Assault is one of the most common criminal charges filed in our region. As noted by the Cornell Legal Information Institute, the specific definition of assault varies by jurisdiction. In Minnesota, there are actually five different degrees of assault. The charge can range from a misdemeanor offense all the way to a severe felony. In this article, our Mankato assault defense lawyer provides a guide to the different degrees of assault in Minnesota.
1. First Degree Assault Charges in Minnesota
First degree assault is the most severe type of assault charge in Minnesota. Under Minnesota law (Sec. 609.221 MN Statutes), an individual can be arrested and charged with felony first degree criminal assault if they cause great bodily harm to a witness or physically assault a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon. The offense carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison.
2. Second Degree Assault Charges in Minnesota
Under Minnesota law (Sec. 609.222 MN Statutes), a second degree criminal assault is also a felony offense. It is charged when a person commits assault with a dangerous or deadly weapon. In Minnesota, second degree assault carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.
3. Third Degree Assault Charges in Minnesota
Third degree assault is a felony offense that can be charged in two different scenarios. Under Minnesota law (Sec. 609.223 MN Statutes), an assault is classified as a third degree felony if the victim suffers great bodily harm and/or if the victim is a minor. Third degree assault carries five years in prison.
4. Fourth Degree Assault Charges in Minnesota
Under Minnesota law (Sec. 609.2231 MN Statutes), fourth degree assault is a gross misdemeanor offense that is generally charged when the crime is committed against a law enforcement officer. If the police officer suffers a substantial injury, the crime can be charged as a felony. In Minnesota, gross misdemeanor fourth degree assault carries up to one year in prison. Though, it can carry more prison time if charged as a felony.
5. Fifth Degree Assault Charges in Minnesota
The most common assault charge in our state is fifth degree assault. As known as simple assault, fifth degree assault covers all other offenses that fit under the definition of the crime. Even though it is the least severe assault charge, the offense still needs to be taken seriously. Sec. 609.224 MN Statutes holds that fifth degree assault is a misdemeanor offense carrying up to 90 days in prison. If you or your loved one was arrested for assault, you need a lawyer.
Call Our Mankato, MN Assault Defense Attorney for a Confidential Consultation
At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., our Southern Minnesota criminal defense lawyers are aggressive advocates for clients. We have the professional expertise that you can rely on if you or a loved one is facing assault charges. Call us at 507-405-2442 or use our confidential online contact form to arrange your initial consultation. We have offices in Mankato and Rochester.