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.

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.

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