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When heated arguments turn into criminal offenses

Sometimes arguments between people in the Fergus Falls area become heated. Angry words may be exchanged, and sometimes the situation escalates to the point that one or both parties are making threats or perhaps even throwing punches. If the police are called, it could mean that one or both parties are arrested on grounds of committing assault. The following is a brief overview of assault laws in Minnesota.

Fifth-degree assault and fourth-degree assault

Minnesota law recognizes five degrees of assault. Fifth-degree assault takes place if the actor intends to put someone in fear of bodily injury or death, or if the actor intentionally inflicts or tries to inflict bodily harm on another. Fourth-degree assault takes place if the victim is a police officer, firefighter, school official or other specifically named class of persons.

Third-degree assault

Third-degree assault takes place if the actor inflicts substantial bodily harm against another. Third-degree assault also takes place in cases in which a minor is assaulted, and the actor has a history of child abuse against the minor. Finally, third-degree assault takes place in cases in which the victim is a minor under age four and that minor suffers bodily harm to their head, eyes, neck or if the minor suffers multiple bruises on their body.

Second-degree assault and first-degree assault

Second-degree assault takes place when the actor uses a dangerous weapon in the commission of the assault. Second-degree assault also takes place when the actor uses a dangerous weapon and inflicts substantial bodily harm on another. First-degree assault takes place when the actor inflicts great bodily harm on another. First-degree assault also takes place if the actor uses deadly force against certain public officials including police officers, prosecutors, judges or correctional workers.

Learn more about assault in Minnesota

Assault crimes have serious consequences, including thousands of dollars in fines and years of imprisonment. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Readers are invited to explore our firm’s website for further information on assault in Minnesota.

 

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