How to Beat a Simple Assault Charge in Brainerd?

Assault refers to intentionally causing injury to another person. This act may also be done to generate a fear of harm or death in an individual.

The State of Brainerd considers physical harm and even the threat to cause harm as assault.

An assault charge is considered proven by the prosecutor if it becomes clear that the victim was afraid due to an injury that was caused or intended to be caused, and was the result of a deliberate act of the defendant.

Every case is unique and involves different circumstances. No assault lawyer can guarantee to beat any of the assault charges, though they will work diligently and try to defend clients with the best possible representation.

Let us understand the types of assault and defenses that can be used in an attempt to beat these charges.

What Are the Types of Assault?

Assault can be broadly categorized into simple and aggravated assault. An act that may cause the least injury or pose a limited threat of violence is called a simple assault. An aggravated assault involves serious circumstances and violence, resulting in life-threatening consequences.

A few scenarios that may result in aggravated assault are as follows:

  • Striking or threatening to strike a person with a dangerous weapon or object
  • Committing a felony crime like rape or robbery
  • Actions resulting in life-threatening physical injuries
  • The behavior of violence while concealing identity
  • Hurting a person from the protected class like a police officer, healthcare provider, social services worker or a disabled person.

The Statutes of Brainerd classify assault charges into the following:

Each of these assault types has varying charges and consequences. The penalties associated with them range from a maximum of one-year imprisonment and a $3,000 fine for a fifth-degree assault to 20 years in prison and a $30,000 fine for first-degree assault.

Also, an individual is charged with domestic assault when he/she intentionally inflicts harm or causes fear of harm to a family/household member.

What Types of Defenses Can Be Presented for a Charge of Assault?

An assault may be the result of certain factors like serious accusations and exaggerated arguments.

The defense strategies that can be put forth to beat these charges are:

  • Affirmative Defenses

This affirmative defense strategy acknowledges that the act in question was committed, but the behavior should not be considered as an assault for different reasons.

  • Self-Defense

This is one of the common strategies used to defend against assault charges. It is also considered the easiest to prove in court.

Your assault lawyer may argue that your action was an act of self-defense for protection from any harm that may have been caused due to another person.  Also, the other party was the aggressor and that your act did not need any force on him/her.

This argument of self-defense is of two types:

  • Defense of other individuals

This refers to your act of defending another person from the aggressor.

  • Defense of property

This is the act of defending your home or movable/immovable assets from an invader.

You will need to discuss with your assault lawyer to find the best-suited defense based on your situation.

  • Consent

Consent is an act of assault that cannot be legally constituted if the parties involved agree to it.

Consider a scenario involving two professional boxers. One boxer cannot accuse the other of assault for punching him during the match. Both parties involved should have agreed to the terms of the match ahead of time.

Again, consider that one boxer punched/beat his/her opponent before or after the match. This action cannot be considered legal because the other party consented to the match. The action of beating and punching exceeded the permission that was provided.

However, consent can be used in rare scenarios. Your assault lawyer should be able to determine the best circumstances to use this mode of defense.

  • Disputative Defenses

These defenses question the actual behavior you were alleged to have engaged in.

  • Lack of Credibility

This defense is used to prove that the victim or a witness is providing incorrect information about the assault. Your assault lawyer will need to work diligently to prove the lack of credibility. This involves finding inconsistencies in statements provided by the victim or witness. The lawyer will need to pay attention to intricate details and raise questions about them.

This kind of argument may need contradictory evidence to the proof already provided before the jury or rebuttal witnesses who recount a different series of events about the assault in question.

Furthermore, your assault lawyer may try to call into question the character of the victim or witness presenting the information. He may try to prove that the individual lacks credibility due to distrustful events he/she may be associated with.

  • Incorrect Identification of the Accused

Human beings can be biased and unreliable. Details about incidents that we believe to be true may be wrong when presented with evidence like a video recording of the occurrence.

Due to this, victims tend to identify the wrong person as accused. If you have been falsely accused of an assault, it may be because you look similar to the actual convict or due to your proximity to the scene of the assault.

If you haven’t been part of an assault and pulled into it due to incorrect identification, you can seek help from your assault lawyer to prove your innocence. Seek help from witnesses who know you weren’t responsible for the assault. You can also consider surveillance footage or video recordings that show the actual perpetrator.

  • Alibi

The alibi defense should include evidence that proves you were elsewhere when the assault occurred. However, you should be able to prove this with an appropriate stand, like witnesses who can vouch for your presence. For example, a video recording that shows you in another location or a ticket to an event that confirms your presence may work.

How Can an Assault Charge Defense Lawyer in Brainerd Help?

As mentioned, there are varying degrees of assault. The State of Brainerd involves different penalties for them based on their severity. It can be challenging to understand the legal grounds of your arrest and defending yourself in court.

An assault lawyer in Brainerd is equipped with comprehensive knowledge of the legal nuances of assault cases. His/her experience will help in strategizing the best defenses to protect you against serious assault charges.

Rather than putting your future at risk, it is best to seek representation from a skilled Brainerd assault lawyer to defend your case.

Conclusion

In a case of assault, the prosecutor is responsible for proving the defendant guilty. The above-mentioned types of defense for assault should provide an overview of how your assault lawyer can challenge the credibility of the evidence and protect your interests.

Reach out to Our Seasoned Assault Lawyers in Brainerd

To discuss your assault case with our experienced lawyers, give us a call at (855) 215-6862 or contact us online. We will work relentlessly and represent you vigorously while protecting your rights. At Carlson & Jones P.A., our lawyers will build an ironclad defense to try and get a positive outcome in your favor.

Can Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charges Be Dropped in MN?

Assault charges can be the result of different kinds of circumstances. They may stem from exaggerated accusations, mutual altercations or arguments due to a misunderstanding. Furthermore, these alterations may involve self-defense or the defense of another person.

To defend charges of assault with a deadly weapon, it is best to seek the recommendation of an experienced assault lawyer in Minnesota. Though dropping assault charges depends purely on the case facts and details, a lawyer will be equipped with comprehensive knowledge about relevant assault laws. He/she will be in a position to defend clients by providing the best possible representation. 

Let us now understand how Minnesota laws apply to charges of assault with deadly weapons.

What Are the Types of Assault with Deadly Weapons Charges?

The use of a deadly weapon for assault can be either a misdemeanor or a felony based on the severity and circumstances surrounding the assault.

Misdemeanor Assault with Deadly Weapon Charges in Minnesota

If the offender has used a deadly weapon during an assault, he/she may be levied of misdemeanor charges under the following circumstances:

  • The assault was committed with the intention of causing fear/immediate bodily harm or death 
  • The accused was intentionally inflicted/attempted to inflict bodily harm on another person

A gross misdemeanor charge will apply in the following scenarios:

  • “If the accused violates the provisions of subdivision 1 against the same victim within ten years of a previous qualified domestic violence-related offense conviction or adjudication of delinquency is termed guilty of a gross misdemeanor.”

The penalty for a gross misdemeanor may include a sentence of imprisonment of not more than one year or payment of a fine up to $3000, or both.

  • “If the accused violates the provisions of subdivision 1 within three years of a previous qualified domestic violence-related offense conviction or adjudication of delinquency is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than a year or to payment of a fine of not more than $3000, or both.”

Furthermore, it is important to note that one need not necessarily cause bodily harm to another individual to be charged by assault. Even having a firearm during the act can result in being charged with fifth-degree assault.

Felony Assault with Deadly Weapon Charges in Minnesota

According to the Statutes of Minnesota, felony assault with deadly weapon charges are imposed in the following scenarios:

“Whoever assaults another with a dangerous weapon may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than seven years or to payment of a fine of not more than $14,000, or both.”

If substantial bodily harm occurs, the following penalties apply:

“Whoever assaults another with a dangerous weapon and inflicts substantial bodily harm may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than ten years or to payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both.”

What Defenses Can Be Used against Assault with Deadly Weapon Charges?

Depending on the facts of the case, your assault lawyer may use the below-described defenses to get the charges minimized or even dropped. 

  • Self Defense

Self-defense is one of the most common defenses to second-degree assault.

A person can claim self-defense in the following scenarios:

  1. If the victim has initiated the confrontation
  2. If the accused believes that the assault caused bodily harm to him/her
  3. If the accused was not able to escape from the assault to a safe location
  4. If only a negligible amount of force was used to stop the attack
  • Defense of Others

This kind of defense is similar to self-defense. This mechanism is used to defend others from bodily harm that may have been caused due to the assault.

  • Defense of Property

Defense of property can be used only in limited circumstances. For example, if someone has attempted to steal your wallet or harm your movable/immovable assets, the application of reasonable force to defend property can be used.

  • Lack of Evidence

The lack of evidence can be cited in cases wherein the weapon used for committing the assault is not found. Again, if the accused was present at the crime scene circumstantially, the assault charge may be questioned. These are a few ways to find loopholes in the prosecution’s case due to lack of evidence.

  • Mental Incapability

Mental incapability refers to the unstable status of the accused during the assault. It means that the accused did not have the mental stability to make a sound judgment about reacting to the assault. Therefore, the person in question should not be severely punished based on the statutes of law.

  • Intoxication

This defense may be presented if the accused was voluntarily or involuntarily intoxicated during the act of assault, i.e. the defendant was not aware of his/her actions because of the intoxication.

Involuntary intoxication can be used as a defense if the defendant proves that he/she was tricked into consuming drugs/alcohol. This could have prevented the defendant from understanding the intent of his/her actions.

However, the jury may accept voluntary intoxication as a defense based on the details of cases. 

  • Alibi

Using an alibi involves proving that the defendant was not present at the scene of the crime, thereby proving that he/she is being falsely related to the assault charge. It may also need to be proven that the defendant was present elsewhere. For example, a third party may claim that the defendant was with them when the assault happened.

How Can a Lawyer Help in Dropping Assault Charges with Deadly Weapons?

The jury may have a wide degree of discretion when imposing a sentence for assault charges with deadly weapons. Several factors are taken into consideration during case evaluation. A few of them are as follows:

  1. The ages of the victim and the defendant
  2. If the defendant already has a criminal record
  3. The strength of the evidence submitted by the prosecution 

An experienced assault lawyer will be able to analyze the intricacies of the case and try to get the charges of an assault to lesser severity or even completely dismissed. 

Conclusion

Assault allegations may result in serious penalties upon conviction. However, an assault lawyer will strive hard to support his/her client to the maximum extent possible and fight for the best representation based on the case facts.

Hopefully, the above-mentioned details will give you a comprehensive view of how assault charges with deadly weapons are presented in court and the possible defenses that may help fight these charges. 

Reach out to Our Assault Lawyers in MN

For any further questions and legal help, feel free to connect with our experienced assault lawyers at our Buffalo office at (855) 215-6862 or contact us online and get a free consultation.

How to Beat a Drug Trafficking Charge in Minnesota?

Drug trafficking or drug distribution refers to manufacturing, selling, moving or importing illegal drugs. It is often confused with drug possession, but these are two different types of drug crimes. Drug trafficking is considered a federal crime as well as a felony crime in Minnesota.

Is drug trafficking a violent crime? A drug trafficking charge in Minnesota can have serious repercussions on the accused’s life, especially if the case involves a conviction. Often, prosecutors seek maximum penalties in such cases in the wake of increased drug usage plaguing the country.

If you or your loved one has been charged with or are suspected of drug trafficking, you should ensure that you’re adequately prepared to tackle the accusation, while protecting your rights. Working with a reputed drug crime lawyer is always a good idea.

It is important to realize that there are no guarantees to beat any drugs-related charge, and every case is different. Most seasoned lawyers fight hard to try and save the day for their clients.

A Quick Overview of Drug Crime Laws in Minnesota

Usually, federal and state prosecutors can levy drug trafficking charges when they believe that controlled substances have been sold, imported, or moved around. In most cases, these charges involve drugs such as heroin, marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine. US drug crime statistics reveal that, “Between 2011 and 2015, there was an almost 50% increase in the number of people sentenced for crimes related to heroin trafficking in the U.S.”

A drug trafficking charge can also extend to the unlawful distribution of prescription drugs, such as sleeping pills, pain killers, or products containing hydrocodone, oxycodone, and pharmaceutical opiates.

Often, drug possession charges tend to escalate to trafficking because of the amount of substance found on the accused. This means that a person found with controlled substances even for personal use may have to deal with trafficking charges, and the associated legal sentences. So, someone who may have been found with large quantities of drugs on his/her person for personal use might end up facing a decades-long prison sentence.

Any Minnesota drug crime attorney will tell you that the consequences for drug charges are extremely severe. The state laws here oversee penalties in keeping with the type and quantity of drugs involved, area of distribution, and whether or not children were targeted.

A drug trafficking charge can be brought against you if you have been accused of manufacturing or distributing an illegal controlled substance, or if you have been found possessing a large quantity of the substance that exceeds the estimated quantity for personal use.

Sentences for drug trafficking typically range between three and five years to life imprisonment, but can be considerably higher when large quantities are involved. In extreme cases, where large amounts of drugs are involved, the accused can be charged with a first-degree felony, which can result in a prison sentence of up to 40 years.

Defending a Drug Trafficking Charge in Minnesota

Experienced drug crime attorneys in Minnesota employ the following commonly-used defenses to help their clients in attempting to beat a drug trafficking charge.

  • Illegal Search and Seizure

Law enforcement authorities need to have probable cause before searching through your personal property to check for possession of illegal drugs. If they did not have a valid warrant or probable cause, it means they violated your Constitutional rights, in which case, your charges may be reduced or dismissed altogether.

  • Miranda Violation

Any statement by you on your drug trafficking charge cannot be used against you in court if it was obtained when you were placed under arrest and weren’t familiarized with your right to remain silent. As per the American Constitution, providing any answer to unwarned police questions can be avoided.

  • Mistake of Fact

You can defend your charges by stating that you happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And because of this, you were mistaken for the actual offender. This defense can be especially effective if the evidence presented fails to prove that you were involved in the crime in the first place.

  • The Lack of Intent

The drug trafficking charge levied against you is rooted in your (or the defendant’s) intent to distribute the controlled substances. The charge may carry no weight if this intent cannot be proven.

  • The Lack of Knowledge

When defending your drug trafficking charge, you can also state that you lacked the knowledge that the drugs were on your person to begin with. For instance, you may have been asked to drive a car or a delivery truck from one place to another, without you knowing that the vehicle contained a package of heroin.

  • Challenging Proof of Substance

This defense can be employed to refute state-presented evidence. While the state may allege that the substance found in your possession is a controlled substance or an illegal drug, it need not necessarily be so. The state will have to prove to the court that the substance is a drug through scientific evidence. You can then proceed to question the reliability of drug testing with the aim of either suppressing the evidence presented in court or creating doubts on the certainty of said evidence.

  • Not Meant for Human Consumption

This defense can work if the material in question is not drugs, but more like cannabinoids used in the production of skin creams. Proving this will render your drug trafficking charge baseless, and it will likely be dropped.

  • Duress

If you can prove that you were trafficking drugs under the threat of you or your family being harmed if you didn’t do so, you may find relief in your case.

  • Suppression of Pre-trial Identification

This is a slightly complex one and requires thorough knowledge of the law as well as the Constitution, which does not allow vague and unreliable identification processes. With the help of this defense, law enforcement authorities can be stopped from identifying you (the defendant) in court by proving that the identification procedures (mugshots, witness photos) used by the police were unreliable to begin with.

Conclusion

It is crucial for you or any individual who has been charged with drug trafficking to let neither the police nor the judiciary intimidate them. Most importantly, you should never give up hope and remember that you are going to be considered innocent until proven guilty. 

The above time-tested defenses are used by most Minnesota drug crime attorneys when defending their clients in drug trafficking cases. If you find yourself in tricky waters, make sure to consult a qualified and experienced lawyer at the earliest.

Consult Our Drug Crime Lawyer in Minnesota for a Positive Outcome

Call us for a free consultation at (855) 976-2444 today or contact us online. We will help you explore every legal option available and applicable to your case, preserve your rights, and get you the just outcome you deserve.

What Is a Sex Crime?

In Minnesota, the legal term for sex crimes is “criminal sexual conduct.” Rape and sexual assault are included in this.

Ask any Minnesota sex crime defense attorney, and they will tell you that the state classifies criminal sexual misconduct into five categories or degrees, based on the illegal sexual activity and the age of the victim. 

Each degree of criminal conduct also encompasses various behaviors, with the first-degree being the most serious and hence, carrying the most severe penalties. The fifth degree is the least severe, but comes with serious consequences nonetheless. 

Categories of Criminal Sexual Misconduct in Minnesota

Broadly speaking, first degree and third degree criminal sexual misconduct involves sexual penetration of the victim. Second, fourth, and fifth-degree crimes are those that involve sexual contact with the victim, but without penetration. 

As skilled sex crimes attorneys, we know that criminal sexual conduct offenses have other considerations as well. First and second degree crimes, for instance, usually include elements such as personal injury caused to the victim, the use of force, violence, dangerous weapons, or very young victims. 

In third, fourth, and fifth degrees, the crime involves less aggravated conduct. Other factors at play here include the lack of consent on the victim’s part, the victim’s relatively young age, and the victim consenting to the sexual conduct due to a vulnerability or a special relationship with the offender.

Let’s take a closer look at these categories/degrees to understand them better.

  • First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

This is considered the most severe charge of criminal sexual conduct in Minnesota. It involves sexual penetration of the victim, or sexual contact with a victim below 13 years of age. 

These charges also cover victims who were placed in reasonable fear of physical harm to them. If the defendant was armed with a dangerous weapon or threatened the victim with the weapon, or injured the victim, they can be charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct.  

Further, if the defendant used force or coercion for sexual penetration or did so while knowing that the victim is physically/mentally impaired, they can be held liable for a crime under this category. 

Other factors considered by the law are the defendant being aided by an accomplice to make the victim yield to, or if the accomplice was carrying a weapon, or if the defendant had a close relationship with the victim, and the victim was below the age of 16 at the time of sexual penetration. 

Penalties: If convicted, the criminal is sentenced to 30 years in prison and has to pay a fine of up to $40,000. The mandatory minimum sentence for these charges is at least 12 years.

  • Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

This degree of criminal sexual conduct involves engaging in sexual contact without penetration. This is also considered a serious offense because of the high potential for using violence, threat of violence, force, coercion, or a dangerous weapon at the time of committing the act. These charges are also applicable if the victim was very young, and did not or was unable to consent to the act.  

Penalties: The minimum sentence in such cases is 7.5 years, while the maximum is 25 years. A fine of up to $35,000 may also have to be paid.

  • Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

This charge entails engaging in sexual penetration of the victim and a few other circumstances similar to those in first degree criminal sexual conduct, such as the offender knowing that the victim is mentally or physically incapacitated. 

It also applies if the defendant had a close relationship with the victim, who was at least 16 years of age but below the age of 18 years at the time of the sexual penetration.  Other factors that play a role include nonconsensual sex taking place if the defendant and victim have a psychotherapist-patient relationship, or the offender was a masseuse or a clergy to the victim.

The charges are also applicable if the defendant used deception or false representation (suggesting a medical purpose) to accomplish sex, or if the defendant was professionally associated with a correction or juvenile facility where the victim was registered. 

Penalties: The maximum penalty awarded for these crimes is 15 years in prison and a fine of $30,000. 

  • Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

This charge applies if the defendant engaged in sexual contact without penetration in the same situations as mentioned under third degree criminal sexual conduct. It also includes cases where the victim is 13-to-15 years of age and the defendant is four or more years older and in a position of authority. You may also get to hear the term “statutory rape” when this charge is levied. 

Penalties: The sentence awarded can include up to 10 years in prison or up to $20,000 in fines or both.

  • Fifth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

This is the least severe level of criminal sexual conduct in Minnesota. It applies in cases involving nonconsensual sexual contact or touching of the private parts of the victim. It also includes the removal or attempted removal of clothing covering the victim’s intimate body parts, and masturbation or lewd display of the genitals in the presence of someone below the age of 16.    

Penalties: These charges are regarded as gross misdemeanors and penalties include up to one year imprisonment in a local county jail and a fine of up to $3,000. If the defendant has had a prior conviction, the crime is regarded as felony. Penalties for a felony include up to seven years in prison and a fine up to $14,000.

Apart from the above, child pornography is considered a serious crime in Minnesota. Charges can range from simple possession of such content to producing or distributing it. These can result in extremely serious consequences.

Most of these offenses can get the defendant on the Minnesota sex offender registry, which can hamper every aspect of their life, both personally and professionally. 

Consulting a reliable sex crimes defense attorney can be helpful in clearing your name of such charges. Depending on the facts and details of your case, your lawyer can get the sentence reduced or the charges dismissed, if possible.   

Conclusion

Criminal sexual conduct charges are a serious matter and attract harsh punishments in Minnesota. A conviction for rape or sexual assault will certainly bring you a lengthy prison term. It will also get your name featured on the sex offender registry for life. 

If you’re been accused, you need to remember that you deserve a fair trial. Work with our experienced Minnesota sex crimes attorney, who can help you defend your case in the most effective way possible. 

Connect with Our Experienced Sex Crime Defense Attorney for Legal Advice

Contact us at the earliest with us at (855) 976-2444 or contact us online to improve your chances of getting a positive outcome for your case.

Can Forgery Charges Be Dropped in Hutchinson?

Contrary to popular belief, forgery involves both making and using fake goods and presenting them as genuine in order to defraud a person, organization or a government body. It is a white-collar crime.

One of the most commonly known forgeries is check fraud, which often involves writing a bad check or forging a signature or creating a fake check, among other things. Forgery is a felony-level crime that may result in serious legal consequences in Minnesota.

In most cases, any of the following can be regarded as an act of forgery: 

  • Creating a false or fake document. For example, creating a false identification or documents like legal certificates and contracts. 
  • Falsifying an original document. For example, forging a signature on a real check or changing the name or amount. 
  • Presenting a false or fraudulent document or item knowingly. Please note, you will be charged with forgery even if the said document or artifact is not accepted. 
  • Possession of any fake document or item knowingly. In this case, you will be charged for possession. 
  • Destroying or mutilating a document with the intention of defrauding a person or an entity. 

Penalties for Forgery in Minnesota

All forgery crimes are felony-level crimes in Minnesota, and hence, carry hefty penalties such as fines and prison time. Usually the value of your forgery will determine the sentence you receive. Depending on the nature of your crime, you may also face charges from state and federal prosecution. 

When charged with aggravated forgery, you may end up facing imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $20,000, if found guilty. On the other hand, the charges of forgery can result in imprisonment for up to three years and/or a fine of up to $5,000 if found guilty. 

However, based on the individual circumstances of your case, you may have to suffer more severe punishment. An experienced forgery defense lawyer will be able to discuss the potential penalties and how you can reduce them only after checking the facts related to your case. 

Furthermore, a conviction for forgery can haunt you for the rest of your life. Getting a job is next to impossible for a convicted felon. No business will want to hire an individual who had committed forgery. 

Universities also vet student applications to see if you were ever convicted of a crime. If yes, the doors to a decent education might be closed for you forever. Students with a criminal record are also not likely to receive any scholarships or concessions. That’s why you have to try and get your forgery charges reduced or even dismissed with the help of a good felony forgery attorney

Can Forgery Charges Be Dropped in Minnesota?

With the help of a skilled forgery defense lawyer, it is possible to reduce your forgery charges or even get them dropped. However, nothing is certain as a lot of factors are involved in a forgery trial. 

However, the burden of proof rests on the state. In other words, the state has to prove beyond any doubt that you either created or used the fraudulent documents with the intention to defraud a person or organization in question. If you are being tried for possession, they need to prove that you possessed the fake documents, money or goods knowing fully well that they are fake. 

So, the first order of business is to talk to a criminal defense lawyer specializing in forgery crime. After hearing your case, the lawyer will help you proceed with the pre-trial steps. 

The evidence presented against you will include the documents in question, police and lab reports, expert witness testimony, and anything else related to your case. As you and your lawyer can see the evidence against you during this stage, you will be able to define the next course of action. 

Based on the circumstances of your case, the lawyer can suggest you to consider settlement offers. These may help reduce your charges or might dismiss them altogether. 

What If My Forgery Case Is Not Settled?

If your case is not settled at pre-trial stage, it will move to a bench trial or a jury trial. The difference between the two is that judges will determine the outcome of your case in the former, while juries will do so in the latter. 

Even if the case goes to trial, it is still possible to reduce the potential sentence. The burden of proof lies on the state. So, the state has to prove that you purposefully tried to defraud someone. 

If proven guilty, depending on the value of forgery and your previous criminal background, among other things, you will receive a sentence. If the ruling goes against you despite your appeals, you will have to serve the sentence. 

However, not all is lost, even now. After serving the sentence, you can still apply to expunge your forgery crime records. Expungement of court records can help you rebuild your life relatively quickly and easily. 

Whether or not to expunge your criminal records, will primarily depend on the following factors: 

  • The nature of your offense (minor offenses are more likely to get expunged)
  • Evidence of hardship you are suffering due to the forgery crime record 
  • Your additional efforts to rehabilitate or put your life back together 
  • The extent of risk you pose to the public 

Expungement can be a viable solution in some cases, not all. However, you do need to talk to your forgery defense attorney first. Make sure to share all the facts and details related to your case freely with your lawyer to help them build an excellent defense for you. Remember, even a seemingly trivial detail can help turn the tide in your favor. 

Conclusion

You must understand that each forgery case is unique. Usually, very few cases are open-and-shut type, where you can get the forgery charges dropped completely. While any good forgery defense lawyer will leave no stone unturned to win every case, a lot of factors are involved in deciding the outcome. 

Even if your forgery charges cannot be dismissed, you can try to get a reduced sentence. After serving a reduced sentence, you can further try to get your records expunged to begin your normal life as soon as possible. 

Contact Our Seasoned Forgery Defense Lawyer in Hutchinson for the Best Representation

It is better to consult with us so we can make a preliminary observation of your case to determine the best course of action, considering your personal situation. Get in touch with our forgery defense lawyers at (855) 215-6862 or contact us online for a free consultation.

What Is an Assault Charge?

An assault charge, in Minnesota, is defined as having caused/attempted to have intentionally caused bodily harm or fear of bodily harm to another individual. 

A person need not necessarily hit or strike someone to be charged with assault. Even if the threat of harm is posed either physically or verbally, charges of assault may be imposed. 

An experienced assault lawyer in Minnesota may be able to help offenders understand the type of assault charge levied and the associated penalties. 

What Are the Different Types of Assault?

The different types of assault are:

  • Simple Assault

According to Minnesota state laws, the act of intentionally causing bodily harm, attempting to cause harm or acting in a way to cause fear of harm are defined as simple assault. This type of conviction may include penalties of up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1000. 

  • Aggravated Assault

The act of causing bodily harm using a deadly weapon like a gun, vehicle or any other harmful object that may cause temporary or permanent injury is called aggravated assault. This assault may result in seven years of jail time and/or a fine of up to $14,000.

The laws of Minnesota communicate that an assault can become a felony when significant harm occurs to the body.

  • Domestic Assault

If an assault is committed against a family member, the perpetrator of the crime may be charged with domestic assault. A simple domestic assault includes penalties of up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1000. Furthermore, if the domestic assault includes suffocation and strangulation, penalties may increase to three years of jail term and/or a fine of up to $5000.

  • Assault by Inmate

Assault on an inmate in prison may extend the already imposed sentence. This may include an extra 90 days for a simple assault and another year for assault against protected employees.

  • Hate Crimes

When an assault is committed due to hatred/prejudice against an individual because of their race, religion, sex or disability, the charge is termed as a hate crime. These crimes are charged as gross misdemeanors. A person charged with hate crimes may face penalties of up to one-year jail term and/or a fine of $3000.

  • Assault against Public Employees

This type of charge includes an act wherein:

    • The offender assaulted a public employee
    • The accused assaulted the victim while being aware of his/her position
    • The victim was on duty when the assault happened

These assault charges range from a misdemeanor to a felony. Penalties for these charges include three years in prison and/or a fine of up to $6000.  

How Are Assault Charges Categorized?

Assault charges are categorized as:

  • First Degree Assault

Minnesota categorizes first-degree assault as the most serious of all types. This assault includes physically harming a person with severe bodily harm. The extent of bodily harm includes the risk of death, causing disfigurement or disability.

First-degree assault is considered a felony and may result in a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $30,000.

  • Second Degree Assault

A second-degree assault charge is applicable when the prosecutor believes that the assault has happened using a weapon. The weapon needn’t necessarily be a gun. It can be anything like a bat or a block of wood that may be dangerous. 

This category of assault includes a jail term of up to ten years if the assault has caused substantial bodily harm to the victim. However, if no harm has been caused, the offender may face up to seven years of jail term and/or $14,000 in fines.

  • Third Degree Assault

A third-degree assault charge is imposed on the offender if he/she may have committed any of the following:

    • Assaulted a minor under the age of four
    • Assaulted a minor where there is a history of abuse
    • Assaulted the victim with substantial bodily harm

This kind of assault may result in a penalty of up to five years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

  • Fourth Degree Assault

A fourth-degree assault depends on the victim of the case. 

If the assault is against a police officer, school official, firefighter or any other government official, the accused may face charges of a misdemeanor. The victim should have been performing his/her recognized duties at the time of the assault. 

Penalties may include one year in jail and up to $3000 in fines. The same charges may be applicable if the assault has been committed against an individual due to reasons of race, religion, disability or sexual preferences.

Furthermore, in a few cases, depending upon the severity of harm caused, fourth-degree assault charges can be elevated to a felony charge.

  • Fifth Degree Assault

If an individual commits an assaultive act to intentionally harm another person or cause fear of harm on a person, a fifth-degree assault charge may be levied. It is important to note that an assault need not be committed; even an attempt is enough to face this charge.

This degree of assault is a misdemeanor, and the penalties include 90 days of jail term along with fines of up to $3000.

How Does the Severity of an Injury Impact an Assault Charge?

The degree of injury sustained in an assault is the determining factor between a misdemeanor assault and felony assault. 

Consider a scenario where a person suffered a bump or bruise without leaving a permanent mark. If the defendant happened to commit this kind of an assault for the first time, it will be termed as a fifth-degree assault or misdemeanor. If the assault has left permanent injuries on the victim like a scar, it will be considered as a third-degree assault.

Again, if the victim has suffered substantial injuries like loss of body parts, wounds due to gunshot, or brain injury, the accused will be charged first-degree assault. 

The severity of the injury caused by the assault plays an important role in investigating the case and to ensure that the sustained injuries meet the definitions under the statute. Moreover, this will make sure that a person is not unnecessarily punished for a crime that does not fit his/her actions.

Why Do You Need a Lawyer to Defend Assault Charges?

Case facts and circumstances vary, and so do their outcomes. Not everyone who is charged with assault will need to face the maximum extent of fines and imprisonment. An experienced assault lawyer in Minnesota can help reduce the potential penalty, get the charges lowered or even get the case dismissed, depending on the severity of the charges and extent of injuries caused as a result of the assault.  

Conclusion

If you’re facing an assault charge, it is best to consult and seek the recommendation of a Minnesota assault lawyer

At Carlson & Jones P.A., we are well-versed with the nuances of assault charges. Our skilled lawyers will be able to analyze your case details and represent you in the best possible manner while trying to earn the most desirable outcome. 

Seek Legal Help from our Accomplished Minnesota Criminal Assault Lawyers

To get a detailed view of assault charges in the state of Minnesota and the possible defenses that can be used in your case, call our assault lawyers at (855) 976-2444 or contact us online today.

What Is Domestic Assault?

Disagreements between family members can happen at times. However, if these arguments become physical, harmful or life-threatening, they may result in serious legal repercussions. According to the State laws of Minnesota, individuals involved in aggravated domestic disputes may have to face domestic assault charges with tough consequences. 

Domestic assault in Minnesota is considered a serious offense because victims are subjected to prolonged psychological trauma due to the violence. Law enforcement officers have the right to arrest any individual who they believe has committed any kind of domestic violence.

Having said that, let’s understand more about domestic assault charges in Minnesota.

How Is Domestic Assault Defined in Minnesota?

The Statues of Minnesota define domestic assault as an act that inflicts bodily harm/death or attempts to intentionally inflict bodily harm/death against a family member. A simple domestic assault without serious/life-threatening consequences is considered a misdemeanor. However, a domestic assault that involves strangulation is considered a felony.

Also, the law defines a family/household member as any one of the following:

  • Spouse, former spouse, parents, and children
  • People related by blood
  • People living together or who have lived together in the past
  • Couples having a child in common regardless of their marital status or history of living together 
  • Couples involved in a significant sexual relationship

What Are Qualified Domestic Violence Offenses in Minnesota?

The State laws of Minnesota consider the following as domestic violence offenses:

  • Violation of a domestic abuse Order for protection (OFP)
  • Violation of a domestic abuse no-contact order
  • First and second degree murder
  • First through fifth degree assault
  • Domestic assault and domestic assault by strangulation
  • First through fourth degree criminal sexual misconduct
  • Malicious punishment of a child
  • Terroristic threats
  • Harassment, violation of a harassment restraining order, and stalking
  • Interference with an emergency call 

What Are the Penalties for Domestic Assault in Minnesota?

A person convicted for domestic assault may have to face consequences beyond the typical penalties of an assault. They are as follows:

  • Charges of Misdemeanor or Felony

When a domestic assault is considered a misdemeanor, penalties may include up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1000. In case of a felony, domestic assault may include one to three years of jail term and/or fines of up to $5000.

The above-mentioned penalties are levied on first-time offenders. If the offender has sustained more than one domestic-violence-related conviction within the last 10 years, he/she may be charged with a gross misdemeanor.  Also, if the offender has two other qualified convictions within the last 10 years of a third offense, he/she may be charged with a felony. 

Furthermore, for a second-time offense, the penalty includes one year of jail term and/or fines of up to $3000. The third and subsequent offenses will include a jail term of up to five years and/or fines up to $10,000.

  • Protection Orders

Protection orders are also associated with penalties of domestic assault. Violating them may result in additional penalties. An individual can request a protection order or no-contact order at any point in time. However, these orders are necessarily issued upon a domestic assault arrest or conviction. 

The order may take up to 14 days from the date of issue to come into effect. The court decides if a permanent order is required depending on the severity of the case details. If granted, these orders may be valid for up to two years and can be renewed thereafter. 

A protection order is used to prohibit the offender from:

    • Committing domestic abuse against a family member, the petitioner, or pets
    • Staying/using the victim’s house, workplace, and common surrounding areas
    • Contacting the petitioner/victim

 In some cases, protection orders may also require the offender to provide the following:

    • Pay for child or spousal support
    • Forgo child custody and visitation rights
    • Give up custody of pets
    • Provide uninterrupted insurance coverage for the petitioner
    • Pay restitution 
    • Attend marriage counseling/mental health treatment

The violation of a protection order is considered a misdemeanor. The penalties for this offense may include a jail term of up to 90 days and fines of up to $1000. Bonds may also be imposed at $10,000 upon the defendant’s arrest. The severity of penalties may increase if the accused violates the protection order within 10 years of being convicted for domestic violence. 

  • Loss of Gun Rights

According to the laws of Minnesota, the person who has been convicted for domestic violence may lose the right to have a gun. If a weapon was used during the domestic assault, it is compulsorily forfeited. However, owning a gun even after seizing the rights to own one will result in severe penalties that include a jail term of up to one year and fines of up to $3000. 

How Are Offenders Arrested in Issues of a Domestic Assault?

The laws of Minnesota allow peace officers to arrest the accused without a warrant at any place, including his/her residence. 

This can be done if the officer believes that the person accused has committed a domestic assault in the last 24 hours. It is not necessary that the officer witnesses the assault for the arrest to be made.

Furthermore, the officer can proceed with a warrantless arrest if he/she believes that an assault, violation of a domestic assault no-contact order or violation of an OFP has occurred. 

When Should You Contact a Domestic Assault Lawyer for Legal Help?

A domestic assault charge can negatively impact the offender’s professional life, personal reputation, finances, and living conditions. It is best to get help from a domestic assault lawyer to fight these charges because they may be able to help you in the following ways:

  • Analyze and review the domestic assault charges imposed
  • Clarify doubts and explain available legal options to drop/minimize the charges
  • Evaluate the charges thoroughly and identify/secure any possible evidence that may help
  • Build an effective defense strategy 

It is important to understand that every case is different as they involve several different details. Though a domestic assault lawyer will offer the best representation possible and try to get the charges dropped, the final outcome depends on the severity of the case and the evidence presented to the jury. Based on these aspects, your lawyer will try his/her best for the best result, including a reduced penalty and fines.

Conclusion

It is necessary that you protect your rights if you have been charged with domestic violence. Seeking legal help can minimize penalties to a great extent. 

The experienced lawyers at Carlson & Jones P.A. will plan and present your case facts in the most favorable manner to obtain positive results. 

Contact Our Domestic Assault Lawyer to Get a Favorable Outcome

To know more about the various aspects of domestic assault, the associated penalties, and the potential defenses, connect with us at (855) 976-2444 or contact us online.

How to Beat a Felony Drug Charge in Minnesota?

Conviction for a drug crime can result in extreme consequences. 

Often, a lot of students and young professionals with a bright future ahead of them get convicted for a felony drug charge. The felony can not only result in imprisonment, but become a lifelong stain in your record that greatly impacts your present and future. For example, most employers are law-abiding citizens and will not hire a convicted felon.

Further, potential penalties can be severe. 

It is, therefore, crucial to fight against any type of felony drug charge you have been accused of.

Minnesota recently modified its drug laws to introduce a separate sentencing framework for drug-related crimes, rather than going by the standard felony sentencing guidelines.

Working with an experienced Minnesota drug crime attorney can be extremely beneficial as we are aware of the legal amendments as well as the tactics applicable to your unique case. Accordingly, we can prepare a watertight plan of action to defend you.

Felony Drug Charge in Minnesota

Felony drug charges in Minnesota can include possession of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, crack, and other narcotics, including prescription drugs. Simple possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is considered an infraction. But, the possession of over one pound of marijuana or any amount of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) concentrate or hashish is considered a felony.

Most often, when an individual is found with an illegal drug on their person, they are arrested and charged with a felony. However, not everyone caught possessing narcotics gets criminally convicted of a felony drug charge. Each case is different and the penalty and outcomes are determined based on the various circumstantial factors involved.

Major drug crimes usually involve either the possession or the sale of drugs, including possession with intent to sell. Under Minnesota’s controlled substance laws, penalties for drug crimes depend on whether the offense falls under the first, second, third, fourth or fifth degree. 

First-degree drug crimes are the most serious, and hence, attract the most severe penalties. However, even a fifth degree offense is a felony nonetheless and comes with certain consequences. It is important to avoid a conviction whenever possible.

Mentioned below are some of the crimes that fall under each degree category, from the least severe to the most, and the associated penalties:

  • Fifth Degree

This includes the possession of any amount of Schedule I through IV drugs, except 42.5 grams or less of marijuana. It also includes the sale of or intent to sell marijuana or other Schedule IV drug, except the transfer of small amounts of marijuana without payment. 

Penalties: Fifth degree drug crimes can result in up to five years’ imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.

  • Fourth Degree

These offenses include the possession of 10 or more doses of a hallucinogen, as well as possession with intent to sell a Schedule I, II or III controlled substance. It also includes the sale of Schedule I, II or III substances, as well as sale of Schedule IV drugs to minors. 

Penalties: Fourth degree drug crimes can result in up to 15 years’ imprisonment and fines of up to $100,000.

  • Third Degree

These drug offenses can include the possession of at least three grams of heroin, 10 grams of other narcotics, 10 kilograms of marijuana, and five doses of Schedule I or II narcotics near a school, park, or public housing. It further includes the sale of narcotics, five or more kilograms of marijuana, 10 doses of a hallucinogen, and Schedule I or II substance to a minor.

Penalties: Third degree drug crimes can result in up to 20 years’ imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines.

  • Second Degree

These include the possession of at least 25 grams of cocaine or methamphetamines, six grams of heroin, 50 grams of other narcotics, 100 doses of a hallucinogen, and 25 kilograms of marijuana or 100 marijuana plants. It also includes the sale of at least three grams of heroin, 10 grams of any other narcotic, 50 doses of a hallucinogen, 10 kilograms of marijuana, and Schedule I or II narcotics to a minor. 

Penalties: Second degree drug crimes can result in up to 30 years’ imprisonment and up to $500,000 in fines.

  • First Degree

First degree offenses include the possession of at least 25 grams of heroin, 50 grams of cocaine or methamphetamines, and 50 kilograms of marijuana or 500 marijuana plants. Further, it includes the sale of at least 10 grams of heroin, 17 grams of cocaine or methamphetamines, 50 grams of other narcotics, 25 kilograms of marijuana, and 200 doses of hallucinogens.

Penalties: First degree drug crimes are the most serious and can result in up to 30 years’ imprisonment and up to $1 million in fines. 

Dealing with Felony Drug Charges in Minnesota

Ask any drug crime lawyer in Minnesota, and they will tell you that no two drug cases are the same. No lawyer can guarantee that they will beat your charges without reviewing your case facts. However, the following pointers will help you understand the kind of defenses that can be used to fight the charges against you.  

  • The Search for Drugs Was Illegal

The first thing that Minnesota drug crime lawyers consider is whether or not the drugs in question were retrieved through a legal search. If the law authorities conducted an illegal search of your home or car, the evidence obtained can be questioned because any evidence procured from an illegal search or seizure is not considered at trial. 

This exclusionary rule states that the police cannot violate any individual’s Constitutional rights. Moreover, the evidence gathered by violating a defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights are also considered null-and-void by the court. 

  • The Lack of Knowledge of the Existence of the Illegal Drugs

Another effective defense used by drug crime lawyers in Minnesota is the lack of knowledge or awareness of the existence of illegal drugs. 

Typically, when illegal drugs are found in a car, everyone in the vehicle is arrested. However, it is challenging for the police to prove these cases beyond a reasonable doubt. 

For instance, if the police stops a car with three riders and drugs are discovered in one rider’s wallet, it is possible that the other two riders were unaware of its presence. The government needs to prove that the persons knowingly possessed the illegal drug, which can be quite difficult if the accused’s lawyer puts up a strong defense. 

  • The Lack of or Inadequate Proof

If there is no or inadequate proof that the substance found is, in fact, an illegal drug, the drug crime charges cannot be established. For conviction to occur, the government has to prove that the alleged illegal substance is actually the drug they claim it to be.

The seized drugs are usually sent for testing to a crime laboratory. In some cases, the samples are lost or destroyed, the equipment isn’t calibrated, and so on. In such cases, an astute Minnesota drug crime attorney can question the results of the test and argue that the government failed to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the substance obtained was a narcotic. This can potentially get an accused acquitted of the criminal charge.  

Even if your case cannot be dismissed, the charges may be reduced or penalties can be minimized. Numerous details surrounding each case can have a huge impact on the possible outcome. Consulting a reputed Minnesota drug crime lawyer is a must to determine what course of action is appropriate in your specific case.

Conclusion

A felony drug conviction can have an adverse impact on your life. Apart from facing lasting detrimental consequences, you can end up behind bars or paying exorbitant fines or both. 

At Carlson & Jones P.A., our Minnesota drug crime attorney can help you by protecting your rights and fighting the charges levied, thereby abating or even eliminating the potential penalties you face. With our powerful legal defense on your side, you can look forward to positive outcomes in your case. 

Depend on Our Minnesota Drug Crime Lawyer for Aggressive Representative

For more information, call us for a free consultation at (855) 976-2444 or contact us online. We will be happy to hear your side of the story and help you by doing what we do best!

Is Forgery a Felony in Buffalo, Minnesota?

Forgery is perhaps one of the oldest criminal activities that has been around for centuries. Contrary to popular belief, forgery is related to more than just artwork. It often involves creating and using fake goods, documents, and money, and presenting them as genuine ones with the intention of deceiving someone. These crimes fall under the white-collar crimes’ category.

Over the years, forgers have laid their eyes on almost everything that is valuable, including artwork, literature, contracts, identification cards, legal certificates, documents, monetary instruments, and historical artifacts. Different states have different laws to protect their residents from crimes involving forgery.

For example, in Buffalo Minnesota, forgery and counterfeiting are treated differently even though they are similar in nature. The state will levy a forgery charge if you create a fake document, but you will be tried under counterfeiting if you are involved in creating fake money or distributing it.

Let’s look at how Buffalo Minnesota treats the crime of forgery.

Is Forgery a Felony in Buffalo Minnesota?

The short answer is yes!

In fact, in almost all cases, a forgery charge is a felony-level crime in Buffalo Minnesota. In other words, you will face serious consequences if you are involved in a crime of forgery or counterfeiting. Depending on the crime, you may also face an aggravated forgery charge, requiring you to spend years behind bars.

However, the state or prosecutor must prove that the forgery was committed with the intention to defraud a person or an entity like a business, or a private or government organization. The purpose of this rule is to protect those who were in possession of fraudulent documents or goods without knowing they are fake.

Let’s understand how this law works in Buffalo Minnesota.

Forgery versus Aggravated Forgery

When it comes to forgery and counterfeiting, laws in Buffalo Minnesota are broken down into Forgery and Aggravated Forgery.

  • Forgery

In Buffalo Minnesota, forgery involves using false documents or goods to defraud a person. If you have committed any of the following actions, you are likely to get slapped with a forgery charge:

    • Using a falsified recommendation or identification with intention to defraud someone or something
    • Destroying a falsified document, goods, artwork, or literature illegally
    • Using a trade or business label of one entity on another’s merchandise or product is also considered forgery. So, if you buy a printer manufactured by ABC brand and sell it with XYZ brand’s label without their consent, you are likely to be charged with a forgery crime
    • Creating or knowingly possessing a fake membership or identification card can also land you in hot water

Penalties for Forgery

If found guilty, you will be charged with a fine of up to $5000 or a prison sentence of to up to three years or both. However, in certain circumstances, the court may increase your sentence.

For example, if the forged good or document was presented as evidence in a trial or a court proceeding, you could end up with a fine of up to $10000 or the court may sentence you to up to five years in prison or both.

  • Aggravated Forgery 

Aggravated forgery occurs if you alter or falsify an object or document knowingly and with the intention to defraud a person or an entity. It is a felony offense in Buffalo Minnesota.

The reasons why you will be charge with this felony include, but are not limited to:

    • Documents that render legal rights like official seals, badges, or identifications
    • Public records and government documents (federal, state, and local)
    • Court records, documents, and orders
    • Possessing an instrument that you can or have used to create a forged document or artwork or goods
    • Falsifying bank records of a person or an entity receiving government aid or funding
    • Falsifying account records of a public officer or entity

Penalties for Aggravated Forgery

The court could sentence you to up to ten years of imprisonment or a fine of up to $20,000 or both.

  • Check Fraud Is Most Common

Although forgery is common, the layman is rarely involved in art theft. One of the most common forgery crimes is check fraud, which involves using checks to withdraw funds illegally from someone’s bank account. Writing forged or worthless or fraud checks is a criminal offense in Buffalo Minnesota.

Writing a bad check involves writing a check for the amount that exceeds the available clearing balance in your bank account. Writing another check from a different bank account to falsely inflate the balance to clear the first check results in check kiting offense.

Check washing, which involves stealing a check in transit and then forging it to withdraw money is also a punishable white-collar offense with serious legal consequences.

Check forgery involves changing the name of the borrower on a genuine check, creating counterfeit checks, and forging the signature of an account holder. Just like any other forgery charge, you can face a fine and even a prison sentence for a check fraud.

  • Work with a Forgery Defense Attorney

Unfortunately, most check forgeries are made in distressful financial situations. So, facing a criminal charge on the top of that can put you and your loved ones in real bad shape. That’s why it is essential that you talk to a forgery defense attorney immediately.

There are many ways to recover from a forgery charge like check fraud. For example, if the state or prosecutor fails to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knew the check would be dishonored, you may be able to recover from the charges.

Another way to reduce the penalties is to prove that you didn’t know it was a forged check. However, you will need a good forgery defense lawyer on your side, who can look for potential legal options as soon as possible.

Depending on the circumstances of your case such as the amount of forgery and the evidence, an experienced felony forgery attorney can help you get a fair settlement or even get the charges dropped.

Conclusion

Both forgery and aggravated forgery are felony-level offenses in Buffalo, Minnesota. So, whether you are dealing with a check forgery charge or the legal consequences for forging a power of attorney document, you are likely to face a sizable fine or even a prison sentence. 

Contact Our Felony Lawyer in Buffalo Minnesota

If you are facing a forgery charge and need reliable legal assistance, we can help. Talk to us now at (855) 215-6862 or contact us online!

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a behavior that is used to control/dominate an intimate partner. This kind of violence may include sexual, physical, emotional, economical or psychological threats/actions that negatively impact the well-being of another individual.  

An act of domestic violence may include inflicting life-threatening harm, fear-provoking, intimidating, blaming or humiliating a family member. This can happen to anybody irrespective of their age, race, religion, status or gender. Domestic violence affects people across socioeconomic and educational backgrounds.

How Is Domestic Violence Defined in Minnesota?

According to the Statutes of Minnesota, domestic violence is defined as one/many of the below-mentioned actions committed by the accused on a family/household member: 

  • Physical harm, bodily harm or assault
  • Infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily harm or assault
  • Terroristic threats, criminal sexual conduct or interference with an emergency call

A family or household member is defined as:

  • Spouse or former spouse
  • Individuals in a significant sexual relationship
  • Parents and children
  • People related by blood
  • Couples living together or who lived together in the past
  • Individuals having a child in common irrespective of them being married or living together

The law considers the following circumstances to increase the severity of a domestic violence charge:

  • Incidents that may cause substantial or great bodily harm
  • If the domestic violence episode involves the use of a weapon
  • If the incident has been committed due to bias or prejudice
  • If the victim is a law enforcement officer
  • If the victim belongs to any one of the vulnerable categories like a minor, disabled or elderly

Penalties for charges of domestic violence may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Jail term
  • Heavy fines
  • Community services
  • Probation
  • Counseling
  • Anger management
  • Psychological evaluation 

Other consequences may include:

  • Difficulty with finding employment
  • Issues with obtaining parental and custody rights
  • Damage to reputation

What Are the Legal Rights for Victims of Domestic Violence?

The State laws of Minnesota grant well-defined rights for the victims of domestic violence

  • Orders for Protection

Victims of domestic violence can request an Order for Protection (OFP). This protects the offender from contacting the victim. It also reinforces that the abuser should necessarily stay away from the victim’s home, workplace, school or any other common place of use. Furthermore, an OFP can be requested by a parent to protect the rights of a minor child. 

Victims can contact the court administration in their nearest county to file a petition for an OFP. The victim will not need to pay for these proceedings. Also, he/she is automatically granted paid leave from work if the process demands it. After an OFP has been approved, a copy of the same is sent to law enforcement. The law does not tolerate violations of the OFP. If the offender is found to do so, he/she may be punished severely.

  • Tenant’s Rights

Once the victim is a tenant and has an OFP or no-contact order in place due to fear of domestic violence, they may terminate the lease with the landlord by providing notice in advance. Landlords cannot penalize their tenants for making emergency calls in serious circumstances of domestic abuse.

  • Crime Victim’s Rights

Victims of domestic abuse earn a few rights during prosecutions. This includes the right to be informed about the prosecutor’s decision to dismiss a particular case or to be informed about the abuser’s release from custody.

  • Protection against Financial Abuse

There are chances that the abuser has access to the victim’s financial information. To avoid misuse of this, the victim can request to freeze his/her credit reports. The victim may also contact the Social Security Administration for a unique Social Security number.

  • Unemployment Benefits

Victims who have left their jobs voluntarily may not be entitled to these unemployment benefits. However, if the victim establishes the fact that he/she was forced to leave employment because of domestic violence, he/she may be eligible to obtain unemployment benefits.

What Are the Potential Defenses against Domestic Violence Charges in Minnesota?

If you have been charged with domestic violence, you must contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer to protect your rights. A domestic violence lawyer in Minnesota will be equipped with legal knowledge to offer the best representation possible. However, as every case depends on intricate details and the severity of the charges, lawyers will try their best to get your penalties minimized or even get the case dismissed, if possible.

The different types of defenses that can be used are as follows:

  • Self Defense

Self-defense is the best strategy that can be used to prove innocence in a case of domestic violence. The defendant will need to convince the court with appropriate proof that the incident was due to the emotional outbursts of his/her partner and that the defendant was not the instigator of the complete episode. This approach may prove the point that the defendant hasn’t committed anything wrong. Evidence may necessarily include video surveillance records, audio records or statements from any person who has witnessed the incident.   

  • False Allegations

In a few cases, the defendant may say that the allegations levied are false. This may happen if the so-called victim needs an advantage in a divorce, child custody or has problems of mental instability. The lawyer will need to look into the details of the case and gather the best possible proof to support his/her client. This may include presenting alibis or proving that the victim has medical problems due to mental/emotional instability.

  • Permission for Abuse

There are cases wherein both parties may be involved in abusive behavior. This defense is difficult to prove because the parties involved may not testify the happenings of the incident due to shame and embarrassment. Here, evidence such as a history of frequent hospital visits, statements from neighbors about violence, noises of pain, and verbal requests to stop the abuser can be used by the lawyer to prove fault. Furthermore, the testimonial from the affected individual is important. 

Conclusion

Charges of domestic violence can be difficult to handle. The best way to deal with them is to seek recommendations from an experienced lawyer. 

At Carlson & Jones P.A., will are well-equipped to protect your rights and present evidence favorably, based on your case details and the facts. We will also educate you about the rights of victims and possible penalties for abusers to give you a detailed view of the seriousness of domestic violence in Minnesota.

Get Aggressive Representation from Our Minnesota Domestic Violence Lawyer

To get a detailed view of domestic violation in the state of Minnesota and the possible defenses that can be used in your case, call our Minnesota domestic violence defense lawyers at (855) 976-2444 or contact us online today.

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Buffalo Lawyers

215 East Highway 55, Suite 201
Buffalo, MN 55313

Toll Free: (877) 344-1555
Phone: (612) 800-8057
Fax: 763-682-3330

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Brainerd Lawyers

17025 Commercial Park Rd, Suite 2
Brainerd, MN 56401

Toll Free: (877) 344-1555
Phone: (218) 736-9429
Fax: 763-682-3330

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Hutchinson Lawyers

114 Main Street North
Hutchinson, MN 55350

Toll Free: (877) 344-1555
Phone: (320) 289-4761
Fax: 763-682-3330

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Minnetonka Lawyers

3911 Ridgedale Dr, Suite 404E
Minnetonka, MN 55305

Toll Free: (877) 344-1555
Phone: (952) 260-9640
Fax: 763-682-3330

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