault is a felony and means a possible 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. In order to be convicted of a 3rd Degree assault you need to caused “substantial bodily harm”, this usually means a serious injury such as a broken bone or semi-permanent injury.
2nd Degree Assault
This is serious. Very serious, it requires the use of a “dangerous weapon” during the assault. There is a presumption of
prison (either 10 or 7 years) if convicted and this is a very serious charge that must be dealt with. One interesting note is a “dangerous weapon” is the same as a deadly weapon, such as a car, knife or gun to name a few.
The gun image is a bit misleading, because simply pointing a gun is not 2nd degree assault, technically that would be a violation of Minnesota Statute 609.66, which is pointing the gun at another, which is a misdemeanor. However, using a weapons is often the triggering event in second degree assault cases.
Minnesota has a law or statute that defines what a “dangerous weapon” is, that is Minnesota Statute 609.02 which defines dangerous weapon as:
- A Firearm (loaded or unloaded),
- An object designed to be used as a weapon and capable of causing death or causing great bodily harm,
- A Fire that caused death or great bodily harm to a person,
- Any object that is used in such a way that is calculated to produce death or great bodily harm.
As you can see, this is pretty vague and many items that are not designed as weapons, do fall into the “dangerous weapon” category.
1st Degree Assault
The most serious types of assault, first degree assault carries with it a presumption of prison up to 20 years and a $30,000 fine. First degree assault requires causing “great bodily harm” to another. Great bodily harm is specifically defined in MN as injury which causes “substantial risk of death” or causes disfigurement or loss of use of any organ.
As you can see, assault law is fairly complex and requires an attorney who understands this area of the law. Fortunately, the lawyers at Rosengren, Kohlmeyer & Hagen Law Office have that experience. We’re former prosecutors who have been on the other side and know how the system works.
If you’re facing Criminal Assault charges in Minnesota, call, talk to one of our lawyers and learn what we can do to solve your legal problems.