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Domestic violence allegations in Minnesota aren’t something to be taken lightly. Minnesota courts, like many states, view and prosecute domestic violence violations aggressively and harshly.

The consequences of a domestic violence charge can be detrimental to all parties involved and permanently alter the course of someone’s life. 

Domestic violence can manifest in many ways. It can look like a physical injury and/or emotional harm. Domestic violence might even be a threat to cause bodily injury. 

Ultimately, it may result in physical, psychological, emotional, and financial consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator.

Minnesota law contains provisions related to domestic violence, which not only define the violence but also provide modus operadi (which is Latin for ‘mode (or manner) of operating’)  to report it and provide remedies for the victims of domestic violence.

In this blog, the attorneys at Martine Law, a criminal defense and family law firm in Minnesota explain what constitutes domestic violence in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and the reality of domestic violence in Minnesota.

What is Considered Domestic Violence in Minnesota?

According to Minnesota Statute 518B.01, to have a successful claim of domestic violence, the claim shall include any of the following acts committed by one family or household member against another family or household member:

  • Physical harm, bodily injury, or assault.
  • To inflict fear of causing imminent physical harm, assault, or bodily injury to another, provided that the fear shall be reasonable to cause apprehension of imminent danger.
  • Terrorist threat or threat to use violence
  • Criminal sexual conduct
  • Sexual extortion
  • Interference with an emergency call

Definition of Family or Household under Minnesota Law

The claim of domestic abuse may be made against a family member or a household member only. The distinction of a “family or household member” is important because it essentially acts as a qualifier for who can pursue an official domestic violence accusation.

A family or household member includes the following:

  • Spouses and former spouses;
  • Parents and children;
  • Persons related by blood;
  • Persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past;
  • Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time;
  • A man and woman if the woman is pregnant and the man is alleged to be the father, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time; and
  • Persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship.

Remedies Available to Parties in Domestic Violence Cases in Minnesota

Minnesota courts take immediate action in domestic violence cases. An aggrieved party or the guardian of a minor may request the court issue an Order for Protection (“OFP”). If the court is satisfied by the facts of the case at face value, the court may issue an ex parte OFP before any court hearing takes place. 

An ex parte OFP is an order that is granted to the victim without the abuser being notified beforehand of the request. It is a way for the courts to protect domestic violence victims whom they feel are in immediate danger, and need immediate protection.

After the issuance of an ex parte OFP, the court may conduct a hearing at the request of either party. The purpose of the ex parte OFP is to immediately prevent the continuation of domestic violence.

An OFP may restrict the accused from contacting the victim through a phone call, email, or any other means of communication. The accused may have to vacate the shared home. There might be a temporary custody order.

In addition, the OFP may deprive a person from carrying firearms (resulting in the possession of firearms becoming a violation of both state and federal law). The court may also impose other penalties such as imprisonment, counseling or fines, etc.

The entire OFP process can be very difficult and scary. Moreover, the nature of the domestic violence cases demands immediate action. Therefore, it is very important to consult an experienced attorney whether you are charged with domestic violence or you are a victim of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Attorney in Minnesota

Martine Law understands that cases of domestic violence are sensitive and emotional. With years of experience defending those who have been accused of domestic violence, our team of attorneys is knowledgeable in how to delicately navigate matters involving domestic violence.

For a free consultation, give us a call at (612) 208-8076 or visit us online.

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