In the State of Minnesota, generally, there are five (5) levels of assault, and, domestic assault. An assault is defined as doing an act with intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death, or intentionally inflicting bodily harm upon another. A domestic assault case is an assault case typically involving a romantic partner.
In Minnesota, the five (5) levels, from least severe, to most severe, include fifth degree misdemeanor assault. This usually involves a fist fight, where someone is slapped or bruising occurs. There is an important distinction in misdemeanor 5th degree assault. Sometimes, people just do an act with the intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm. This typically involves lesser consequences. The other type of 5th degree assault is where the person actually inflicts some type of bodily harm. The remainder of the levels are all felonies. Fourth (4th) degree assault is a felony, and usually involves an assault against a law enforcement officer or a correctional officer. Third degree assault is a felony, and usually involves a broken bone. Second (2nd) degree assault is a felony, and usually involves the use of a dangerous weapon. A dangerous weapon usually involves a firearm, a knife, or a motor vehicle. First (1st) degree assault is the most severe, and usually involves the infliction of injuries which are life threatening.
Typically, the extent of injuries inflicted determined the severity level of the offense. These are also defined by statutes. “Bodily harm” means physical pain or injury, illness, or any impairment of physical condition. “Substantial bodily harm,” this is involved in felony 3rd degree assault, is defined as bodily injury which involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, or which causes a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or which cause a fracture of any bodily member. “Great bodily harm,” which is involved in 1st degree assault, means bodily injury which creates a high probability of death, or which causes serious permanent disfigurement, or which causes a permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or roan or other serious bodily harm.
For a misdemeanor, the maximum punishment is up to $1000.00 fine and 90 days in jail. The punishment for a felony is one year and one day in prison or longer.
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