What is Domestic Assault?

The Minnesota legislature codified domestic assault law under Minnesota Statute §609.2242. It is available for anybody to view here. There are three types of domestic assault charges in Minnesota:

  • Misdemeanor Domestic Assault

    According to Minnesota Statute §609.2242, subdivision 1, a person is guilty of misdemeanor domestic assault if s/he:

    1. Commits an act with intent to cause fear in a family or household member of immediate bodily harm; or
    2. Intentionally inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily harm upon a family or household member. The maximum possible sentence for a person convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault is ninety (90) days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. There are also several collateral consequences of having a domestic assault conviction on your record. These consequences are discussed below.

  • Gross Misdemeanor Domestic Assault

    According to Minnesota Statute §609.2242, subdivision 2, a person is guilty of gross misdemeanor domestic assault if s/he commits two misdemeanor domestic assault violations within ten years. For example, if you were convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault for an incident that occurred on January 1, 2010, then the State can charge you with gross misdemeanor domestic assault if you commit another offense before December 31, 2020.

    The maximum possible sentence for a person convicted of gross misdemeanor domestic assault is one (1) year in jail, a $3,000, or both. There are also several collateral consequences of having a domestic assault conviction on your record. These consequences are discussed below.

  • Felony Domestic Assault

    According Minnesota Statute §609.2242, subdivision 4, a person is guilty of felony domestic assault when s/he commits three domestic assault violations within ten years. For example, if you were convicted of domestic assault for an incident that occurred on January 1, 2010, then the State can charge you with felony domestic assault if you commit two more domestic assault violations before December 31, 2020.

    The maximum possible sentence for a person convicted of felony domestic assault is five (5) years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both. There are also several collateral consequences of having a domestic assault conviction on your record. These consequences are discussed below.

  • Collateral Consequence of Having a Domestic Assault Conviction

    There are several collateral consequences for having a domestic assault conviction on your record. These collateral consequences are in addition to the maximum possible jail and fine sentences discussed above. Here are a few examples of what could happen if you plead guilty to or are found guilty of domestic assault:

    1. Your professional license may be revoked. For example, healthcare and childcare providers with a domestic assault conviction may lose their license. Even more, a domestic assault conviction may prevent you from ever obtaining a professional license.
    2. You may lose your right to carry a handgun and/or firearm.
    3. If you are not a citizen, you may be deported or denied U.S. citizenship. The collateral consequences of having a domestic assault conviction on your record can be more damaging than the jail and fine sentence.

  • Defenses

    The consequences of having a domestic assault conviction on your record can be drastic and damaging. That is why you need an aggressive Minnesota criminal attorney with experience in the courtroom and the ability to assert multiple defenses. Perhaps the most effective defense is simply remaining silent and forcing the State to prove one important element: intent. Remember, the statute requires a showing you intended to cause fear or harm to a family or household member. 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 domestic 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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