Friday, August 19, 2011

Top 5 Minnesota Assault Questions

Minnesota Assault charges and thier close relatives - Domestic Violence cases - are often the most difficult kind of legal affair. This goes not only for the person charged but also the other parties involved.  If you've been charged with an Assault, as a former prosecutor, I know what you're up against.  In general, the laws are set up to protect the victim. For this reason, you need an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney on your side, to get your voice heard, to argue your position and to protect you and your rights during every stage of the criminal justice process.

The Top 5 things you need to know about a Minnesota Assault charge

There are two different types of Minnesota Assault charges. In Minnesota, there is the charge of just "plain" Assault and then there's "Domestic" Assault.  What makes an Assault a "Domestic" Assault?  Generally speaking, "Domestic" crimes are those that occur between people who have a significant relationship with one another - from a wife, to a sibling to a roommate.  The definition is broad and tends to cover almost everyone but a stranger.  Why is it important - this difference?  Well, one big part of that is the fact that if you plead guilty to “Domestic” Assault you will be banned, by federal law, from owning or possessing a firearm - for life. This means you cannot hunt or possess a firearm - for any reason at anytime.

An experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney can gives you the best chance of getting your case dismissed or having the charges filed against you lowered. Why is this important?  Because, if you plead guilty to, or are found guilty of, assault - you face HUGE complications when it comes to your next job or finding a place to live.  The true fact of the matter is, people are reluctant to hire individuals who have been convicted of crimes of violence - like Assault.

Most individuals charged with Assault will be ordered to stay away from the alleged victim.  Why is this important?  If a judge orders you to not have contact with someone else - if you violate that order you could be charged with another crime: Violation of  a "No Contact" Order.  Also, a "no contact" order could have the effect of barring you from your own home.  If you hire an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, he can assist you in getting that type of order lifted or modified so that you don't run the risk of making an already bad situation worse.

Physical contact is not necessary to be charged with Assault. Minnesota law (link) dictates that in addition to touching or physically harming another, an individual can also be charged with an Assault just by causing someone to fear harmful contact.  Believe you me, this does happen.  Why is this important? Often cases like this come down to a "he said - she said" argument (especially where there are no physical injuries) and often the only way you're going to get someone to listen to your side of the story is by having your lawyer tell it for you.

Your Fifth Amendment Privilege.  In some cases, where what was really a mutual Assault - both parties can be charged with a crime. Why this is important? In this situation, an effective defense strategy can often involve getting both parties their own witness attorneys, to checkmate the prosecution and get the charges dismissed outright.

What Should You Do
If you have been charged with an Assault you are probably afraid and uncertain of what to do or where to turn. Right now, the best decision you can make is to consult with a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney. Contact the Rolloff Law Office to speak with me. I have worked dozens of these cases - from both sides of the aisle.  I have the experience needed to guide you through the unfamiliar territory of the criminal justice system and provide you the honest answers you need at this very difficult time. Call today to set up a FREE, no obligation consultation. 

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