In mid-December, a Minnesota woman called 911 to report that a man had been abusive with her inside a residence. The woman also said that the man had a loaded gun. According to WDAZ, law enforcement found the woman had been choked and assaulted. They arrested the man and charged him with two counts of domestic assault, one felony count for domestic assault by strangulation and one misdemeanor count of domestic assault.
In many domestic assault cases, the best criminal defense lawyer Minneapolis knows that there are a number of associated criminal charges that carry with them strict consequences.
Defining domestic assault and associated charges
Under Minnesota statute, domestic assault charges can involve inflicting or intending to inflict harm on a family or household member as well as committing an act with the intent to cause a victim to fear bodily injury or death. The state defines a family or household member as a spouse or former spouse, parents, children, people related by blood, people who currently live together or have lived together, people who have dated and people who have children together.
In addition to the varying degrees of domestic assault charges, there are several charges that may be added onto a domestic assault incident, such as the following:
- Stalking – The state defines this as engaging in behavior that would cause someone to feel afraid, threatened or intimidated.
- Violating a protective order – A victim can obtain a court order for protection that the accused must obey or else face criminal charges.
- Criminal sexual conduct – There are five degrees of such charges in Minnesota, ranging from actions such as rape to behaviors that are considered lewd.
There can also be aggravating factors to each of these criminal charges, such as the use or presence of a firearm or the age of the victim. As the best criminal defense lawyer in Minneapolis knows, the number of previous domestic assault convictions a defendant has can also determine the severity of a charge.
Depending on how someone is charged, the potential consequences can vary. For example, someone charged with felony domestic assault in Minnesota could face as much as five years in prison as well as a fine of up to $10,000. A stalking charge could carry a sentence of between five and 10 years in prison in addition to fines.
It is important for defendants to understand how and why they have been charged with domestic assault or related crimes. People with questions regarding these criminal charges should consult with the best criminal defense lawyer in Minneapolis