Minneapolis Gross Misdemeanor Domestic Assault Lawyer

DOMESTIC ASSAULT is a crime in the State of Minnesota. Domestic Assault can be charged as a Misdemeanor, Gross Misdemeanor or Felony, and can have lasting negative consequences to a defendant and his or her family. If you, or someone you know is charged with Domestic Assault, call criminal defense lawyer Barry McKee as soon as possible. Attorney Barry McKee has over 45 years experience defending people charged with Domestic Assault and can help you get the best outcome in your case.



Minnesota Statute 609.2242, Subdivision 2 defines the crime of Gross Misdemeanor Domestic Assault:

“Whoever, within ten years of a previous qualified domestic violence conviction or adjudication of delinquency against a family or household member, does any of the following commits an assault and is guilty of a gross misdemeanor:

  1. Commits an act with intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death; or
  2. Intentionally inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily harm upon another.”


What are the Criminal Penalties for GROSS MISDEMEANOR DOMESTIC ASSAULT?

A Gross Misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum penalty of up to 365 days in jail and a $3,000 fine. Most people convicted of Gross Misdemeanor Domestic Assault do not serve the maximum jail sentence nor pay the maximum fine; however, everyone convicted of Gross Misdemeanor Domestic Assault will carry the conviction on their permanent criminal record.


What are the Non-Criminal Consequences of a GROSS MISDEMEANOR DOMESTIC ASSAULT Charge or Conviction?


Domestic Assault No Contact Order (DANCO). Even though a defendant in a criminal case is “presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” it is very common for a DANCO order to be put in place early on in the case by the judge. A DANCO order is aimed at keeping the defendant away from the alleged victim while the case is pending, and sometimes the DANCO order continues well after the case has been resolved.


Often the issuance of a DANCO order creates an extreme hardship for the defendant and his or her family. As part of the DANCO order the judge will place restrictions on the defendant’s ability to return home. Where kids are involved, this can be very challenging for the entire family. But, even where there aren’t kids in the picture, a defendant that cannot return home to retrieve his or her property and other necessities is terribly inconvenienced. Moreover, because a DANCO order compels the defendant to avoid direct and indirect contact and communication with the alleged victim, it is extremely difficult to arrange for the return of the defendant’s property.


While DANCO orders can be lifted in some circumstances, it is not uncommon for the alleged victim of Misdemeanor Domestic Assault to remain at the property (even if they don’t own it) while the defendant in the case is forbidden to return to the property (even if they own it). In these situations, lucky defendants find temporary housing with family and friends to stay with while the case is pending. Unlucky defendants find themselves incurring expensive hotel or motel bills while the DANCO order is in place.


Anger and Chemical Use Assessments. Most judges will order an individual convicted of Gross Misdemeanor Domestic Assault to submit to an anger management assessment. In addition, if there was any alcohol or drug use by the defendant in connection with the incident, then the judge will likely also order the defendant to submit to a chemical uses assessment as well.


After the assessment process is complete, the Judge adopt the assessments finding and recommendations as part of the court file. Moreover, the judge will order the defendant to comply with whatever recommendations are made in the assessment. For example, if an anger management assessment recommends that a defendant attend a specific anger management class, then the defendant must attend (and pay for) that specific class. Moreover, if a defendant fails to follow the assessment’s recommendations, then a judge may find that the defendant has violated a term of probation and needs to serve time in jail or pay more fines.

Stress. For most people, one of the nasty consequences of any criminal charge is stress. The truth is that a criminal charge stresses out the person accused of the crime and that person’s family and friends as well. The stress comes from: not knowing the legal process and rules; embarrassment of being charged with a crime and having to go to court; the expenses associated with dealing with the criminal charges and DANCO Orders, and fear of an outcome in the case that is beyond the defendant’s control. Will there be jail? If so, how long? Will there be fines, if so, how much? Will the case need to go to trial? How much will all this cost? Will I lose my job?


Harm to Employment/Employment Prospects. Under Minnesota law, an employer may be able to fire an employee because of a criminal charge or conviction. In addition, job applications often ask the applicant if he or she has been convicted of a crime. Unfortunately, Gross Misdemeanor Domestic Assault is a crime and would have to be disclosed on a job application. Moreover, a conviction for Gross Misdemeanor Domestic Assault would most assuredly show up on a criminal background check.


Probation/Probation Violations. The court will order someone convicted of Domestic Assault to be placed on probation. Probation can be intensive or non-intensive and carry with it travel and other restrictions. If a defendant charged with Domestic Assault is already on probation for another case, then a conviction may mean a probation violation on any other case for which the convicted person is currently on probation.


What are the defenses to Gross Misdemeanor Domestic Assault?

In a Gross Misdemeanor Domestic Assault case there are specific defenses that can be raised. For example, if the alleged victim initiated the assaultive contact, then self-defense may be a viable defense to assert in the case. In other cases, where the state’s evidence is weak, “reasonable doubt” is the best defense. There are also other legal, technical defenses that may apply in your case. Call Attorney Barry McKee to find out what defense may be available in your case.


Often the complaining witness in a Gross Misdemeanor Domestic Assault case will change his or her story, or the story gets twisted by the police. Unfortunately, this alone will not always be sufficient to get a Gross Misdemeanor Domestic Assault case immediately dismissed. However, there are some tips and tricks in the Minnesota Rules of Evidence and Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure that can help get a case dismissed when the complaining witness (who is usually the alleged victim) later changes his or her story.


Why you should contact Minnesota Domestic Assault Attorney Barry McKee?

Barry McKee is a Minnesota criminal defense attorney with over 45 years experience defending people charged with Gross Misdemeanor Domestic Assault. To find out how to resolve your case in the most favorable way possible for you, contact Barry McKee for A FREE CONSULTATION on your Gross Misdemeanor Domestic Assault case. You’ll be glad you did.