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1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. Domestic violence in Minnesota is on the rise for the last few years and is not anticipated to stop. According to the Star Tribune, since 2003, the number of people convicted of domestic abuse-related felonies has risen over 500%. Here are the facts.

What is considered domestic violence in Minnesota?

  • Inflicting bodily harm

  • Attempting to inflict bodily harm

  • Intending to cause fear of bodily harm of the defendant or their household/family

Parties who could be subject to domestic violence

Family and household members include:

  • Spouses

  • former spouses

  • Parents

  • Children

  • people related by blood

  • people who live together or have lived together

  • people who have dated

  • people who have children together

  • pregnant women and the alleged fathers of their children

Arrests for domestic abuse

In Minnesota, an officer can make an arrest without a warrant if there is reasonable suspicion that someone has committed domestic abuse. They may even enter the home without welcome if they feel someone is in trouble. The police officer does not need to be the one that witnessed the suspicious activity to make the arrest.

If there is a reason to believe that someone has violated a protective order or no contact order, the police officer must arrest the person and hold them for at least 36 hours.

Possible outcomes for a domestic violence victim

Following a domestic abuse arrest, a victim will be able to ask the city or county to file a criminal complaint. They also are told of their right to go to court and request an order for protection (OFP) from domestic abuse. Then, they are given the names and numbers of local shelters that are available for them to stay.

Possible outcomes for a domestic violence perpetrator

Domestic violence is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by:

  • Up to 90 days in jail

  • Fine of up to $1,000

Strangulation or suffocation is punishable by:

  • Up to 3 years in prison

  • Fine of up to $5,000

Domestic assault convictions

Domestic assault is punishable by a higher fine if there are prior offenses involving the victim in the last 10 years or anyone in the past 3 years. This can include murder, assault, domestic assault, criminal sexual conduct, violation of a restraining order, malicious punishment of a child, threats, stalking, or interfering with an emergency call.

Convicted of domestic violence before

If the perpetrator has been convicted of one prior crime, the punishment is considered a gross misdemeanor and advances to up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $3,000. If there has been 2 or more convictions it is considered a felony and the domestic violence is punishable by five years and a fine of up to $10,000.