Minnesota statutes identify five degrees of assault. Within each degree, however, are several factors that could result in that charge. First degree assault is the most serious and brings felony-level charges that can result in a sentence of 20 years in prison.
Below is a chart outlining the differences in the levels of assault in Minnesota.
|First Degree||Causes great bodily harm; OR
Use or attempts use of deadly force against a peace officer, prosecuting attorney, judge, or correctional employee; OR
Use of dangerous weapon resulting in great bodily harm against a peace officer, prosecuting attorney, judge, or correctional employee.
|Second Degree||Use dangerous weapon||Felony|
|Third Degree||Substantial bodily harm, past pattern of child abuse, or a victim under 4||Felony|
|Fourth Degree||Demonstrable bodily harm on peace officer; OR
transfers bodily fluids to officer
|Assault peace officer, school official, public employee, community crime prevention group member, vulnerable adults, reserve officer, postal service employee, transit operator; OR
Assault motivated by bias
|Fifth Degree||Repeat offense against the same person within 10 years||Gross Misdemeanor|
|Intent to cause fear of bodily harm; OR
Inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily harm
In addition to what is listed above, there are also different statutes that cover domestic assault (assaults that occur between people with specific relationships to each other), as well as non-physical assaults like knowingly transmitting diseases to somebody. You can even commit an assault without having any contact with someone simply by causing them reasonable fear of bodily harm. A large portion of assault cases do not involve physical evidence and rely solely on statements given by alleged victims. These “he-said-she-said” cases are difficult for individuals accused of assault to understand as there is little physical evidence to support the allegations.
As you can see, there are many nuances that go into what kind of assault charge may be brought against somebody. And each type of assault has different elements that the State must prove for a conviction. A defense attorney can help you navigate all of this and work for the best possible outcome. If you have questions or are concerned about potential charges, contact Brandt Kettwick Defense to speak with one of our attorneys.