In Minneapolis, a mayoral candidate recently became a victim of assault and attempted robbery at the Mall of America. A local news article reports that two teenaged girls, one of them 17 and the other 18, face two charges of aggravated robbery and an additional charge of second-degree assault; all of these are felonies. (Reports also point to a third person involved in the crime, though the news article linked to here focuses on the charges against the teenaged girls.)
The case gives us an opportunity to review what some of these crimes mean for people charged with them.
Second degree assault
There are different degrees of assault in Minnesota law. Assault, by the way, doesn’t even have to involve physical contact; an attempt at causing harm or a credible threat of harm can also land you with an assault charge.
Second-degree assault involves a dangerous weapon; in this recent attack on the mayoral candidate, it was allegedly a metal baton. If the second-degree assault results in serious physical harm to the victim, the perpetrator may face a prison sentence as long as 10 years. The victim in this case suffered a head wound that required multiple sutures. Even when the victim doesn’t suffer bodily harm, the perpetrator may still face several years of jail time and also thousands of dollars in fines.
For first-degree aggravated robbery, the perpetrator is armed with some weapon (or what the victim believes to be a weapon) and/or inflicts bodily harm on the victim. Second-degree aggravated robbery would only require that you hint or imply to the victim that you have a weapon on you. Both kinds of aggravated robbery can result in long prison sentences and thousands of dollars in fines.
If you’re charged with either of these crimes, it’s important to get the assistance of a reputable Minneapolis criminal defense attorney. Given that assault or aggravated robbery don’t even have to involve physical contact, there may be gray areas involving statements and actions that have been mistaken for threats or attempts at violence. But regardless of the circumstances, contacting an attorney will help ensure that you’re treated fairly by the legal system and will increase the chances that you receive the best outcome possible.