DOMESTIC ASSAULT – MN STATUTE 609.2242
“Domestic Assault” is very similar to standard 5th Degree Assault except the “victim” is usually a spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, or other family member. The charge still requires the prosecutor to prove bodily harm or putting someone “in fear of” bodily harm.
Domestic assault offenses can be raised to the gross misdemeanor or felony level depending on the number of prior similar offenses someone may have on their record. It is an automatic felony if the police and prosecutor believe that strangulation was involved. Second and third time offenses in the Twin Cities MN area come with minimum mandatory jail times that must be imposed upon conviction.
However, Minnesota domestic assault charges are MORE serious than regular assault charges. A conviction leads to a lifetime ban on the possession of firearms, extensive court supervision and assignment to engage in time consuming domestic assault programming. No-contact orders are routinely imposed by the court and the risk of re-arrest and additional charges for violation of those court orders are frequent. You can even be ordered to move out of your own home and pay for the other parties living expenses and housing!
Many Twin Cities jurisdictions and police departments have a “zero tolerance” policy on domestic assault cases. This means that if you are charged with such an offense, the prosecutor will be determined to seek a conviction, put it on your record, and have the court force you to undergo scrutiny by a probation officer. The result can leave you with a stigmatizing Minnesota criminal record, lengthy “domestic abuse” classes and the inability to reunite with your family and children. Moreover, if alcohol is involved, you may be required to undergo a chemical dependency evaluation and attend treatment programs along with domestic abuse classes.
As with regular assault cases, Twin Cities MN police and prosecutors often overlook or fail to recognize your claim of self defense and that you were, indeed, the “victim” as opposed to the defendant. Given how forcefully Minnesota prosecutors and the police prosecute domestic assault case, you face formidable odds of achieving a successful outcome even if the victim is unwilling to testify against you.
Don’t take chances with your future and risk the harm the Minnesota court system can impose on you. Get the help of an experienced attorney from METROWIDE LEGAL SERVICES and let an attorney with extensive experience litigating domestic assault cases handle matters for you.