Domestic violence impacts many families and people who live together across the state of Minnesota. In 2011, there were 27,288 cases of domestic violence adjudicated in Minnesota courts. These cases are taken very seriously and harshly prosecuted, so being accused of domestic abuse can have a severe impact on your future. If you are facing charges of domestic violence or a restrictive order following an incident of domestic abuse, it is essential to contact a Woodbury Domestic Abuse Lawyer.
What is Domestic Abuse in Minnesota?
The Minnesota Domestic Abuse Act defines domestic abuse as committing one of the following acts against another family member or person in the same household:
• Infliction of bodily injury, physical harm or assault;
• Infliction of fear of imminent physical harm;
• Terroristic threats (Minn. Stat. § 609.713)
• Criminal sexual conduct; and
• Interference with a 911 call.
In these cases, the relationship between the accused and the victim is key to determining if the offense is domestic. According to Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, the definition of family or household member is:
• Spouse or former spouse;
• People involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship;
• Parents and their children;
• People related by blood;
• People living together or who previously lived together;
• People who have or had a child in common (born or in utero).
What Are the Types of Domestic Violence Offenses in Minnesota?
Domestic violence is a broad legal term that includes different types of offenses. In Minnesota, these offenses are collectively known as qualified domestic violence-related offenses. These charges can have life-altering consequences if a person is convicted of one of these crimes.
Some of the charges outlined as domestic violence-related offenses include:
• Domestic assault;
• Domestic assault by strangulation;
• Malicious punishment of a child;
• Female genital mutilation;
• Violation of domestic abuse no-contact order;
• Violation of an order of protection; and
• Violation of harassment restraining order.
A person can be charged with assault in either the first, second, third, fourth or fifth degree—depending on the facts in the case. Additionally, a person can be charged with murder in either the first or second degree and criminal sexual conduct charges in either the first, second or third degree.
What Are the Penalties for Domestic Abuse in Minnesota?
Domestic assault is punishable by 90 days in jail and $1,000 fine. However, a person will receive a harsher sentence if they have previously been convicted of a domestic abuse crime against:
• The same victim within the last ten years, or
• Any person within the last three years.
If a person has one prior domestic abuse conviction, it is punishable by up to one year in jail or $3,000 fine. If a person has two prior convictions, this is punishable by up to five years in prison and $10,000 fine.
Also, when a person is convicted of domestic abuse, the court will order them to forfeit any firearm used to commit the crime. The court might also prohibit them from owning a firearm in the future.
Getting Legal Representation
If you are accused of domestic abuse, contact a Woodbury Domestic Abuse Lawyer immediately. An experienced domestic abuse attorney will help you obtain the best possible result for your domestic abuse case.
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