Like assault, domestic assault — even if charged as a misdemeanor — is a serious crime with serious consequences if you are convicted. If you have been arrested, charged, or questioned by police in relation to an alleged domestic assault / domestic violence, you need to speak with a Minnesota criminal defense attorney. Contact the Balmer Law Office for a free, confidential case evaluation. The Balmer Law Office is available via its 24-hour hotline: 612-326-4175.
Based in the southwest suburbs of Minneapolis, the firm practices in Hennepin County and throughout Minnesota.
The Basics of Minnesota Domestic Assault / Domestic Violence Law
Domestic assault is a special subcategory of assault that refers to acts of domestic violence. The crime is codified in Minnesota Statute § 609.2242. The offense can be charged when an assault is committed against a family or household member. Just as with the other forms of assault, physical contact is not required in order to complete the crime. It is enough that one intended to cause fear of an immediately bodily harm in the victim. The term “household member” is widely defined and can include:
- former spouses
- persons living together
- persons who have previously lived together
- persons who have a child together, and
- persons involved in a romantic relationship.
Domestic assault is an enhanceable offense. This means that the exact same conduct that resulted in a misdemeanor charge can be charged as a gross misdemeanor if the offender has a previous conviction (or another qualifying offense — e.g. an Order for Protection violation) within the past 10 years. A felony charge can result if the offender has two previous convictions (or qualifying offenses) for domestic assault within the previous 10 years.
Domestic Assault by Strangulation
This felony-level offense can be charged when the victim (a family or household member) has their normal course of breathing impeded as a result of an assault. Domestic assault by strangulation is a felony and carries a maximum penalty of 3 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Consequences of a Domestic Assault Conviction in Minnesota
If you are convicted of the crime of domestic assault — even as a misdemeanor — your right to possess a firearm is revoked — permanently. This can come as a surprise to many Minnesota hunters and firearm owners. A conviction may also result in the loss of a job, professional license, or legal residency for non-citizen residents.
Contact the Balmer Law Office — Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one has been arrested, charged, or questioned regarding a domestic assault anywhere in Minnesota, Minneapolis criminal defense attorney David Balmer will be happy to review your case and discuss the factors leading to the specific charge you are facing. Most importantly he will outline a strategy to obtain the best possible result based on your specific circumstances.
Contact the Balmer Law Office for a free, confidential case evaluation. The Balmer Law Office is available via its 24-hour hotline: 612-326-4175.