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How much does an assault lawyer charge in Minnesota?

How much does an assault lawyer charge in Minnesota?

If you’ve been charged with assault, you’re probably wondering how much it costs to hire a lawyer to defend you. How much an assault lawyer will charge in Minnesota depends on a variety of factors, one of which is the severity of your charges.

Generally speaking, you can expect a criminal defense lawyer in Minnesota to charge as little as $2,500 and as much as $100,000 to defend an assault charge, depending on the attorney’s hourly fee and what the case involves. This range is so wide because the complexity and length of each criminal case vary; read on for more clarity about how much you can expect to be charged given the details of your case.

For example, a misdemeanor case that ends after one court hearing would be less expensive than a major felony case that proceeds through a jury trial.

However, to get the most accurate estimate of costs, you’ll need to meet with an attorney for a consultation. This is a no-obligation meeting in which the attorney familiarizes themselves with your case and begins to make a plan for your defense. After meeting with them, you’ll have the information you need to make your decision about which lawyer is best for you. 

What does an assault defense attorney do?

Your attorney’s only job is to protect your constitutional rights. The legal system is complicated and often unforgiving, which is why you need an advocate by your side who can help you navigate it.

Your attorney will come up with a strategy for your defense, combing through every detail of your case to find inadmissible evidence and identifying every possible opportunity for your charges to be lowered or dismissed.

This level of defense is what we call “leaving no stone unturned”. It’s an approach that requires time, energy, and expertise, which is often why attorneys who do this will charge more for their services — but it can get you life-altering results (whether that’s getting your charges lowered or even outright dismissed). 

How much does an assault lawyer charge in Minnesota?

Misdemeanor assault defense costs in Minnesota

A misdemeanor is the lowest level of assault. It is defined as

  • an act with the intent of causing fear of imminent bodily harm, or 
  • intentional attempt to inflict bodily harm on another.

This charge carries a maximum penalty of up to 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.

Many defendants convicted of a misdemeanor will serve no jail time and instead:

  • pay a fine, 
  • perform community service, or 
  • serve a period of probation. 

Misdemeanor cases are much less expensive than more serious cases because, if your case goes to trial, it will be decided by a judge, not a jury. Jury trials take longer and are far more costly.

Your total costs will depend on how much time the legal process takes to resolve, but you can expect to pay between $2,500 and $8,000 for a qualified attorney to defend a misdemeanor assault charge.

Felony assault defense costs in Minnesota

Felony assault charges include third-degree, second-degree, and first-degree assault.

Third-degree assault is defined as an act that inflicts substantial bodily harm, which means it causes:

  • temporary disfigurement, 
  • temporary loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ, or 
  • the fracture of any bodily member.

It can also include assault on a minor after engaging in a past pattern of child abuse against that minor, or any harm to a child under the age of four. 

Second-degree assault is defined as assault involving the use of a firearm (even if it’s unloaded or temporarily inoperable) or any other item capable of causing serious bodily harm or death, such as:

  • a knife, 
  • baseball bat, 
  • flammable liquid, or 
  • motor vehicle. 

First-degree assault is defined as causing great bodily harm to the victim (harm leading to life-threatening injuries or a permanent disability), OR using deadly force against a police officer or employee of a correctional facility.

These felonies are punishable by a maximum of 5-20 years in prison and a $10,000-30,000 fine.

These cases will also be more costly for an attorney to defend because they often involve complex and lengthy trials. A vigorous defense could cost between $5,000 and $20,000. 

Is hiring an experienced attorney really worth it?

Hiring an experienced defense attorney may be costly. It can make you wonder, “Is it worth it?” We recognize that it can feel prohibitively expensive to hire a qualified attorney, but you must consider what’s at stake. 

When you’re facing criminal charges, you have three options. You can represent yourself, ask for a public defender, or hire a private lawyer.

If you choose to represent yourself, you must know all the procedural rules and relevant laws; you won’t be cut any slack because you aren’t a lawyer. 

And while a public defender may save you money, they may not get you the best outcome because they’re often overloaded with cases and won’t have the time to devote as many resources to your specific case.

What most people don’t realize is that even if you commit a crime and plan to plead guilty, an experienced attorney can still find ways to lower your charges or even have them outright dismissed. The dedication to leave no stone unturned — that’s what a great lawyer can do for you. 

You must ask yourself, can you afford not to hire the best lawyer you can? The stakes are high in a criminal case. Beyond just facing jail time or steep fines, the consequences of living with a criminal record are not to be ignored. It can make it more difficult for you to obtain employment, get custody of your children, or rent an apartment or home. And if you’ve been convicted of a felony-level crime, you will be stripped of the right to vote or bear arms.

That said, not all private lawyers are created equal. That’s why you should first schedule a consultation, and be sure to ask how many cases like yours the attorney has litigated and what their results were. It's also good to ask how much trial experience they have. The best criminal defense lawyers go to trial and do not have clients plead guilty if there is a reasonable defense to the case.

And if you’re still concerned about the cost, most attorneys offer fee structures and payment plans to make it feasible for you to afford the best possible defense. You can learn more about each attorney’s payment structure by scheduling a consultation with them.

There’s nothing more costly than hiring an inexperienced attorney

Ultimately, if you want the best possible defense, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney with a track record of winning. The long-term costs of being convicted of a crime far outweigh the near-term costs of hiring an experienced attorney to defend you. 

Don’t let one mistake define the rest of your life. Schedule a consultation with us today.

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