Domestic assault involves intentionally inflicting physical harm or intentionally causing fear of immediate physical harm to a family or household member.
Below, our Minneapolis defense attorneys discuss whether domestic assault is a misdemeanor or a felony.
Domestic Assault: Misdemeanor or Felony?
In Minnesota, it is illegal to inflict physical harm or instill fear of immediate physical harm in a family or household member. Family or household members include the following individuals:
- Parents and children
- Blood relatives
- Former and current spouses
- The parent of your child, regardless of relationship status
- Those who currently or have resided together in the past
- Those involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship
In most cases, a first-time domestic assault will be a misdemeanor. Should there be a second conviction for domestic assault within ten years of the first conviction, the conduct will be charged as a gross misdemeanor. The exception is whenever there is strangulation involved, the conduct is automatically charged as a felony-level offense.
In Minnesota, strangulation is defined as intentionally impeding normal breathing or circulation of the blood by applying pressure on the throat or neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of another person.
Depending on the level of charge and the defendant’s prior criminal history, jail (or prison) time may be called for. Further, anger management or counseling, no contact orders, and probationary periods are highly likely to be addressed.
Additional consequences for a domestic assault conviction may include the forfeiture of the defendant’s firearms. This forfeiture may be ordered for someone convicted of domestic assault, domestic assault by strangulation, or assault in the 1st through 5th degrees against a family or household member and the defendant owns a firearm that was used in the assault in any way.
The defendant could be prohibited from possessing a gun for as little as three years or for as long as the remainder of their life.
Facing a Domestic Assault Charge? We’re Here to Help
If you are facing a domestic assault charge in Minnesota, our Minneapolis defense attorneys are here to help. During this difficult time, you need experienced counsel to defend your rights and protect your future.
Contact Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. at (612) 444-5020 to schedule a free consultation with our team.