In Minnesota, domestic abuse is taken very seriously and can result in both criminal charges and civil consequences. Courts and prosecutors have all experienced a case where a domestic abuser has committed multiple offenses against the same person, and most can tell you a story about an actual domestic abuse case that resulted in homicide. This makes them often hesitant to make good plea offers and negotiate appropriately, or take evidence of innocence seriously. The specific penalties can vary depending on the circumstances of the case, the severity of the offense, and the defendant’s prior criminal history. Here are some general consequences:
- Criminal Penalties: Domestic assault can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony in Minnesota, depending on circumstances. A misdemeanor carries penalties of up to 90 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. A felony domestic assault, on the other hand, can lead to more significant penalties, including imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
- Restraining Orders: Anyone who claims domestic abuse can seek a restraining order or an order for protection in a separate court proceeding. These orders restrict the accused from contacting or approaching the alleged victim, and may include other provisions to restrict your interaction with them or their home or business. Our office has LOTS of experience challenging the order for protection. Domestic abuse is not a hard allegation to manufacture against innocent people, and in an order for protection or harassment restraining order, they don’t need police or a lawyer to instantly restrict you from coming near them, or sometimes even your own home or children if you live with the accuser, or have children with them. A single paper filed with a court can result in such restrictions in a matter of a few days.
- Civil Consequences: In addition to criminal penalties, a person accused of domestic abuse in Minnesota may face civil consequences such as loss of child custody or visitation rights, loss of Second Amendment rights, and difficulty in finding employment or housing due to a criminal record.
When seeking a lawyer, it’s essential to find an experienced criminal defense attorney who has experience in domestic abuse accusations. Alex DeMarco has such experience , and a strong understanding of Minnesota’s laws, courtroom procedures, and the ability to effectively advocate for their clients. You should call an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.