Assault Crime Defense In Minnesota
Being charged with any type of assault crime is a very serious matter in Minneapolis and throughout Minnesota. If you are convicted of an assault crime, it may affect your current job, your family, your ability to rent, your ability to attend institutions of higher learning and you may lose your freedom. If you have a criminal record for an assault, it will follow you and may impact future job opportunities, professional licenses, insurance rates and other important areas of your life.
Many assault crimes can be plea bargained down to the point where they won’t impact your life for years to come, but you need a skilled attorney to help you get a favorable result. To get assault charges dropped or changed to something that either drops off your criminal record after a few years or a less serious charge, you need a lawyer that will challenge the prosecution at every turn. There are also many different types of assault crimes. Some examples of common assault terms/crimes are:
- Assault & Battery
- Domestic Assault
- Sexual Assault
- Indecent Acts
- Assault With A Dangerous Weapon
- Assaulting a Police Officer
- Threat of Immediate Bodily Harm
- Intentional Infliction Of Bodily Harm
- Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
- Knowingly Transmitting a Disease
There are many other terms associated with the many different characterizations of Assault Crimes. The most important thing to know is all types of assault are serious, and it is common for people to face false allegations of assault.
Possible Assault Crime Defenses
There are many potential defenses to assault crimes. Different types of assaults may also have unique defenses. For instance, for sex crimes, consent is always a defense. Self defense and/or defense of another is also a common defense. Assault cases are often very complex cases, and there are usually many opportunities for a good lawyer to challenge the admissibility of evidence and
to cross examine any witnesses that are testifying against you. Witnesses to assaults are often notoriously inaccurate when recounting what they may have observed. If your attorney successfully challenges evidence and discredits witnesses, it may be difficult for the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt!
SELF DEFENSE IS OFTEN THE BEST DEFENSE!
With most assault crimes, the best defense is often a strong offense. In many cases the defense of self defense can be made, and that is often a difficult thing for the government to overcome. Good discovery of all evidence that the prosecution has will often help your lawyer prepare a compelling defense in an assault case.
Different Degrees Of Criminal Assault
First Degree Assault is the most serious kind of assault and is usually charged when there is great bodily harm or if there was deadly force used in the assault. Assaulting a police or other law enforcement officer is also an aggravating factor in charges of assault. If convicted of a first degree assault charge, you can face decades in prison and fines of not more than $30,000.
Second Degree Assault is commonly charged when there is a dangerous weapon used during the assault or commission of the offense. A good example of this would be a robbery or home invasion where a weapon is used or brandished. A person convicted of second degree assault may face up to 7 years in prison and a fine of not more than $14,000. If a person uses a weapon and injures a victim, the penalties can be increased to 10 years and not more than a $20,000 fine.
Third Degree Assault usually doesn’t involve a weapon, but the victim is injured or the victim is a minor. If a child is under 4 years of age, the penalties are more significant. For most 3rd degree assault convictions the penalty is usually not more than 5 years in prison and a fine of not more than $10,000.
Fourth Degree Assault often is used when someone assaults a police officer, firefighter or other emergency personnel while they are performing their duties without using a weapon. These offenses can be a gross misdemeanor or a felony depending on varying factors and penalties can range from 1 year in jail to two years in prison with possible fines of $3000 to $6000.
Fifth Degree Assault is a misdemeanor if it is a first offense and it punishable with up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to$1000.
Multiple assault convictions can also result in more serious charges and can also impact your ability to possess firearms.
Defenses Available For Assault Crime Attorneys
There are a myriad of potential defenses to charges of assault. You can always claim self defense, and it is your attorney’s job to prove self defense. You can also claim that you were defending someone else, but to do this, you have to admit that the act occurred but that it was necessary to defend someone else from injury or bodily harm.
YOUR LAWYER NEEDS TO CHALLENGE ALL OF THE EVIDENCE!
You can also claim that it was not possible for you to commit the alleged assault because you have an alibi. This means that you could not have done the assault because you simply were not there.
Sexual assaults are unique as there are many types of evidence that the prosecution may try to use to obtain a conviction. DNA and other physical evidence can be very important, but witness statements and the credibility of witnesses can also have a massive impact in the outcome of an assault case.
One of the best ways your attorney can fight assault charges is to challenge the credibility of the witnesses. To effectively challenge witnesses, your attorney needs to have the time to thoroughly examine all of the witness statements, police reports and to interview other witnesses that may have differing recollections to what happened. It is imperative that an attorney be involved in your defense early in the case so that they can preserve evidence before it gets cold or becomes unreliable.
Failure to involve an attorney soon in your case could result in your rights being impaired, you or other witnesses favorable to you might make inconsistent statements that might damage their credibility or physical evidence may be destroyed or lose its value.
If you have been charged or thing you may be charged with an Assault, contact Steve Immediately at 612 807-5101