Before a person is even convicted of assault or domestic violence, an accusation of such acts can seriously impact their life. While the specifics of the law differ when it comes to assault and domestic violence, both charges and accusations are serious. An assault charge can cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars in fines, and a domestic violence charge can result in jail time and a restraining order, while both can affect your permanent record.
At Sheridan & Dulas, P.A. does not immediately look for plea deals. We know how a conviction can affect every aspect of your life, which is why we always look for paths of dismissal or acquittal before anything else. Your future is our priority. We will work tirelessly to ensure you do not see the harshest consequences of a domestic violence accusation.
Domestic Violence and Assault Should Never be Taken Lightly
Depending on the severity of the alleged assault, such charges can be just as serious as domestic violence. Charges can range from misdemeanors to serious felonies, and they often go hand in hand with domestic violence charges, increasing penalties, and adding to your record.
A domestic violence charge can linger on your record for the rest of your life, impacting your career, housing, and social life. Left unchecked, an accusation can result in jail time and serious fines, with a conviction in one state leading to restrictions across the country. This is why we represent clients both across Minnesota and the United States. With an office located in Eagan, Minnesota, we are ready to help you, wherever you are.
Experienced Representation for Crimes of Violence
In the state of Minnesota, the Domestic Abuse Act allows accusers to file a petition for an Order for Protection (OFP) without the accused’s knowledge. The Domestic Abuse Act can also require accused abusers to attend counseling or rehabilitation services, pay restitution, award temporary possession of property to the accuser, or exclude them from the residence entirely. This is why it’s important to get the defense you need as soon as possible after you have been accused of domestic violence.
Even if the situation was just an argument that got out of hand or a fight that turned violent, whether or not fault is shared, you can end up facing serious repercussions. As soon as the police are called, charges can be filed. The prosecutor may bring charges even if the alleged victim recants or does not want you prosecuted. This is why it’s so important to have the best defense possible.
- Domestic assault – In addition to hitting or attacking a family member, you can be charged with a misdemeanor crime even for slight physical contact, menacing gestures or verbal threats of harm. A second offense within 10 years is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
- Violation of a restraining order – Threatening, harassing, stalking or even contacting the victim is a gross misdemeanor punishable by additional jail time
- Fifth-degree assault – Same criteria and penalties as domestic assault
- Fourth-degree assault – Assault against a police officer, school official or other protected class of person, punishable by up to three years in prison
- Third-degree assault – Substantial bodily harm or a pattern of child abuse, punishable by up to five years in prison
- Second-degree assault – Assault with a dangerous weapon, punishable by a prison term of up to 10 years
- First-degree assault – Great bodily harm of a person or use of deadly force against law enforcement, punishable by up to 20 years in prison
Beyond the penalties listed, many of these offenses also carry up to five years of conditional release, or extended parole. This means that while the initial prison sentence may have been five years, you may be facing consequences or the next decade or beyond.
Sentences can also be increased or enhanced by aggravating factors. Aggravating factors in assault cases include the age of the alleged victim, prior criminal convictions, and/or having a weapon in your possession at the time of the alleged assault.
Don’t Accept The Prosecution’s Facts and Conclusions. We Won’t.
The situations that produce fights aren’t usually the best for detailed recollection. Put simply, if you’re in a fight, you probably won’t remember it very clearly. This goes for your accuser as well. When we are hired to defend clients accused of assault, we look at all possible motivations from all sides, including self-defense, mutual violence, and incitement to violence. Our goal is to show that your side of the story is the factual account and dissect your accuser’s story, exposing any inconsistencies.
We will do everything possible to avoid a conviction and to keep you out of jail. We will also fight to avoid a permanent restraining order that keeps you out of your own home, interrupts your relationship with your children, nullifies your civil rights, and keeps you from hunting ever again.
Put the law firm of Sheridan & Dulas, P.A., to work for you. Time is critical, and the earlier you consult our attorneys, the better we can protect your remaining rights and strategize your defense. Contact Sheridan & Dulas online or call 651-686-8800 now.