In Minnesota, assault and battery have different definitions but are most often grouped together. Assault is the threat of physical violence, while battery is the act of physical violence itself.
There are six different categories of assault and battery charges in the state of Minnesota, all of which come with serious consequences. It is best to speak with an experienced Minnesota assault attorney upon being charged with any degree of assault or battery.
First Degree Assault & Battery
First degree assault is a felony offense in Minnesota, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or $20,000 in fines. A person can be charged with assault in the first degree if they:
- Assault another and inflict great bodily harm
- Use deadly force against a peace officer or correctional employee
- Attempt to use deadly force against an officer or employee while the officer or employee is on duty
Second Degree Assault & Battery
Assault in the second degree is a felony offense punishable by up to seven to 10 years and $14,000 – $20,000 in fines. A person will likely be charged with second degree assault if they:
- Assault another with a dangerous weapon
- Assault another with a dangerous weapon and inflict substantial bodily harm
Third Degree Assault & Battery
Third degree assault in also a felony and brings penalties of up to five years in prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines. One is guilty of third degree assault if they:
- Assault another and inflict substantial bodily harm
- Assault a child and have a pattern of assaultive behavior upon a child
- Assault a child under the age of four, and cause bodily harm to the child’s head, eyes, or neck, or otherwise cause multiple bruises to the body
Fourth Degree Assault & Battery
Fourth degree assault can either be a felony or gross misdemeanor offense, depending on the particulars of the case. It is punishable by one to three years in jail and/or $3,000 – $6,000 in fines. An individual is guilty of assault in the fourth degree when they:
- Assault a peace officer, firefighter, emergency room doctor or nurse, natural resources employee, correctional employee, secured facility employee, school official, or community crime prevention group member
- Engage in assaultive behavior driven by bias
Fifth Degree Assault & Battery
Fifth degree assault is the least severe form of assault in Minnesota. It is either a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. A second offense within ten years will bump the charge up to a gross misdemeanor. A person is guilty of fifth degree assault when they:
- Commit an act with intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death
- Purposely inflict or attempt to inflict bodily harm upon another
Minnesota Domestic Assault Attorneys
A person who does either of the following to their domestic partner can be charged with domestic assault:
- Commit an act with intent to cause fear of immediate bodily harm or death
- Deliberately cause or attempt to cause bodily harm upon another
Your criminal history has a lot to do with how you are charged with domestic assault. A first-time offense is a misdemeanor with a potential sentence of up to 90 days in jail and $1,000 in fines.
A second domestic assault case within 10 years will result in a gross misdemeanor charge and potential sentence of up to one year in jail and $3,000 in fines. If you have two or more domestic assault convictions in less than 10 years, you may be charged with a felony offense. This charge carries up to five years in state prison and fines reaching $10,000.