How Many Times Can You Appeal a Child Custody Case in Brainerd

When it comes to ending your marital relationship, an uncontested divorce is often the most inexpensive and fastest alternative to do it. However, not all couples have the luxury of uncontested divorce. Most divorces get finalized in the court, and one of the parties often disagrees with the court’s decision.

Child custody, which is one of the most critical elements of a divorce case involving minor children, is no exception to this fact. When one of the spouses disagrees with the child custody award, they will appeal the court’s decision in the hopes of getting a better outcome.

Here’s what you need to know about child custody and appealing it in Brainerd, MN.

1. Types of Child Custody

In Minnesota, there are four primary types of child custody. They are:

A. Sole Physical Custody: In this custody, the court will place the children under the supervision of one parent, while the other parent will get limited or generous visitation depending on the circumstances of your case.

B. Joint Physical Custody: In this type of custody, the children will stay with both parents for a significant amount of time. However, this type of custody is rare.

C. Sole Legal Custody: Legal custody gives a parent the right to have a say in major decisions like health, education, religion, and general upbringing of the children. Sole legal custody means only one parent gets this right.

D. Joint Legal Custody: In joint legal custody, both parents get to decide regarding the health, education, religion, and overall welfare of the children. However, both parents need to make things work. Only then the court is likely to award joint legal custody.

2. Child’s Best Interest Is Key

As an experienced child custody lawyer in Brainerd would tell you, the court always puts the child’s best interests first. Of course, the court will take into account different factors when determining child custody. However, the child’s overall best interests form the crux of their decision.

The various factors that can affect the outcome of child custody include parents’ wishes, the relation of the child with both parents, adjustment to home, school, and community, and cultural background, among other things.

The court will also check if the parent seeking custody is capable of raising a child financially, emotionally, and mentally. Just like each divorce case is unique, so is every child custody situation. You should talk to your lawyer to know your legal options.

3. Can You Appeal Child Custody Decision in Brainerd?

Although the short answer is “Yes,” appealing a child custody decision is not as easy as it sounds. In almost all cases, if your argument for an appeal is that the trial court didn’t get it right, the appellate court is not likely to entertain your request.

However, if your appeal is based on the argument that the trial court applied an incorrect legal standard when determining the child custody, your chances of being heard are better. Unfortunately, nothing is guaranteed, and the possibility of filing a successful appeal will change from case to case. Make sure to discuss your case with an experienced child custody lawyer in Brainerd first.

4. File for Modification Instead of Appealing

Although you can appeal the child custody order, it is often better to seek modification instead. If your current custody arrangement is no longer in the best interest of the child, you can go to the court and ask for an order modification.

However, there needs to be a change in circumstances that warrants the modification, and you should be able to prove this change in the court. For example, if the present environment threatens the mental and physical well-being of your child, the court will be more willing to change the previous custody arrangement.

If both parents agree to the modification (which does happen), the court will modify the order. Also, if the custodial parent is found guilty of criminal offenses, the custodial arrangements will be modified.

However, at least one year needs to pass from the date of issuing the original custody order before you can file for modification. If you have already filed a motion for modification before, whether or not the court granted it, you can’t file a subsequent request for at least two years. But there are exceptions to these rules as well. Talk to a competent family lawyer to discuss your options.

Parting Words

Getting a divorce is exceptionally difficult when children are involved. Sometimes, the child custody order can be unbearable for one of parents, resulting in an emotional decision to appeal the original custody order. However, you need to consider all your legal options carefully before proceeding with a crucial decision like this. Hopefully, this short post will help you understand a few important facts related to this issue.

Talk to an Experienced Child Custody Lawyer in Brainerd Today!

We know how heartbreaking it is to see an unexpected outcome of your child custody request. But don’t worry! Carlson & Jones, P.A., one of the most experienced child custody lawyers in Brainerd, are here to help you. Call us on (855) 663-7423   or contact us online to know how we can help resolve your child custody issues.



Can IRS levy Personal Injury Settlement in Hutchinson, MN

If you or your loved one has received compensation after settling a personal injury lawsuit, you may have several questions on your mind. One of these may be about whether or not you need to count the proceeds as a part of your income. After all, income can be taxed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Including the compensation in your income depends on the unique facts and circumstances surrounding your case. As experienced personal injury lawyers in Hutchinson, MN, we understand that the compensation you receive can be made of several elements. For instance, it may include money that makes up for lost wages, emotional/mental distress, and attorney’s fees.

It is also helpful to remember that the IRS will not disrupt an arrangement if it is consistent with the terms of the settled claims.

Before understanding what the IRS can do with your personal injury settlement amount, let’s know the basics

What Is Personal Injury Settlement in Hutchinson, MN?

A personal injury settlement is an agreement that is struck out of court. Both parties involved are required to agree to it. It occurs when the at-fault party or their insurance company offers an amount as compensation, once liability is established.

A settlement is usually reached upon after negotiating in personal injury cases, such as those involving workplace accidents, auto accidents, assault, medical malpractice, product liability, and wrongful death. The compensation can be offered either before or after the case is filed.

Once the victim accepts the compensation, they can no longer pursue their case or take any legal action against or ask for a greater amount from the at-fault party.

More of than not, experienced personal injury lawyers in Hutchinson, MN recommend settling as there is no guarantee that the judge/jury verdict will be in line with the victim’s needs and expectations.

The IRS and Your Personal Injury Settlement

Typically, the proceeds from a personal injury claim are not taxable under federal or state law. This is true of insurance proceeds as well as awards granted by the judge/jury. Because the insurance company makes a 1099 claims submission to the IRS, the federal government will always have access to your settlement details.

The non-taxable rule applies to victims who have suffered physical injuries. This means a personal injury settlement that is meant to compensate for things like lost wages, medical bills, emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and attorney fees are not taxable as long as they are a result of a personal injury or a physical sickness/illness. Any compensation received for emotional distress, where no actual physical injury is involved, will be taxable.

You should also know that the IRS will tax your personal injury settlements if the amount received is meant to replace your income. If the settlement does replace your income (for example, in cases of employee discrimination where compensation is received for lost wages), the claim can be taxed.

If you include injury-related medical expenses in your previous year’s tax return for a deduction, the award meant to reimburse these expenses may also be taxed by the IRS. This is because you receive a tax deduction for expenses that were paid for with your settlement money.

Wages received, either from your employer or as part of the settlement attract income tax as well.

If your case is based on a breach of contract that caused your injury, the damages received will also be taxable.

It is important to note that any future investment income generated from the money received by the victim is subject to regular investment rules. Further, if an award includes interest, the interest amount is considered and should be reported as income as the money it replaces (the money that may have been earned on the compensatory damages) would have been taxable.

Punitive damages are taxable too since these are meant for punishing the culprit rather than compensating the victim for a loss.

Taxing compensation received in wrongful death cases depends on state law, and is slightly more complicated.

It is best to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer in Hutchinson, MN to gain a proper understanding of the tax rules applicable in Minnesota before negotiating settlements.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer in Hutchinson, MN Can Help You

Working with a skilled personal injury attorney can be beneficial in several ways. Your lawyer will be able to explain to you the tax implications of your settlement, from the commencement to the conclusion of the negotiations. If your case involves more than one claim, a part of the settlement received may be taxable, while the other might be completely non-taxable. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Hutchinson, MN will help you differentiate between the awards and keep them separate. Even if the IRS challenges your non-taxable settlement verdict, having a competent attorney in your corner will be helpful in preventing it from becoming taxable.


More often than not, the IRS does not levy taxes in personal injury settlements as they are not considered income. However, depending on your case facts, it is important to know of the important exceptions that may apply. It is always a good idea to be aware of whether or not your settlement will be taxed, how it will affect the total amount of compensation, and how much money you will receive at the end of it all. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Hutchinson, MN is always recommended so you can make well-informed decisions that work for your case.

Consult an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Hutchinson, MN

The team of experienced personal injury lawyers in Hutchinson, MN at Carlson & Jones, P.A. is adept at resolving complex legal issues like taxes levied by the IRS on the settlement amount. We will offer strong representation and fight to maximize the non-taxable component of your award. Call us on (855) 663-7423 for a free, no-obligation consultation of your case. You can also contact us through our website.

Do I need a Divorce Attorney in Buffalo, MN

If you’re planning to get a divorce in Buffalo, MN, you may have considered filing for it on your own with the help of the information you find on a website. A DIY divorce isn’t unheard of and can work in some situations. That said, the majority of people prefer to work with an experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN to protect their interests.

After all, you don’t want to go wrong by doing or saying something that motivates the judges/jury to rule in the other party’s favor. Also, without a skilled lawyer by your side, you may have tremendous difficulty in understanding state-specific laws. This can cost you your right to marital property and child custody.

While most states do not mandate the hiring of a lawyer, working with a good one may be the best and the only way to uphold your interests in the divorce.

Grounds for Divorce in Buffalo, MN

As experienced divorce lawyers in Buffalo, MN, we know that Minnesota is a no-fault state. Hence, you do not need the approval of your spouse to file for divorce. As per state laws, the courts can enter a divorce decree once it is proven that:

  • One of the parties has lived in Minnesota state for at least 180 days prior to the initiation of the divorce process
  • The marriage is irreversibly damaged

When You May Not Need a Lawyer

While working with an experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN is almost always advantageous, you may not necessarily hire one if you don’t have any marital assets or children. This usually happens when couples are married for a short time or are seeking an annulment or uncontested divorce.

The fastest way to get a divorce is by abandoning your rights for equitable support and spousal support. If you’re not claiming these, you may not need a lawyer. The forms needed for filing the divorce can be obtained from the local courthouse or the clerk’s office.

Minnesota courts provide divorcing couples with several helpful resources, should they choose to represent themselves legally. This service is especially helpful for those who cannot afford legal help. You can find large amounts of information on the Minnesota courts website and at the family law self-help center. 

However, when you opt for self-help options, you many miss out on many legal nuances of your family law case. This includes the “limited scope representation” option, which is a recent addition to Minnesota family law.

In a nutshell, limited scope representation allows you to avail legal advice and even the applicable paperwork for a fixed fee. You need not pay anything else and there are no additional terms and conditions to adhere to. It can, therefore, be a suitable option for someone who needs guidance and documentation work done.

When Should You Hire a Buffalo, MN Attorney?

When it comes to divorce, certain situations warrant the legal expertise of an experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN. Cases that involve instances of domestic violence, sexual abuse, child abuse, or substance abuse should always be handled by an attorney, who can protect your rights.

When there is violence between partners or intimidation tactics are being used by one spouse to overpower the other, fair negotiations can become impossible. If your soon-to-be ex-spouse hires a lawyer, you should too. This is because more often than not, the unrepresented side has to make do with an unfair outcome. Having a skilled lawyer fighting for you will greatly improve your chances of getting a fair result.

Also, some divorce cases can be downright excruciating, especially when the other party tries to hide assets, waste marital funds, destroy property, or threaten you with physical violence or financial loss if you file for divorce. In such cases, you’ll surely be better off working with a knowledgeable and experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN.  

Your attorney will not only stand up for your rights throughout the divorce, they will also help alleviate your stress since you will know that someone is looking out for you.

How a Seasoned Lawyer Can Help You

While you may be on the fence about hiring an attorney to walk you through the divorce process, you need to realize that a local divorce lawyer with ample prior experience will be conversant with the state laws applicable to your case.

When it comes to divorces and custody settlements, every state has different requirements. So, you will do well to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer in Buffalo, MN, unless you are absolutely sure about correctly interpreting laws and statutes, and filing the paperwork.   

However, don’t make the mistake of hiring the first attorney you speak to. Make sure to interview a few before picking one. Ask them if they are in favor of mediation or alternative dispute resolution methods to resolve disagreements. If yes, the lawyer will likely not go to trial unless your spouse is being unreasonable.

Moreover, if an attorney is inexperienced in handling negotiations and settlements, or overzealously promotes litigation, you should continue your search for a dependable lawyer.


While it is possible to go through your divorce without being represented by a Minnesota divorce attorney, it is definitely not recommended. Divorce is emotionally trying, and getting through the legal process can be more difficult than you might have thought. An experienced divorce attorney in Buffalo, MN can be your best ally and guiding light throughout this phase.

Consult with an Experienced Divorce Attorney in Buffalo, MN Now

The outcome of your divorce case can change the quality of your life forever. You need to ensure you go about the right away. To get started, get in touch with the astute divorce lawyers at Carlson & Jones, P.A. on (855) 663-7423 Or contact us online through our website to find out how we can help.


How is Child Custody determined in Minnetonka, MN

Getting a divorce is never easy, even more so when children are involved. Determining child custody is one of the most stressful processes divorcing parents have to endure. Whether child custody is determined by parents (through an out-of-court agreement) or by a judge, it is a difficult choice that can have a long-term effect on parents and children.

As a parent, you should consider hiring an experienced child custody lawyer in Minnetonka, MN, if you want to increase the odds of winning the custody of your kids. However, you must also understand how child custody is determined as it can help you prepare for your case thoroughly.

1. Types of Child Custody in Minnesota

To file for child custody in Minnesota, you need to meet the residency requirements. The child must have lived in Minnesota with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least six consecutive months (180 days) before starting the court process. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, which you can better understand by consulting an experienced child custody lawyer in Minnetonka, MN.

In Minnesota, there are two primary types of child custody.

A. Physical Custody

Physical custody provides a parent with the rights for daily care and control of children. So, children will have to stay with the parent having physical custody. Physical custody can also be either joint or sole custody. 

In joint physical custody, the children spend time with both parents, including stay, roughly equally. However, this type of custody is fast becoming a rare norm in most family courts.

Usually, considering the best interest of the children (education, social life, and daily needs), only one parent is given primary physical custody, while the other has visitation rights.

Visitation rights allow a parent to spend exclusive, but limited time with their children. The parent with physical custody is called the custodial parent, and the one with visitation rights is called the non-custodial parent.

B. Legal Custody

Legal custody provides a parent with the right to make long-term or significant decisions in their children’s lives. Usually, these key aspects include decisions regarding education, religion, medical treatment, and dental care, among other things specified in the court order.

You can get either joint or sole legal custody of your child. Joint legal custody means both parents will have an equal say in making important decisions about their children. Sole legal custody, however, gives these rights to only one parent, leaving the other with no legal right in this decision-making.

2. Am I Allowed to See My Children If My Ex Has Sole Custody?

In some rare situations, the court may offer sole physical and legal custody to one parent. It usually happens if one of the parents is deemed unfit or incapable of taking care of the children.

If there is a history of substance abuse, child abuse, domestic abuse, or a criminal record, the court may prevent the non-custodial parent from seeing their children at all. However, it may also allow only supervised visits with highly limited visitation time and rights.

But in most cases, the non-custodial parent will have substantial visitation rights. Most courts emphasize the best interest of the children when making custody decisions. So, although one parent gets full physical custody, the other will still have significant involvement in the children’s upbringing. To understand your best legal options, however, you need to discuss your case in detail with an experienced child custody lawyer in Minnetonka, MN

3. Do Children Have a Say in Child Custody?

In many states, including Minnesota, the courts are increasingly taking children’s preferences into account when deciding child custody. Although there is no specific age limit for children in Minnesota to express their custodial preferences, the court will take them into account only if the judge believes the child is mature enough.

judge believes the child is mature enough. 

The preference also needs to be backed by logical reasoning. A child asking to stay with a parent just because they like it, is often not enough to make the consideration. The court will also take what older children have to say into account instead of what younger ones think, especially wishes of children below seven years are less likely to be entertained in this matter.

4. Are Custodial Arrangements Open to Modification?

Technically yes. The law allows modification of various child custody arrangements such as parenting time, alimony, and visitation rights.

However, it is a challenging process as you have to prove that the circumstances have changed enough to warrant a custodial modification and it is in the best interest of the children. Also, you can’t file for a custody modification  for at least a year from the date of filing the original divorce or legal separation order.

If you have made a modification request before, you need to wait for two years from the date of the last modification request before filing a new one. The one-year limit is not applicable, however, if both parents agree to the custodial changes. An experienced child custody lawyer in Minnetonka, MN can help you better understand the process and regulations about custodial changes applicable to your case.


Child custody is an inevitable part of a divorce process when children are involved. The parents seeking a divorce must, therefore, understand how courts determine child custody in Minnesota. As you can see, there are several factors involved in determining the outcome of your child custody battle. Hopefully, this post will help you understand the basics of the child custody process and your legal rights as a parent

Talk to an Experienced Child Custody Lawyer in Minnetonka, MN Today!

If you are a parent seeking a divorce, you will need to think about child custody from the very beginning. As a leading and experienced child custody lawyer in Minnetonka, MN, Carlson and Jones, P.A. can provide you with the right legal advice. Our experts will always help you do what’s best for your children. Call us at (855) 663-7423 or you can also contact us through our website to know more.

Where to File for Divorce in Minnesota

Divorce is one of the most common civil cases, not just in Minnesota, but in the entire United States. In 2018, about 780,000 divorces were conducted in the United States.

Divorce or dissolution of marriage is a legal process that allows you to severe your relationship, divide your assets and debts, and determine child custody and alimony. However, it is a complicated process that requires a clear understanding of family law. 

It is always better to hire a qualified and experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota. But you will still need to know a few things about the process, starting with where to file for divorce in Minnesota.

1. Where to File for Divorce in Minnesota

Minnesota is a no-fault state, meaning neither you nor your spouse need to argue who’s at fault to get a divorce. If one of you desires to get a divorce, you can file for it. However, if there is a fault like domestic, substance or child abuse, it will affect related factors such as child custody, alimony, and property division. 

You can file for a divorce in the district court where either you or your spouse reside. You do need to meet the residency requirements. The residency requirement states that one of the parties seeking a divorce should be a resident of Minnesota for at least 180 days. You can also file for divorce if you or your spouse is a member of the armed forces and have kept their Minnesota residency. 

You will also need to fill out the right set of forms. If you are filing for divorce jointly (both you and your spouse agree on all settlement terms), you can file a joint petition. However, if you have any disagreements, you will have to submit a petition demanding legal separation from your spouse. If you hire an experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota, they will fill out the paperwork and take care of other legal formalities.

2. Uncontested Divorce in Minnesota

Getting an uncontested divorce is the fastest way to dissolve your marriage. You can file a joint petition if you and your spouse agree on everything. It is, however, useful if you have sizeable assets, investments, debts, children, and real estate.

Another way is to file for summary dissolution of marriage. You can opt for this method if you satisfy the following criteria:

  • You were married no longer than eight years 
  • You have no children or are expecting no children
  • The value of your marital estate is less than $25,000 
  • The amount of your debt is less than $8,000
  • There was no instance of domestic abuse
  • You are willing to put alimony decision on hold  
  • Both you and your spouse have separate retirement funds

3. Motion for Temporary Relief

Divorce is a complicated and time-consuming process. While you can wait for weeks and months to get your marriage dissolution certificate, your daily life must go on. That’s where the “Motion for Temporary Relief” comes in.

Once you have filed for divorce, you can file this motion to get the court issue temporary orders for alimony, child custody and support, and any other assistance in running your home. These orders will expire as soon as the court signs and delivers your marriage dissolution verdict.

If children are involved, and one or both parties disagree on child custody, the issue can drag on for months or even years. The courts are required to prioritize the child’s best interests when making this decision.

After carefully going through the evidence and arguments presented by both parties, the court will determine child custody terms. In most cases, the child will stay with one parent, with the other getting visitation rights. Sometimes, one parent may get primary (full) physical custody, while legal custody is awarded to both parents.

Child custody battles can further intensify if factors like child abuse, substance abuse, or domestic violence are involved. If you or your loved one is facing a child custody-related problem, you need to contact an experienced divorce lawyer in Minnesota. Remember, you do need the right legal advice to secure your children’s future.

4. Distribution of Assets

Another important factor involved in your divorce proceedings is the distribution of your assets and your debt. Usually, you have to divide only the property, assets, or debts that you have acquired after you got married. It is called marital property.

You don’t have to split your non-marital property, which usually involves property acquired before the marriage or as gift or by inheritance, among other things. The court will distribute your assets if you and your spouse fail to do so.

The typical factors involved in asset distribution include the length of your marriage, and your and your spouse’s contribution to acquiring and maintaining the assets. Other factors like sources and size of income, occupation, professional skills, prior marriages, and health of both parties will also be taken into account. You need to disclose all your assets and finances during the divorce.


The divorce process begins by filing a petition in the court. You can file for divorce in Minnesota in the district court in the county where you or your spouse live. However, you also need to understand the various factors involved in a divorce to make informed decisions every step of the way. Hopefully, this brief post will help you in this regard.

Talk to an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Minnesota Now!

Don’t walk into a divorce without having any knowledge of the process, the law, or the legal system. If you or your loved one is facing a divorce in Minnesota, Carlson and Jones, P.A. can help you. Call us at (855) 976-2444 for a free consultation of your case or contact us through our website.


How to win your Personal Injury Claim in Brainerd, MN

In the US, you can file a personal injury claim if you or your loved one was injured due to someone’s negligence. It includes a wide range of incidents such as car crashes, workplace accidents due to unsafe environment, and even injuries caused by someone’s pet like a dog bite.

As these injuries can cause pain and result in considerable medical expenses, along with loss of wages, the personal injury law protects the interest of those who have suffered due to someone’s negligence. Under this law, you can receive fair compensation for your medical expenses, rehabilitation, therapy, mental and physical pain, lost wages, and even for your disability arising from the accident.

While an experienced personal injury lawyer in Brainerd, MN will leave no stone unturned to get you the compensation you deserve, there are a few things you can do to try and win your claim and maximize your compensation.

1. Get Required Medical Treatment

Whether it is a dog bite or a car crash, you should seek the required medical treatment immediately. Your injuries are a part of the damages you will need to include in your claim. Furthermore, in most personal injury claims, these details play a critical role in determining the amount of compensation.

So, make sure only certified professionals treat and also document each one of your injuries. Always ask the doctors and nurses to note down even the smallest detail related to your injuries. You should also follow the treatment plan and medication prescribed by the doctor without fail. It will help strengthen your claim.

2. Document the Evidence

Not just your injuries, other evidence like the damage to your car or property will also affect the outcome of your claim. If it is physically possible, you should immediately take pictures of the scene of the accident, your injuries, and the damage caused.

You should also collect the contact details of witnesses, if any. If it is a car crash, the police will most likely write an official report. It is your legal right to get a copy of the police report. Any experienced personal injury lawyer in Brainerd, MN will tell you to get it as soon as possible. The police report has witness statements and details of the damage, which help you establish grounds for your claim.

3. Don’t Delay

The statute of limitations, like most areas of the law, is also applicable to personal injury law in Minnesota. In other words, by law, there is a strict time limit, and you need to file your personal injury claim within this limit.

In Minnesota, two years is the standard time limit for filing personal injury lawsuits. The time limit starts on the day of the accident or the injury. If you delay your filing and miss the deadline, the defendant will ask the court to dismiss your claim, and the court will most likely agree.

Still, there are a few exceptions to this time limit. However, to find out whether or not these exceptions apply to you, you need to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer in Brainerd, MN, which brings us to the next point.

4. Talk to an Attorney Immediately

As soon as possible, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Brainerd, MN to discuss your case. Due to the sizeable medical expenses, most victims are too eager to get paid immediately. As a result, they are often willing to accept the first offer the defendant makes.

However, this mistake will prevent you from maximizing your compensation. If you have a competent attorney on your side, they will try their best to get you the compensation you actually deserve. As lawyers have real-life experience, they often know if and why an offer is inadequate.

Your attorney will also collect and analyze evidence with the help of experts to determine the amount of compensation befitting your injuries and suffering. They will also negotiate with the other party on your behalf.

5. Avoid Social Media

It may sound obvious, but when recovering from your injuries, you should avoid using social media as much as possible. In personal injury cases, your actions will influence the outcome of your case, which includes your social media behavior.

For example, if you share photos of hiking on social media a few weeks after the accident, it will negatively affect your case. The defendant will argue that your injuries are not as severe as stated in your proposal, asking the court to offer the minimum possible compensation or even throw out your claim. That’s why you should steer clear of social media until your claim is settled.


From dog bites and slips-and-falls to car crashes, you can file a personal injury lawsuit for any injury caused by someone’s negligence. While your lawyer will take care of the legal affairs, you can also take a few steps that can help maximize your compensation. Hopefully, these five tips will prove helpful in doing so.

Call an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Brainerd, MN Today!

If you or your loved one has fallen victim to someone’s negligence, whether it is a car crash or a slip-and-fall accident, Carlson & Jones, P.A., is here to help you. As leading and experienced personal injury lawyers in Brainerd, MN, we will try our best to maximize your compensation. You can call us at (855) 976-2444 or contact us online through our website to know how we can help.


What is Self Defense in Criminal Law in Brainerd, MN

In Minnesota, the use of self-defense usually becomes necessary to protect yourself from another person who is threatening assault.

This also applies when someone is intent on physically harming an individual in some manner, such as in a home break-in. An individual can use self-defense techniques to not only protect their body, but also stop the imminent attack.

As experienced Criminal Defense lawyers in Brainerd, MN, we will help you learn more about what self-defense is and isn’t.

What Is Self-Defense in Brainerd, Minnesota?

Typically, a person will have to defend themselves against physical harm through the use of force to ensure the safety of their own body or that of a loved one’s. In situations like these, self-defense takes place when such force is used against the attacker/perpetrator of violence.

In short, the need for self-defense arises when another person tries to cause bodily harm. While the circumstances may not warrant lethal force, the act of self-defense can lead to death if there is no other way to defend against potential severe harm or death. If death does take place, the self-defending individual may have to legally defend their actions.

Proving Self-Defense in Brainerd, Minnesota

Self-defense is among the most commonly used defenses in cases related to assault, battery, and some other violent crimes.

In order to prove self-defense in the state of Minnesota, the accused must prove:

  • The alleged victim was the attacker  
  • The accused believed a real or perceived fear of physical harm was upon them
  • The accused’s belief was reasonable
  • The accused did not provoke the attack or display aggression
  • There was no reasonable opportunity to escape the attack by the alleged victim

It is important to remember that self-defense claims come with certain limitations. The use of force, even if it is for self-defense, should be acknowledged as reasonable by the judge/jury. Moreover, an individual can use only that amount of force which is necessary to deter the attack or protect themselves. Hence, the amount of force used must be in accordance with the threat of harm.

Use of Reasonable Force

In Minnesota, an individual facing potential assault or physical danger has four elements that enable them to exercise their right of self-defense. These are:

i.  The aggressive behavior of the other person

ii. The belief of imminent danger or physical harm

iii. Grounds for this belief

iv. Possibility that the danger is avoidable

The threatened individual can use varying degrees of self-defense against their attacker. If escaping the attacker is possible, the individual can avoid the use of self-defense altogether. In fact, this may prove to be the best course of action to avoid legal repercussions.

Mentioned ahead are the situations when an individual may use reasonable force:

  • Resisting or helping another person fight an offense against the person
  • Preventing an intrusion or other illegal interference with property
  • Foiling the escape of a person held by law on a charge or conviction of a crime
  •  A parent/guardian/teacher exercising necessary authority over a child/student
  •  A common carrier against a passenger who does not comply with lawful requirements for proper conduct
  • Restraining a person with mental illness or developmental issues from self-harm or causing injury to others

Duty to Retreat

In Minnesota, the law imposes a duty to retreat before an individual can use self-defense outside of their own house.

According to this law, if an individual is facing a threat of bodily harm or physical injury, they should first try to retreat to a safe location. Retreat refers to any attempt to scale back or avoid a hostile altercation. If retreating is not a possibility or is unsafe, they may use force or act in self-defense.

Further, Minnesota law allows a person to use lethal force outside the home only when there is absolutely no other alternative or no reasonable opportunity to retreat or when they believe that they are in imminent danger of serious physical harm.

An individual who uses lethal force in self-defense may face criminal charges, including murder, if they had an opportunity to retreat.

Self-Defense during Domestic Assault

In cases where domestic assault is involved, an individual may need to defend themselves from their aggressor. When the aggressor lives in the home, stopping the violence before it becomes life-threatening is crucial.

The victim of domestic assault may be able to protect themselves and/or their loved ones from the aggressor. If using lethal force becomes unavoidable, the victim should contact an experienced Criminal Defense lawyer in Brainerd, MN and discuss their circumstances/facts to build a case, should they be charged with committing a crime by law authorities.

Self-Defense Is Not Criminal Defense

Minnesota laws allow people to defend themselves against imminent threats of assault or grave physical danger. However, anyone using self-defense needs to meet certain conditions to prove that force was used to protect themselves or defend another rather than to harm the aggressor.

If criminal charges are levied against the individual, he or she will have to prove that the situation involved self-defense through sufficient evidence.

Self-defense situations also require certain actions to be taken, depending on the way the incident took place. For instance, if the individual is not in their home, they need to try and retreat rather than retaliate with force. If the individual did not retreat but responded with an attack, they may have to face a potential conviction.

To defend these charges, you will have to explain what transpired and may need the assistance of an experienced Criminal Defense lawyer in Brainerd, MN. Your attorney will know exactly how to present your case and the arguments as well as evidence to support your claim.


More often than not, when an aggressor threatens assault or severe physical harm, an individual can use self-defense to protect themselves from being attacked. Sometimes, self-defense may be used to protect another person or a loved one. The individual can tackle the aggressor and keep others safe depending on the situation. If self-defense goes wrong, it can lead to criminal charges and conviction. If you find yourself in such a situation, it is best to consult an experienced Criminal Defense lawyer in Brainerd, MN to find the most suitable defenses and receive justice. 

Consult Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers in Brainerd, MN Today

Understanding what self-defense is and how it can land you in legal trouble is more complex than you think. Several factors and limitations come into play. If you have a case and need legal advice with it, call the qualified criminal defense attorneys at Carlson & Jones, P.A. on (855) 976-2444. You can also contact us online through our website. We will get back to you at the earliest.


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Buffalo Lawyers

215 East Highway 55, Suite 201
Buffalo, MN 55313

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17025 Commercial Park Rd, Suite 2
Brainerd, MN 56401

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114 Main Street North
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3911 Ridgedale Dr, Suite 404E
Minnetonka, MN 55305

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