Domestic violence is a serious criminal offense that can carry steep penalties in the State of Minnesota. That said, these charges are not always treated as felonies under the law. If you’re asking is domestic violence a felony in Minneapolis and the rest of a Minnesota, the answer is that it can be. The facts of each case will determine whether or not the prosecution charges a defendant with a felony offense.
A felony conviction for domestic violence could lead a lengthy prison term in a state facility. While misdemeanors convictions do not carry the same consequences, jail time and fines are possible. What’s more, there are collateral consequences that come with any domestic violence charge.
In either case, it is in your best interest to fight back against allegations of domestic violence. Even a misdemeanor conviction can cause a devastating impact on your life. To discuss your defense options, talk to the domestic violence lawyers of Gerald Miller as soon as possible.
When Domestic Violence is a Misdemeanor in MN
Most first-time offenders accused of domestic violence are charged as misdemeanors in Minnesota. Without any specific factors that would elevate the charge, a first offense domestic violence conviction would carry up to 90 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. In many cases, first-time offenders could avoid jail following a conviction for domestic violence. These cases require the state to prove the defendant either committed an act with the intent to cause the fear of imminent death or harm, or to intentionally inflict bodily harm on another individual.
In some cases, the state could seek to upgrade a domestic violence charge from a misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor. The penalties with a gross misdemeanor are steeper, as a conviction can carry up to a year in county jail. Domestic violence is a gross misdemeanor for anyone with a single prior domestic violence conviction in the past 10 years.
When Domestic Violence Is a Felony in Minneapolis, MN
The baseline for a domestic violence charge is for the state to treat the offense as a misdemeanor. There must be some additional fact or set of facts present to upgrade the offense to a gross misdemeanor or a felony. It is the state’s job to establish these facts at trial.
There are a few factors that can enhance a domestic violence charge to a felony. One of the most common examples involves the prior criminal history of the accused. Any person that has two or more previous convictions for domestic violence in the past 10 years will face felony charges. Numerous prior convictions can push the state to seek steep penalties for a domestic violence conviction.
Not all factors that enhance a domestic violence offense to a felony deal with a prior criminal record. The specific facts of the alleged attack can also lead the state to pursue felony charges. Any domestic violence case—even a first offense—could be charged as a felony it involves strangulation. Domestic assault by strangulation involves any action that intentionally impedes the circulation of blood or normal breathing of a family or household member. The act must involve pressure applied to the neck or throat, or it must involve the accused covering the nose or mouth of the complaining witness. Domestic violence cases involving strangulation are always considered a felony in Minnesota.
Contact Gerald Miller About Your Minneapolis Domestic Assault Case
If you have been accused of domestic violence, the severity of the charges against you will largely depend on your criminal history and the specific allegations against you. However, you are facing serious legal jeopardy even if the charges against you are considered a misdemeanor. Many people find obtaining employment or finding adequate housing can be difficult with a domestic violence conviction.
The good news is that a domestic violence charge is not guaranteed to result in a conviction. You have the right to defend yourself against these charges, and aggressive defense could obtain an acquittal in your case.
The domestic violence attorneys of Gerald Miller understand what is at stake following an allegation of domestic violence. If you are facing felony charges, our team of attorneys could work to protect your legal rights. Let the attorneys of Gerald Miller review your case and advise you on your strongest defense options. Call right away to schedule your free consultation.