Friday, December 22, 2017

Minnesota Assault Laws (Explained)

The laws of the State of Minnesota divide the Assault offense into five degrees (or severity levels).  The consequences of a conviction can vary widely from a misdemeanor sentence all the way up to a felony sentence (of 20 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.) The degree for which someone is charged depends on a number of factors including one's prior record and the harm alleged to be inflicted upon the victim.

Believe it or not --- it is not necessary to hit someone in order to be convicted of the crime.  The main element in the crime is intent.  The government only needs to prove that you intended to cause fear in another of an immediate bodily harm or death.  If, after reading this information, you need more information: contact an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney.  

Fifth Degree Assault --- Minnesota Statute § 609.224

The fifth degree offense is typically charged as a misdemeanor. It is the simplest form of the charge However, this crime can also be charged as a gross misdemeanor or felony if committed within varying time periods of a previous convictions.

Fourth Degree Assault --- Minnesota Statute § 609.2231

Fourth degree assault can be charged as a gross misdemeanor or felony.  A charge fourth degree charge is usually the result of an assault on a police officer or other emergency personnel.

Third Degree Assault --- Minnesota Statute § 609.223

Third degree assault usually stems from the victim suffering an injury defined as substantial bodily harm.  A third degree charge can also arise from certain bodily harm to a child under the age of four.

Second Degree Assault --- Minnesota Statute § 609.222

Second degree assault is usually charged when the offense involves the use of a deadly weapon.  The maximum penalty for a second degree offense is seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine.  However, if the offense resulted in substantial bodily harm the maximum sentence is raised to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

First Degree Assault --- Minnesota Statute § 609.221

When the victim suffers great bodily harm (i.e. an injury that creates a high probability of death, serious and permanent disfigurement, or the protracted loss or impairment of a bodily member).  First degree charges can also result from an assault on a police officer involving the use or attempted use of deadly force.  The maximum sentence for a first degree conviction is 20 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.


A conviction for assault can have devastating outcomes.  Maybe you will get a jail sentence, maybe you will lose your professional license .. your right to possess a firearm, or maybe you will lose your permanent legal residency status if you are a non-citizens.  Also --- a conviction may impact how future conduct is charged.  Therefore, it is crucial to have an experienced defense attorney in your corner.  

The Rolloff Law Office will be happy to review your case with you and discuss the factors leading to the specific charge that you are facing and we can help to outline a strategy to obtain the best possible result --- based on your specific circumstances. 

Contact us today to set up a FREE CONSULTATION: (612) 234-1165

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