Penalties for violent crimes committed in Minnesota are strict. If you are convicted of having committed a violent crime, you could be facing significant prison time, as well as fines and a criminal record that affect your future.

Because of the seriousness of being arrested and charged for committing a violent crime, you want to secure legal representation as soon as possible. Ringstrom Law will help you face these serious legal allegations and help you find the best solution for reducing or dismissing the charges.

Violent Crimes in Minnesota

If you are convicted of a violent crime in Minnesota, you are facing a conviction of a felony crime. The sentence for this type of offense is significant as it carries a prison sentence, as well as a lifetime ban on possessing a firearm. There are other rights you could lose, so you must contact an experienced criminal attorney right away if you have been arrested for a violent crime. This list is what Minnesota classifies as felony crimes of violence:

  • Premeditated first, second, or third-degree murder

A premeditated murder involves the research and planning of a killing before it is carried out. It means the killer didn’t merely lose their temper and kill another in the ‘heat of the moment,’ they had a specific person and a purpose in mind when carrying out the killing of another.

  • First and second-degree manslaughter

The legal difference between manslaughter and homicide is manslaughter is the killing of another as a result of being negligent or reckless. Homicide is a murder committed knowingly and purposefully.

  • Aiding an attempted or successful suicide

Minnesota Statute 609.215

  • First, second, third, fourth, or fifth-degree felony assault

A felony assault is an act of inflicting unwanted physical contact or physical harm to another human being. This act can be accomplished through an attempt or a threat to commit the action as well. This act is both a tort and a crime and can result in either criminal or civil liability.

  • Domestic assault and domestic assault strangulation

If you have been charged with a domestic assault, it suggests you have attacked another in your family, someone you’ve had a relationship with, or are in a relationship with, or you are the parent of a child you’ve assaulted.

  • Benefit of a gang felony

Definition of this violent crime is related to having an association with an ongoing organization, a group of three or more persons, or association whether informal or formal, whose activities include the commission of one or more offenses under section 609.11 subdivision 9. It also relates to groups who have a common identifying symbol or sign, including members who collectively or individually have engaged in criminal activity. The illegal activity includes committing a crime for the benefit of, were motivated by, or were in association with this criminal gang.

  • Using drugs to facilitate crime

With a drug charge, there is an allegation that involves possessing drugs with an intent to sell, manufacturing drugs, buying or trafficking an illegal controlled substance, or buying illegal drugs. This charge can include prescription drugs as well that were not prescribed to you, such as synthetic marijuana.

Minnesota criminal law applies some of the harshest consequences to convictions of criminal sexual conduct. One of these penalties include life in prison should you be convicted more than once for this charge. Sex crimes in Minnesota carry severe collateral consequences as well.

  • Malicious punishment of a child

A charge involving malicious behavior involves malice that is characterized by mischievous or wicked intentions. If you are charged with malicious behavior, it indicates you have acted wrongfully and performed intentional, willful, and without legal justification discipline on a child.

  • Endangerment or neglect of a child

  • Committing a crime while possessing or wearing a bullet-proof vest

  • Stealing a firearm, incendiary device, or explosive

It is a person’s constitutional right to own a firearm. Due to political opinions concerning weapons and gun rights, a lot of gun owners who encounter law enforcement may face false criminal firearm charges by merely exercising their Second Amendment rights. If you are facing charges of violating federal firearm laws, you are being charged with a violent crime in Minnesota.

It is also a violent crime to steal a firearm from a licensed owner. Federal and Minnesota laws prohibit specific individuals from possessing or carrying guns, and those who are allowed to carry them must have a permit. If you’ve stolen a firearm or other dangerous weapon, you would be charged with a violent crime under the State’s laws.

  • Theft of a controlled substance

Minnesota has various levels of drug charges, including felony controlled substance charges, misdemeanors, a petty misdemeanor for small amounts of marijuana, and gross misdemeanor charges. A felony drug charge, and considered a violent crime, is the first-degree drug charge, which is the most serious crime in the illegal drug charges. If you’ve stolen the drugs, you will face even more consequences.

  • First and second-degree arson

  • First and second-degree burglary

  • Drive-by shooting

  • Illegal possession of a short-barreled shotgun or machine gun

Under most conditions, it is not unlawful to possess a firearm; it is actually your constitutional right to own a firearm. The State of Minnesota, however, prohibits the ownership of trigger activators or machine guns. Dealers, manufacturers, dealers, and private persons owning these are required to submit reports of the weapon to the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

  • Felony riot

Under Minnesota Statute 609.71, felony riot can be either a misdemeanor of a felony. If charged as a felony, it becomes a violent crime. A first-degree riot happens when one of the people assembled is armed with a dangerous weapon, and death occurs. If convicted of a felony riot as a violent crime, you are facing up to twenty years in prison and a possible fine of $35,000.

  • Threats of violence or terroristic threats

In Minnesota, there is a Threats of Violence Law, and you can be charged for three different types of acts that fall under the Law. The first is if you threaten indirectly or directly to commit a crime of violence in which you will terrorize another. It also covers an act that causes evacuation of buildings, vehicles, public transportation, or a place of assembly in an effort to create serious public inconvenience. These actions are considered a reckless disregard for causing terror or inconvenience.

The second type of crime under the Threats of Violence Law happens if you communicate to someone as a means to terrorize them or are in reckless disregard for causing terror by stating you have placed an explosive device or any incendiary device at a specific location. This action is considered a violent crime whether or not you have actually placed the device as threatened.

The third type of crime under the Threats of Violence Law applies to you if you display, brandish, exhibit, or employ a replica firearm in a threatening manner to cause terror in another or act recklessly with disregard of causing terror in another. Being convicted of any form of threat under Law will result in a possible 366 days in prison, as well as a substantial fine of $3,000.

  • Stalking

Under Minnesota Statute 609.749, stalking is a harassing behavior that is intended to cause a victim to feel frightened, oppressed, persecuted, or threatened. This reaction is caused to the victim regardless of the relationship between the victim and the abuser.

The prosecution of this violent crime does not require the State to prove you intended to cause harm to your victim by making them feel persecuted, intimidated, frightened, or oppressed. With a misdemeanor stalking charge, it generally involves the accused has shown up on a person’s property without being invited or without a cause. It means you have been monitoring them through technological means, physically, or through repeated attempts to communicate, even after they’ve made it clear your attention is not wanted.

It becomes a felony and a violent crime when you specifically stalk a person because of their sex, national origin, religion, race, color, or other specific factors. If you commit these actions while impersonating another, or if your victim is under the age of 18, or you are more than three years older than the victim, or you are carrying a deadly weapon, it is also a felony and a violent crime under the law.

Being Charged with a Violent Crime in Minnesota

If you are being accused of violent crime in Minnesota, you must understand how serious these charges can be, and their possible impact on your future. Most violent crimes are prosecuted as a felony and will impose not only significant fines on you if convicted, but you could face a lengthy prison term. The attorneys at Ringstrom Law are ready to help you defend the charges against you, and see to it that you are treated fairly within the legal system to get the best possible outcome for you.

Being arrested for a violent crime does not mean you are guilty. Still, as you face these violent charges, your family, your future, your reputation, and your career all hang in the balance as you go through the legal process of proving your innocence or try for reduced charges. When you face a harsh prosecution, you have to counteract with an even tougher legal representation. Ringstrom Law is the team you need on your side to protect your rights and your future.

Penalties for Conviction of Violent Crime

The penalty, if convicted of a violent crime, will be based on the circumstances surrounding your case. Some of the factors that can increase your punishment are if the victim of the alleged crime is a minor, or you caused severe bodily harm during a kidnapping offense, and others. Depending on the specific factors of your case could increase the degree of the offense.

For a conviction of a violent crime in Minnesota, you can potentially face years in prison or jail and significantly large fines. The courts can also place you on probation and require that you pay restitution to the victim. If you did not make restitution payments, you would be charged for violating your probation.

Another punishment imposed if convicted of a violent crime is being banned from possessing, using, or owning a firearm. If you are caught with one in your possession after losing this right, you could be charged additional penalties.

Upon conviction of a violent crime, you will have established a criminal history on your record, which will impact your future once the court-ordered punishments have been finished. This record will be a public record and available to all your future employers or potential housing providers. Some employers cannot or will not hire a person with a violent criminal past, no matter what the circumstances were surrounding your crime. The way for you to avoid these severe consequences and repercussions is to obtain expert criminal defense and avoid a conviction.

There are no violent crimes cases that are handled identically to each other. If you are convicted of one of the listed violent crimes in Minnesota, you could be facing:

  • Life in prison if convicted on a first-degree criminal sexual conduct, or for first-degree murder
  • From one to forty years in prison for other violent crimes such as manslaughter, assault, kidnapping, arson, drive-by shooting, burglary, robbery, or other crimes charged as a violent crime
  • Counseling or therapy treatments may be required
  • Community service

A conviction of a violent crime on your record will impact your future and the future of your family. Contact Ringstrom Law to discuss all legal options you have for reducing or possibly dismissing the charges being brought against you.

Defense of Violent Crime Charges

Being charged with a violent crime is a complex legal battle. Finding even the tiniest piece of evidence, whether in your favor or against you, can make a significant difference in the outcome of your trial and the penalty you’ll be dealt. The prosecution uses whatever evidence they have against you, and they will fight for the most severe penalty and charges the law will allow.

You need an attorney working with you that understands the strategies used by the prosecution and one who understands Minnesota’s court and legal systems. Ringstrom Law will stand behind you and help you understand the legalities of your case and fight hard for the best outcome possible.

Does Minnesota Have a Stand Your Ground Law for Violent Crimes?

There has been a lot of media attention surrounding the Stand Your Ground Law. This law essentially is a form of the self-defense law but does vary from State to State. In the State of Minnesota, there is not a law labeled as Stand Your Ground; instead, there is a law enabling a ‘duty to retreat.’ The ‘duty to retreat’ law means that if you feel threatened, you may only use deadly force as a last resort. States that allow the Stand Your Ground allows for deadly force to be used if a person feels threatened without having a duty to retreat.

Whether a state uses the Stand Your Ground or the Duty to Retreat for defense against a violent crime, they all follow a castle doctrine where a person is not expected to retreat in their home. Some states do limit the castle doctrine when it concerns co-residents of a home, Minnesota is part of the majority rule stating there is no duty to retreat in anyone’s home.

Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld a case where it was stated a person is not required to retreat from the home before using reasonable force to defend themselves. This action is regardless of the fact that the aggressor is rightfully in the house. The court also upheld the law that there is no duty to retreat from your own home when you are acting in self-defense, regardless if the aggressor is a co-resident.

Self-defense laws, whether they are ‘duty to retreat,’ ‘castle doctrine,’ or ‘stand your ground,’ are complicated to understand. You will want to talk with your attorney at Ringstrom Law to discuss whether or not this defense strategy will work with the charges against you. This line of defense frequently arises in charges involving weapons violations, assault, and domestic violence.

If you are facing a serious violent crime charge that involves issues of self-defense, you want to talk to Ringstrom Law who understands Minnesota’s self-defense laws and how they will apply to different criminal charges.

Who to Contact When Facing Violent Crime Charges Near Me

When your freedom and livelihood are on the line because you’ve been charged with a violent crime, you need to know and understand what you are facing and your legal options and rights. You need to contact Ringstrom Law at 218-284-0484 as soon as possible, before you make any statements that could damage your case. We focus on the defense of our clients and are ready to handle the factual, legal, and evidentiary issues involved in the charges you are facing.

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