Domestic Abuse in Minnesota

Woman stressed grabbing head

According to Minnesota Statutes 518B.01, also known as the Domestic Abuse Act, domestic abuse is defined as committing:

  1. Physical harm, assault, or bodily injury;
  2. Infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, assault, or bodily injury; or
  3. Terroristic threats, criminal sexual conduct, sexual extortion, or interference with an emergency call,

against a household or family member by a family or household member. Any act of domestic abuse can result in many criminal penalties, including restraining orders, fines, and jail time.

Who is considered a household member?

Spouses and even formal spouses are considered household members. Parents, children, and persons related by blood or residing together are also accounted for. Persons involved in sexual relationships or who have or have had a child in common, regardless of relationship status.

What happens when an order for protection is filed?

When an order for protection is filed, a hearing will take place no later than 14 days from the date of the order for the hearing. If an ex parte is ordered, a hearing is not required unless one of the parties requests one or if the court decides to decline to order the request for relief. An ex parte order may be granted if the situation puts someone in immediate and present danger of domestic abuse.

During the hearing of the order, the party accused of domestic abuse is given a chance to present their counter case against the need for the order for protection. The judge will then determine if the order for protection should be issued, including its conditions.

When an order for protection is granted under the Domestic Abuse Act, the person to be restrained must be given a conspicuous notice that states:

  • Violating an order for protection is either a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony;
  • the respondent cannot enter or stay at the petitioner’s residence, even if invited over to do so by the petitioner, and in no event is the order for protection voided;
  • a peace officer can arrest them without a warrant and take them into custody if the peace officer has probable cause to believe that they violated the order for protection restraining the petitioner or excluding the petitioner from a residence;
  • the order is enforceable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, tribal lands, and United States territories; and
  • violation of the order can result in federal charges and punishment.


If someone knowingly has an order for protection filed against them and violates it, they will be convicted of a misdemeanor. The defendant will then be sentenced to imprisonment for a minimum of three days and has to participate in counseling or other programs selected by the court. If convicted of a gross misdemeanor, a person can face up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

If someone has prior convictions, has caused bodily harm to someone, used weapons to harm someone, or murdered someone, they can face felony charges. A felony can result in up to 5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. A defendant may also be prohibited from possessing a firearm for three or more years and may be forced to forfeit their firearm. A person violating the firearm prohibition could result in a gross misdemeanor.

Get The Legal Representation You Need

If you have recently been accused of a crime associated with domestic abuse, your first move should be to contact our criminal defense attorneys at Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A.. We can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system and provide successful advocacy for you during this difficult time.

Call us at (612) 444-5020 or visit our website to request a case review.

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