Minnesota Statute 609.2242 defines Domestic Assault:

Whoever does any of the following against a family or household member commits an assault and is guilty of a misdemeanor:

(1) commits an act with intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death; or

(2) intentionally inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily harm upon another.

It is important to note that a minor scuffle can be the basis for an allegation of domestic assault. Additionally, acts intended to cause fear can be the basis for an allegation of domestic assault. For example, if you raise your hand at your significant other, or throw something at the wall, this could be sufficient to raise the allegation of domestic assault.

Equally important is that domestic assault is an enhanceable. This means that the first allegation would be a misdemeanor and each new allegation in a ten year period will be more serious. With one qualifying domestic violence conviction in the previous ten years, you could be charged with a gross misdemeanor. With two, you could be charged with a felony. A conviction can also affect your ability to own a firearm. The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor domestic assault is 90 days imprisonment and/or a $1,000 fine. For a gross misdemeanor domestic assault the maximum penalty is one year imprisonment and/or a $3,000 fine. For a felony domestic assault is 5 years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine.


“It is important to take these types of charges seriously, because they can affect both your home and your working life. If you plead guilty, you may later regret it. Contact me today to discuss your options, and possible defenses. I understand that people can get in arguments, overreact, and make mistakes that they later regret. I also understand that people are wrongfully accused, and may have the defense of self defense. Give yourself a chance to fight these charges and not have them follow you around for years, or for the rest of your life.”

Elliott Nickell


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