Minnesota Assault & Battery Attorneys

If you’re looking for the best defense for assault charges in the Twin Cities, you’ve come to the right place. Right now, you might be thinking that you don’t have options — but you’d be surprised. We’ve represented thousands of clients, all of whom started in the same position as you right now.

We’re here to help. We will be alongside you every step of the way to fight for your rights and help you navigate what can be a complicated and punitive system. Schedule a consultation to get started.

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About the law

What are the elements of an assault in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, there are two types of assault:

the act of putting someone in fear of an attack or non-consensual contact. It requires the state to prove you did something to cause another to fear imminent bodily harm, which can be very difficult to prove.

physical contact that results in bodily harm or injury.

Assault charges can also stem from mutual altercations, or an altercation involving self-defense or defending another.

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What are the degrees of assault crimes in Minnesota, and what punishments apply to each?

There are five degrees of assault under Minnesota law, which are based on the following factors and circumstances.

Fifth-degree Assault

The lowest level of assault is a misdemeanor. It is defined as an act with intent of causing fear of imminent bodily harm, or intentional attempt to inflict bodily harm upon another. Potential consequences: up to 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.

Fourth-degree Assault

Defined the same as fifth-degree assault, but with an aggravating factor such as assault against a public servant, law enforcement officer, school official, or medical staff, or if the assault is discriminatory. It is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

Third-degree Assault

An act that inflicts substantial bodily harm (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, or any harm to a child under the age of four. It is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Second-degree Assault

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. It is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

First-degree Assault

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. The most serious assault charge carries a potential prison sentence of 20 years and a maximum fine of $30,000. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Assault

What if the victim of assault is a family member?

Minnesota law states that whoever commits an assault on a family or household member is guilty of domestic assault. To learn more, visit our domestic assault page.

What is the difference between aggravated assault and simple assault?

Simple assault generally involves either the threat of immediate harm or a physical act that results in minimal injuries, where aggravated assault may involve an assault resulting in serious bodily harm or an assault committed with some aggravating factor, like using a deadly weapon or against a police officer.

What is battery?

Assault and battery are generally interchangeable terms today. Historically, battery and assault were considered separate crimes, with battery requiring that the aggressor physically strike or offensively touch the victim. In that way, a battery was a "completed" assault. But most modern statutes don't bother to distinguish between the two crimes, and statutes often refer to crimes of actual physical violence as assaults.

What if I acted in self-defense?

Minnesota law does give citizens the right to defend against imminent threats of danger or assault. However, you must meet the burden of proof, which stipulates certain conditions that must occur for the act to be considered self-defense. Your attorney can help you build a case to prove that you acted in self-defense, rather than assault on the other party.

What should I do after being charged with assault?

The best thing you can do is meet with an attorney. You don’t have to talk to police before you have representation, and you shouldn’t do so if you want the best chance of lowering or dismissing your charges.

Can you be charged with assault without evidence?

No. The burden of proof falls on the prosecution, who must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of your crime. This means that the evidence presented and the arguments put forward by the prosecution establish your guilt so clearly that they must be accepted as fact by any rational person.

Next steps

Contact a Minnesota assault attorney right away

At Sheridan, Dulas & Kins, P.A., we always fight for the complete acquittal or dismissal of charges. An assault charge can upend your life, but with an experienced attorney by your side, it doesn’t need to define your future.

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Reviews For Sheridan, Dulas & Kins, P.A.

See what our clients are saying.


Immediately after I was involved in a DWI incident I contacted Mr. Kins. During a free consultation, he actively listened to my story and made me feel comfortable. I hired him immediately and he continued to be a great resource and trusted attorney. Throughout my complicated two-year case, he maintained professionalism and always had my best interest in mind. The result of my court case turned out better than I could have expected, and I would recommend him to anyone that needs a competent and trusted attorney.


I am a commercial truck driver. I was involved in an accident, in my personal vehicle, and cited for "following too close". Randall listen to my story and determined that another motorist had made a bad choice that had played a major role in the cause of the accident. He also found a statute that directly countered the violation I was being cited for. Because I have a commercial driver's license, the citation had to go to trial to have it removed from my record. Randall Kins handled the trial very professionally. He countered maneuvers by the prosecution and executed several measures that advanced and strengthen our case, and ultimately brought about the desired "Not Guilty" verdict I needed to maintain my driving record. In a system that is becoming increasingly difficult for professional drivers to get a fair "shake" in... I would definitely recommend Randall Kins of Sheridan and Dulas to argue in your behalf.


I was unfairly charged with a domestic assault misdemeanor and I was really terrified. Attorney Randall took on my case and he was very transparent throughout each step. Knowing what to expect and what my options (good and bad) were was very helpful to me. Randall really advocated for me and even went further to ask other third parties involved to help prove my innocence. I will forever be grateful to him. If you are looking for someone who genuinely cares about your story and is willing to go the extra mile then please consider Randall to represent you. He is a real Shark and he is very persistent in ensuring the best interests of his clients.


I retained Mr. Sheridan based on reviews from this very site. Those reviews were not wrong. Through a long drawn-out process he never wavered. He guided me in every aspect of the ordeal. He stuck with me till the end. And in the end, the charges were dismissed due largely I believe cause he never stopped fighting for me. I would recommend Mr. Sheridan to anyone in a heartbeat.


I met with Randall due to my 3rd Degree DWI charge. I was shaken, I was scared (because who wouldn't be). He made me feel at ease. He was very informative on how a DWI case goes, there are 2 cases to be fought out. When I told my peers about that, they were surprised because they didn't even know there were 2 sides to a DWI charge. He will fight tooth and nail to get every piece of evidence, study all that is given to him and make sure that you are satisfied with the outcome. I would just like to say that the outcome that I received on my case is the best that I could have ever hoped for. It went from a 3rd Degree DWI down to Careless Driving. I won my case with a lesser charge and I am truly happy about it. All this could not have been possible without the knowledge, trust, and hard work that Randall did for me.


I could not have asked for a better outcome with a committed lawyer. I would highly recommend Randall Kins to those who need the right representation. Thanks again Randall for the great job you have done.


(I apologize in advance for my bad typing skills) This man was absolutely tremendous, I had a false OFP put against me from my ex-GF, she wanted to make me seem like a bad person and ruin my life where I would not see my kids for 2 years and it was an act of evil against me. I have never had a lawyer before and I took my chances with Randall Kins and prayed this was the lawyer to help me and he did tremendously. He was honest and respectful and professional to a T, he knew what to say and how to say it and had the face of a confident lawyer it really put my mind and heart at ease and my family to know he was that confident in the case and we WON, I get to keep my gun rights, see my kids with visitations and am no longer feeling down or depressed and I thank God for giving me a chance to meet an amazing man such as Randall Kins. Thank you so much Randall.


I am a retired college professor who ran into some legal issues late in life. I searched for and hoped to find a professional attorney, someone who is intelligent and knowledgable. The best thing I did was hire Randall Kins. He was not only intelligent and knowledgable, but he was well-versed in laws and courts and a nice, congenial attorney. I had two cases that Randall covered and both ended up very positively. I am in awe of someone who can maneuver their way through laws and the courts. Randall showed that he is well-trained and respectful. At every step, he was open and helpful and always kept me well-informed. My cases were somewhat unique and Randall waded through both of them. For neither case did I have to serve time in jail and it was because of Randall's skills and training and pure professionalism. I would encourage anyone to hire Randall. He is the real deal.

Brian J.

Very talented. If you’re facing serious charges you need to be very well represented. Jeff is tenacious.


I hired Attorney Randall Kins for a criminal matter involving a Felony. Not only did Attorney Kins handle this matter in my favor but did without even a court appearance from me. He was upfront from the start and remained very professional throughout. Thank you Attorney Kins.

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