If you are facing an accusation of assault, you know the penalties you face could be harsh. Assault tends to be grouped with battery, but the two crimes are separate. Assault is committed when there is a threat to cause someone bodily harm, but the threats are not usually carried out. Battery does include violence that causes injury. Depending upon the details surrounding the alleged offense, the assault charge may be classified as a felony, gross misdemeanor, or misdemeanor. According to the Minnesota Criminal Code, assault is classified as a crime against a person and there are several different levels in which it is categorized:

  • First degree – A felony offense, it is inflicting great bodily harm or using deadly force
  • Second degree – Also a felony, a deadly weapon is used in the commission of the crime
  • Third degree – A felony, a minor is assaulted or bodily harm is substantial
  • Fourth degree – A gross misdemeanor, it is the assault of a firefighter, peace officer, nurse, correctional employee, or similar individual, while they are on duty
  • Fifth degree – A misdemeanor, it is the commission of domestic violence or abuse with no physical harm

Domestic assault is charged differently from the other forms of assault. This act involves the attempt to cause fear in a family member or to attempt to inflict bodily harm on them. When convicted for the first time, the act is a misdemeanor. If it is not the first conviction, the charge could be a gross misdemeanor, which warrants a one year prison sentence.

Penalties For Assault

The penalties for assault can be harsh because they include long prison sentences that can have an effect on your future. In addition, being convicted of a felony means paying consequences that are not handed down by the court. Civil rights, such as finding housing or employment are affected, as well as acquiring professional certificates or loans. Those are just some of the penalties for an assault conviction.