There are a number of different ways and degrees to which a person can end up facing assault charges in Minnesota. There’s first-degree assault all the way down to fifth-degree assault, and there’s also simple and aggravated assault. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at what it means to be charged with simple assault in Minnesota, and what you should do if you find yourself facing these charges.
What Is Simple Assault?
Per Minnesota law, an assault occurs when a person commits an intentional act that causes physical harm or the fear of physical harm in another person. This means that you can end up facing assault charges even if you don’t physically hurt another person. All that needs to exist is an intentional act that creates real fear of harm in another person.
So what’s the difference between simple and aggravated assault? Simply put, one is classified as a misdemeanor offense while the other is considered a felony. Which one you’ll be charged with will depend on what happened to the victim and if a weapon was used in the commission of the crime.
Simple Assault – Simple assault is classified as an act of intentionally inflicting bodily harm, attempting to inflict bodily harm or acting in such a manner to cause the fear of bodily harm in another person. Actions like slapping, pushing, shoving or threatening to hit someone are all actions that would be considered simple assault.
Aggravated Assault – Aggravated assault is defined as the intent to cause bodily harm with a deadly weapon, or when an assault involves significant bodily harm. Aggravated assault can also be tacked on during the commission of other crimes, like robbery, burglary, sexual assault and rape.
Simple assault typically results in fourth-degree or fifth-degree assault charges, which are both misdemeanor crimes. A misdemeanor charge will carry fines of up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail, while gross misdemeanor charges are punishable by fines up to $3,000 and up to a year in jail. Aggravated assault charges are considered felonies that carry much more substantial charges and fines.
However, regardless of whether you were charged with simple or aggravated assault, it is in your best interest to hire a criminal defense lawyer to help sort out the situation. Even if you think it’s just a misdemeanor crime, a violent charge like assault will stick on your record and create a number of future problems for your academics, your job or your housing situation. Let Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm put forth a strong defense and help you beat the charges or work to get them reduced to a lesser charge.
To see if we might be able to help you out, pick up the phone and ask to schedule a free strategy session with one of our lawyers. To set that up, give Avery and the team a call at (952) 224-2277.