What is Assault?

According to Minnesota Statutes §609.221-609.224, assault is defined by five categories. These statutes are available for anybody to view here. The five categories are:

  • Assault in the First Degree

    According to Minnesota Statute §609.221, a person commits assault in the first degree when s/he:

    1. Inflicts great bodily harm by either:
    2. Committing an act with the intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death; or
    3. Intentionally inflicting or attempting to inflict great bodily harm. The term “great bodily harm” means: physical pain or injury; illness; or any impairment of physical condition.

    The maximum possible sentence for a person convicted of assault in the first degree is imprisonment for twenty (20) years, a $30,000 fine, or both.

  • Assault in the Second Degree

    According to Minnesota Statute §609.222, a person commits assault in the second degree when s/he:

    1. Commits an act with the intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death; or
    2. Intentionally inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily harm; and
    3. Does so with a dangerous weapon. The term “dangerous weapon” includes: firearms, bombs, flammable liquids, and any other instrument capable of producing physical pain or injury.

    The maximum possible sentence for a person convicted of assault in the second degree is imprisonment for twenty (20) years, a $30,000 fine, or both.

  • Assault in the Third Degree

    According to Minnesota Statute §609.223, a person commits assault in the third degree when s/he:

    1. Inflicts substantial bodily harm by either:
    2. Committing an act with the intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death; or
    3. Intentionally inflicting or attempting to inflict bodily harm. The term “substantial bodily harm” means: bodily injury which involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, or which causes a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or which causes a fracture of any bodily member.

    The maximum possible sentence for a person convicted of assault in the third degree is imprisonment for five (5) years, a $10,000 fine, or both.

  • Assault in the Fourth Degree

    Assault in the fourth degree revolves around assaulting a licensed peace officer.

    According to Minnesota Statute §609.2231, a person commits assault in the fourth degree when s/he:

    1. Commits an act with the intent to cause fear in a peace officer of bodily harm or death while the officer effects a lawful arrest or executes any other duty imposed by law; or
    2. Intentionally inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily harm against a peace officer while the officer effects a lawful arrest or executes any other duty imposed by law.

    The maximum possible sentence for assault in the fourth degree depends on the amount of harm the peace officer suffers. Generally, the maximum possible sentence for committing assault in the fourth degree is imprisonment for one (1) year, a $3,000 fine, or both. However, if the assault inflicts demonstrable bodily harm, or the person intentionally throws bodily fluids or feces at the officer, then the person is guilty of a felony. The maximum possible sentence for felony assault in the fourth degree is imprisonment for three (3) years, a $6,000 fine, or both.

  • Defense

    An assault conviction on your record can have devastating consequences, including loss of employment and loss of your right to own and carry firearms. It is important to find an aggressive Minnesota criminal attorney to fight for your rights and assert all possible defenses. For example, protecting yourself or another innocent person may constitute self-defense, which relieves you of all criminal liability. Without a Minnesota criminal defense lawyer, you could face days, months, or even years behind bars. When you’re charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony assault, don’t take a risk with your defense. Hire the right defense attorney who understands the system and isn’t afraid to fight for your rights.

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*The content contained on this page does not create an attorney-client relationship between the viewer and Repka Law, LLC. Further, do not rely on this information without first consulting with an attorney.