Minnesota Domestic Violence Lawyer
The strong minded Minnesota criminal defense attorney to fight for you and your case.
The law dictating prosecution often makes it extremely difficult to resolve your assault or domestic violence case. Brent S. Schafer, an experienced Scott and Dakota County assault lawyer, knows the intricacies of assaults and domestic violence cases and will use his knowledge to help defend your case. He has defended males and females alike who have faced serious assault charges throughout the state of Minnesota.
Assault In Minnesota
Minnesota has five degrees of assault. They determine the proper penalty for each case. First-degree assault has the highest penalty and fifth-degree has the lowest penalty. If you have been arrested for domestic violence, charged with domestic assault or first, second, third, fourth or fifth degree assault, it is imperative that you contact the Schafer Law Firm, P.A. immediately. Remember that in all criminal cases, especially in assault and domestic violence cases, the state of Minnesota is the party pressing the criminal charges, not the alleged victim. In Minnesota, it does not matter whether or not the alleged victim wants to prosecute the domestic violence charge. Once the police have arrested and charged a party with assault or domestic violence, the prosecution proceeds.
Defending you with grit and determination, no matter what type of assault charge.
You need an aggressive defense whether you are facing a misdemeanor fifth degree assault or a felony first-degree assault charge. Misdemeanor offenses are minor crimes punishable by up to 90 days in jail. Gross Misdemeanor Assault and Domestic Assault charges are more serious and can result in a one-year jail sentence. Felonies, however, are the most serious crimes punishable by more than a year in the state prison. You have defenses and legal strategies that can be used to win your case or significantly reduce the charge and consequences. The state has the burden of proving each and every element of the criminal assault charge brought against you. All elements of the charged offense must be thoroughly investigated and aggressively challenged.
Working tirelessly to build a solid defense in your case against criminal or domestic assault.
Assault is a violent crime. As a result, an assault conviction can affect many aspects of your life. For example, a conviction for an assault results in the loss of your constitutional right to use and possess firearms. Seek legal help as soon as possible. Attorney Brent S. Schafer helps you answer the following questions and build a solid defense:
Is there enough evidence to even support the charge?
Every person charged with a criminal offense has the right to challenge whether there is enough evidence to support the domestic assault or assault charge. Brent S. Schafer has successfully challenged probable cause in numerous cases, resulting in dismissal of very serious criminal charges.
Was there actually intent to assault or cause fear of an assault?
The state has to prove that the accused intended to cause an assault or fear of an assault. Was the alleged assault an accident or misunderstanding? Brent S. Schafer has successfully argued to juries that the alleged assault was a misunderstanding and obtained not-guilty verdicts and case dismissals.
Were alcohol or drugs involved?
A person accused of an assault might have been so impaired by drugs or alcohol that he or she was unable to possess the state of mind to commit an intentional act. This could provide yet another defense to an assault charge or a basis to challenge probable cause and have the case dismissed long before a jury trial.
Were you acting in self-defense?
Minnesota law recognizes the right to defend oneself or even defend another person. Self-defense cases tend to be complicated and must be built and presented with great care and only after a complete investigation of the case.
If you are facing any level of assault charges, you need to work with a domestic violence lawyer in Dakota County, MN for the best possible defense. Even if you do not have a viable defense to an assault charge, a tough-minded and well-respected
Minnesota criminal defense attorney like Brent S. Schafer can often negotiate a plea bargain that will significantly minimize the severity of the ultimate outcome.
Understanding the Degrees of Assault in Minnesota
In Minnesota, assault is a serious offense. Just a minor assault conviction will impact your life on multiple levels for a long time. It’s important to know all of your options if you are facing an assault charge in any of the degrees below.
Assault in the 5th degree
The most common assault charge type, assault in the 5th degree is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. This applies when a person caused some sort of bodily harm to a victim or intended to make a victim fear harm. If the person charged committed another assault against the same victim, this offense is often upgraded to a gross misdemeanor or a felony, with more severe penalties.
Assault in the 4th degree
Essentially the same as 5th-degree assault, 4th-degree assault charges come into play when the victim is a public servant, such as a school official or police officer, or when the person charged has a “personal bias” against the victim because of the victim’s race or other characteristics. This is a gross misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of one year and a fine up to $3,000.
Assault in the 3rd degree
An assault in the 3rd degree is a felony in Minnesota, with a potential jail sentence of up to five years and a maximum fine of $10,000. This type of assault charge comes into play when the victim suffered a substantial injury, such as a broken bone.
Assault in the 2nd degree
When a victim is threatened with or harmed by a weapon, the person committing the act is charged with 2nd-degree assault and faces 20 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Keep in mind that a dangerous weapon does not need to be a gun. Even a glass bottle or a car is sometimes considered a deadly weapon, depending on the situation.
Assault in the 1st degree
The most extreme assault charge type, assault in the 1st degree carries a 20-year prison sentence and a fine up to $30,000. In Minnesota, a person is charged with 1st-degree assault if they caused a victim an injury that led to the risk of death or the loss of an organ. This charge also applies if they used deadly force against a correctional employee or police officer.
Given the serious consequences of any assault charge conviction, working with a Minnesota criminal assault lawyer to protect your rights and your future is a wise move.