In Minnesota, as well as the rest of the country, it is a serious offense to be involved in domestic violence. Here is more about what you should know about domestic violence charges and when you need a Minnesota domestic assault lawyer.
What is Domestic Assault?
It is illegal to cause fear of immediate physical harm, actually inflict physical harm, or cause death to a household or family member. What is considered a household or family member includes:
- Spouse (both current or former)
- A Co-Habitant (both current or former)
- Someone you have a child with (both current or former)
- Those involved in a relationship (both romantic and/or sexual)
- A where a man and woman are involved and the woman is pregnant and the man is the alleged father (co-habitation or marriage is not relevant here)
What Are The Charges?
In domestic violence or domestic assault cases, the first offense is considered a gross misdemeanor. This is a sentence of not more than one year in jail but no less than 20 days in jail with a fine no more than $3000. However, in cases where there has been a domestic violence or domestic assault charge twice or more than twice, those charges are considered a felony and the penalties are more severe – the jail time becomes up to five years in prison, no less than 45 days in jail with 15 being served consecutively, and a fine up to $10000.
Variations on Domestic Assault
There are always variations and those include things like strangulation and in cases where there is an assault of kidnapping, rape, false-imprisonment, or sexual assault, the perpetrator can be charged the same as if they committed the crime against a stranger.
Domestic Violence Convictions and Guns
In cases where a person is convicted of domestic assault where they own a firearm and committed a crime such as assault in the 1st through 5th degree or assault by strangulation, they must forfeit the gun if it was used in the assault by any means. Now if the gun was not used in the assault then they cannot use or own a gun for three years. However, if they used a firearm during the assault then they cannot own one for the rest of their life. If this is violated then it is considered a gross misdemeanor and the fine is up to $3000 with up to one year in prison. In a case where the gun was not removed for life, the gun may be returned after the three years is up and in the meantime, can be transferred to a licensed firearms dealer or law enforcement agency until that time.
Our relationships are complicated and many people face domestic violence or domestic assault charges but can be helped with their situation. Things aren’t always cut and dry but you need help clearing up not only what happened but how to fix the situation so that you get fair treatment. You want to be sure that your rights are upheld as well as knowing what those rights are.
If you have been charged for a crime related to domestic violence or domestic assault, it is important to speak to a lawyer so that you not only know your rights, make sure your rights are upheld, as well as try to successfully clear up any misconceptions about your particular crime so that you have the best and fairest outcome. Simply contact us and tell us more about your charges so we can help. We will be glad to answer your questions and provide you with an experience attorney who knows the law to your advantage.
Disclaimer: The content of this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact Jennifer Speas to discuss the specifics of your case.