In general, assault refers to actions designed to inflict bodily injury or death, or to provoke fear of bodily injury or death. In Minnesota, these have separate penalties if they are against any individual or if they have against individuals in conjunction with prior convictions for domestic violence. Below, a Minneapolis criminal defense attorney discusses facts you should know.
In our state, inflicting or attempting to inflict injury, if it is intentional, is classified as simple assault. Any act or movement that intentionally engenders fear of immediate injury or death is also termed simple assault.
It is best to use an example for the distinction. Hitting someone, for example, is in the first category, whether it causes harm or not. Raising your arm in a threatening manner, or moving forward as if to hit someone, is also simple assault.
Simple assault is a misdemeanor charge. If found guilty, a defendant faces up to 90 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
Assault and previous domestic violence convictions
Assault in connection with previous domestic violence convictions receive higher penalties under state law if the previous convictions are for actions 1) against the victim in the past decade and 2) any person in the last 3 years. (Domestic violence-related offenses covered under this law include murder, assault, domestic assault, criminal sexual conduct, threats, malicious punishment of a child, violating a restraining order, stalking, or interfering with an emergency call.)
Assault with a previous domestic violence charge is a gross misdemeanor. If convicted, a defendant may receive up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $3,000, or both.
Because of the complexity of assault charges and the seriousness of the potential penalties, it is highly advised to consult an attorney who will fight for your rights. Please contact us.