Minneapolis Assault Lawyer

Assault is something you don’t want to be charged with in Minnesota. There are many different kinds of assault but Minnesota has a zero tolerance policy against violence. MSA 1.50 and courts impose harsher penalties for crimes against a person than for property crimes. In fact, the state views every assault as a serious offense and the penalties can accelerate quickly.

Simple Assault (or 5th Degree Assault) is defined as doing an act “…with intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death; or intentionally inflicting or attempting to inflict bodily harm upon another. MSA 609.224 This means that simply “causing fear” in another person can constitute an assault even if a battery never occurs. Merely threatening to punch another person can constitute simple assault which carries a possible 90 day jail sentence and a $1000 fine.

Even worse, when violence is threatened things can escalate quickly. Suppose the person who was threatened instinctively picks up a beer bottle and attacks the other party. Under the assault statute (MSA 609.222), the beer bottle could be considered a dangerous weapon and the case could now be charged as a felony with a possible 10 year prison sentence and a $20,000 fine.

Defenses to Assault

You have a right to defend yourself if you’re assaulted but the law says you can only use the amount of force necessary to prevent further violence. An assault committed while in a state of voluntary intoxication is no less criminal, however, intoxication may be considered in determining intent or state of mind.

Generally, self-defense can be claimed by those who act honestly and in good faith. This requires:

  1. Absence of aggression or provocation on the party charged with committing the assault;
  2. The actual and honest belief of the party charged that they were in imminent danger of death, great bodily harm, or some felony and it was necessary to take the action that the party did;
  3. The existence of reasonable grounds for such beliefs; and
  4. The duty of the party charged with committing the assault to retreat or avoid the danger if reasonable possible


The short and long term consequences of an assault charge can be devastating. Our Minneapolis assault lawyers have successfully represented many people charged with assault. Contact our office right away to set up a free consultation to discuss your case.