Domestic Assault Law in Minnesota
In Minnesota, domestic assault is the most commonly charged of the domestic violence crimes. The law defines a “domestic” relationship quite broadly in Minnesota, in ways that defy common sense. For example, Assault Defense Attorney Thomas Gallagher has defended a client in a case where two male college roommates were upset with each other over a woman, that was charged as a “domestic assault” (with no claim the woman was ever assaulted).
Minnesota law creates several crimes which contain a relationship element of the crime. In other words, for crimes that by definition include a relationship element, that crime did not happen unless there is no doubt that a required type of relationship existed between the accused and the witness. Examples of these include misdemeanor domestic assault, and restraining order violation cases.
We also see crimes charged in domestic-related cases that are do not contain a relationship element, but are charged by a prosecutor along with or instead of crimes that require proof of a relationship. Examples of these include misdemeanor fifth-degree assault and obstructing legal process.
When we speak of a domestic or family violence cases, we could mean the accusation fits the specific, narrow definition; or people might be speaking loosely about any case where the people have a relationship history.
Defense of domestic criminal cases should include all of the strategies required to aggressively defense every accused person; but the relationship element creates unique risks and opportunities. This is what makes having a defense lawyer experienced in domestic assault cases so important. Counseling the client is more important in these cases, than in other kinds. For example, what should the accused do in response to the court’s No Contact Order? An experienced domestic violence defense lawyer can be helpful with this.
Question about a Minnesota Domestic Assault case? Call Defense Attorney Thomas Gallagher at (612) 333-1500.
Examples of cases involving claims of domestic violence crime handled by Gallagher include:
- Felony Domestic Assault, including strangulation claims
- Misdemeanor Domestic Assault
- Interference with a 911 Emergency Call
- Violation of an Order for Protection (OFP), Harassment Restraining Order (HRO)
- Criminal Sexual Conduct, with relationship element
- Child Abuse or Neglect