Being charged with Assault is a very serious situation. Not only can it result in a felony conviction, with potential sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years imprisonment, but being convicted of any level of assault can affect every area of your life, for the rest of your life. If you are charged with assault, it is important that you take the time to talk to a criminal defense attorney that can help you.
If you are facing assault charges, it is important to know how the system works, to protect your rights, to know what your options are, and the pros and cons of each and every choice. That’s what we do.
- We are here to help you understand the system. We walk you through and explain how the system works and what happens each step of the way.
- We protect your rights. Our job is to make sure that your rights are protected every step of the way; to ensure that questionable and falsified evidence is challenged; to force the State to do things by the book.
- We can help you understand your options and the ramifications that each option brings with it.
We offer free consultations so that you don’t have to fight alone. The best thing you can do is take the time to sit down with a trained criminal defense attorney and talk about your case.
What is Assault?
If you are charged with assault, the State is claiming that you have acted in a way where you intended to cause injury or imminent fear of injury to another person. Often times, the crime of battery is also associated with the assault. However, under Minnesota laws, battery has been eliminated and incorporated into the definition of assault.
Assault can be a felony, gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor. There are also various degrees of assault. It is important to understand the differences between all of these degrees when you are charged with assault to understand the potential consequences. It is important to remember that this information is general in nature. To receive answers to your questions, please call our office for an initial consultation at no cost. 612-217-0077
Definitions of harm
The level of harm inflicted upon a victim can determine the degree of assault you may be charged with.
- “Great bodily harm” – An injury which creates a high probability of death, or causes serious permanent disfigurement, or causes a permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or other serious bodily harm.
- “Substantial bodily harm” – Temporary but substantial disfigurement, temporary but substantial loss of or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or the fracture of any bodily member, or the temporary loss of consciousness.
- “Demonstrable bodily harm” – Bodily harm capable of being perceived by a person other than the victim.
First Degree Assault (Minn. Stat. §609.221)
A crime constitutes First Degree Assault if:
- An individual inflicts great bodily harm against another; or
- An individual uses or attempts to use deadly force against a peace officer while the officer is performing his or her duties; or
- An individual uses or attempts to use a deadly force against a correctional employee while he or she is performing his or her duties.
First Degree Assault carries a sentence of 10-20 years imprisonment and/or a fine of no more than $30,000.
Second Degree Assault (Minn. Stat. §609.222)
A crime constitutes Second Degree Assault if:
- The assault includes the use of a dangerous weapon as part of the offense; or
- The assault includes use of a dangerous weapon and substantial bodily harm is inflicted upon another.
Second Degree Assault carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine of no more than $20,000.
Third Degree Assault (Minn. Stat. §609.223)
A crime constitutes Third Degree Assault if:
- An individual assaults another and inflicts substantial bodily harm; or
- An individual assaults a minor and has engaged in a past pattern of child abuse against a minor; or
- An individual assaults a victim under the age of four, and causes bodily harm to the child’s head, eyes, or neck, or otherwise causes multiple bruises to the body.
Third Degree Assault carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and/or a fine of no more than $10,000.
Fourth Degree Assault (Minn. Stat. §609.2231)
A crime constitutes a Fourth Degree Assault if:
- An individual assaults a peace officer effecting a lawful arrest or executing any other duty imposed by law, and inflicts demonstrable bodily harm; or
- An individual assaults a member of the fire department or emergency medical services personnel unit, and inflicts substantial bodily harm; or
- An individual assaults a physician, nurse or other person providing healthcare services in a hospital emergency department, and inflicts substantial bodily harm; or
- An individual assaults an employee of the department of natural resources who is engaged in forest fire activities, and inflicts substantial bodily harm; or
- An individual assaults an employee of a correctional facility while the employee is performing his or her duties, and either inflicts demonstrable bodily harm or throws or otherwise transfers bodily fluids at or onto the employee; or
- An individual assaults another because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, or national origin; or
- An individual assaults a school official (including teachers, school administrators, and other employees of a public or private school) while the official is performing his or her duties, and inflicts demonstrable bodily harm; or
- An individual assaults an agricultural inspector, occupational safety and health investigator, child protection worker, public health nurse, or probation or parole officer while s/he is performing his or her duties, and knows that the victim is a public employee engaged in the performance of official public duties, and inflicts demonstrable bodily harm.
Fourth Degree Assault carries a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment and/or a fine or no more than $6,000.
Fifth Degree Assault (Minn. Stat. §609.224)
A crime constitutes a Fifth Degree Assault if:
- An individual intentionally causes fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death; or
- An individual intentionally inflicts bodily harm upon another; or
- An individual intentionally attempted to inflict bodily harm upon another.
Fifth Degree Assault carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and/or a fine or no more than $10,000.
Why should you call us?
No matter what level of assault you are charged with, it’s important to consult with a criminal defense attorney to understand the charges, your rights, and protect your future. There are many excellent reasons to contact Ascheman Law for a free consultation, here are a few:
- It’s free, you have nothing to lose but time;
- We can answer your questions;
- It’s confidential, we are bound by a code of ethics not to talk about your case;
- No strings. Yes, we would like to represent you, but you are in no way required to hire us;
- We want to help, it’s why we do what we do; and
- It may change your life.
What to Do:
If the State is accusing you, or someone you love, of assault, you need trained criminal attorneys to help fight these charges. Call us today at 612-217-0077 to set up a free consultation.
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