Domestic Violence Charges
Mankato Domestic Assault Defense Attorney
In Minnesota, domestic assault is a serious offense and one that can result in both civil and criminal penalties. Even a first-time conviction may result in a period of incarceration. What’s more, a conviction of domestic violence can have a significant effect on your life, including the custody of your children, your ability to get a job or retain housing, and more.
If you are facing criminal domestic assault charges, working with a Mankato domestic assault defense attorney is strongly recommended. At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., our experienced domestic violence defense lawyers can assist you. Please call our law firm today for the counsel and representation that you need.
Defining Domestic Assault in Minnesota
If you’ve been charged with domestic assault in Mankato, it’s important that you understand the details of the charges against you. As found in Minnesota Statutes Section 609.2242, a person commits a misdemeanor domestic assault crime when they commit an act with the intent to cause fear of immediate harm or death in another or intentionally inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily harm upon another, and the person against whom they are committing the act is a family or household member.
“Family or household member” is defined in a different section of the Minnesota code, and includes spouses and former spouses, parents and children, persons related by blood, persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past, persons involved in a sexual relationship, and a man and a woman who is pregnant if the man is the father of the baby.
Domestic assault can also be a gross misdemeanor or a felony offense, depending on the circumstances of the crime and the number of prior offenses.
Penalties For Domestic Assault
The criminal consequences for a domestic assault or domestic violence charge depend on the specific nature of the allegations. Prosecutors can charge domestic violence as a misdemeanor or a felony.
Domestic Assault As A Misdemeanor
As noted above, Minnesota prosecutors have some discretion in domestic violence cases. That being said, domestic assault is typically charged as a misdemeanor offense as a baseline in our state. It would be a huge mistake to view misdemeanor domestic violence as a minor allegation. All domestic violence charges carry serious criminal penalties. A conviction for misdemeanor domestic violence could result in:
- Up to 90 days in jail
- A $1,000 fine
- Loss of certain family law rights.
Domestic Violence As A Felony
In Minnesota, domestic violence charges are typically “upgraded” to a more serious offense if there are aggravating factors present. Here are the three most common examples of aggravating factors in domestic violence cases in Minnesota:
One Prior Domestic Violence Offense in Previous Ten Years: If a person has a previous domestic violence conviction (or similar conviction) in the previous ten years, they can face gross misdemeanor charges. When charged as a gross misdemeanor, domestic violence carries heightened penalties, including up to one year in jail.
Two Prior Domestic Violence Offenses in the Previous Ten Years: When a defendant has two or more prior domestic violence convictions or related criminal convictions, they will face felony domestic violence charges for any subsequent offense. This type of felony charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
Domestic Violence Involving Weapons or Resulting in Substantial Bodily Harm: Finally, a domestic assault can be charged as a felony if the offender used a weapon or if the victim suffered serious bodily harm. Depending on the specific circumstances, this type of domestic violence charge carries five to 20 years in prison.
Other Consequences Of Domestic Violence Conviction In Minnesota
The criminal consequences – such as jail time and a fine – are not the only negative effects of a domestic violence conviction. In addition to these, a person may face civil and societal damages too, including losing custody of one’s children, being ordered to leave one’s home, having a restraining order issued against the individual, challenges in securing future housing and employment, and more. Violating an order for protection is an offense in itself. If it is violated, you could be looking at time in jail.
Other consequences of a domestic assault conviction include anger management courses, counseling and probation. Avoiding as many of the consequences as possible is why you need a Minnesota criminal defense lawyer by your side every step of the way. Even if there is some merit to the charges, you can still have a much better future than you would have if you didn’t effectively defend yourself. Sometimes charges can be inflated, and that means paying penalties that are harsher than what you should have to pay. By using the facts in your case, a fair outcome can be had.
Defenses To Domestic Violence
If you are facing domestic assault charges in Mankato, the first thing that you should do is to call an experienced criminal defense attorney who can review your case and advise you of your options. Every single domestic assault case is different. The details surrounding the matter and the matter itself is unique, but there are many similarities with other cases as well. What your attorney will do is listen to and investigate the details so that a customized and strategic defense can be built to protect you, your rights and your future.
While you are defending yourself, it is also important to realize that a domestic assault accusation is not automatically a guilty sentence. That is why it is important to defend yourself against the accusations as aggressively as possible. You may be advised to enter a plea bargain – where you plead guilty in exchange for reduced charges or sentencing – or to plead “not guilty” and defend yourself against charges.
Potential defenses to domestic assault include:
- The alleged victim is being untruthful
- The act of assault was accidental
- You were acting in self-defense
- There is not enough evidence against you to secure a conviction of guilt because the prosecution cannot prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Call Our Experienced Domestic Assault Defense Lawyers Today
There is no doubt that being charged with a crime, let alone convicted, can have a huge impact on your life; in some cases, it may shape the course of your life forevermore. While you may be feeling scared and unsure about your future and what to do if you have been charged with domestic assault, you are not alone – our Mankato domestic violence defense lawyers at the Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., can help. We will ensure your rights are protected throughout the entire process.
Additionally, our lawyers will put you first, work hard on your case, and prioritize protecting your rights. We believe that you deserve a fair case, and will do everything we can to provide you with the best defense. We know how much is on the line for you.
To schedule a private consultation with our experienced domestic assault defense lawyers, please send us a message or call us at 507-405-2442. From our Mankato law office and our Rochester law office, we represent defendants throughout southern Minnesota, including in Albert Lea, Austin and Faribault.
This law firm is very experienced, very effective, and yet very personable when interacting with me throughout my nerve-wracking legal process. I’m completely satisfied with the outcome of my case. I would hire the Kohlmeyer Hagen Law Office again without hesitation. And, I have since recommended them to several friends and acquaintances.
– TOM W., CLIENT