3rd Degree Assault

3rd degree assault is an assault that causes substantial bodily harm, like a broken bone. This is another felony-level offense. The maximum penalty is 5-years and/or a fine of $10,000. In addition, a third-degree assault occurs if there is a past-pattern of child abuse and the alleged victim is a minor, and when the alleged victim is under the age of four.


There are a number of defense possibilities available, all of which are dependent upon the circumstances of the case. This is why it is critical to hire a Minnesota assault attorney that will develop a personalized legal strategy, tailored to your case.

One of the more common defenses is self-defense, where the alleged victim was the initial aggressor and you only used enough reasonable force to stop the aggressor. One significant benefit of the self-defense claim is that the State carries the burden of proving you were not acting in self-defense.

Other common defenses include, but are not limited to, defense of others (similar to self-defense, but you are protecting a family member of close friend), defense of property, consent, necessity, intoxication, and alibi.

Beyond raising these common defenses, any good Minnesota assault attorney will investigate the allegations, hire an investigator if necessary, and figure out just how compliant the complaining victim is to the State. If witnesses are unavailable, the State’s case becomes exponentially weaker.

It is critical that you contact us now to get us started on your defense right away. Any assault conviction can lead to devastating consequences. You need a Minnesota assault attorney who is Not Always Minnesota Nice fighting for you, contact us now.

Case Results

To see just how successful our approach is, here are some representative case results:

State v. R.S.

Charges: 3rd Degree Felony Assault and Gross Misdemeanor Theft

Resolution: Stay of Adjudication to the assault and a stay of imposition to the theft. Despite causing a broken hand to the victim and a rather significant history of misconduct occurring during the same time period, the Defendant avoided the felony, had no restitution imposed, and got a minimal jail sentence for a three-year probationary period. The State wanted sixty days in jail and a five year probation term, plus restitution. The judge advised counsel before the hearing he was still deciding restitution and contemplating a thirty day jail term. Based on Mr. Gempeler's argument and the Defendant's own statement, the judge moved on his positions significantly when issuing the ultimate sentence. The Defendant deserved this incredible result because he is the poster child for rehabilitating yourself and becoming a true asset to the public prior to the case wrapping up. He has a bright future, despite his multiple transgressions, because of his proactive approach to rehabilitation and by retaining North Star - a firm uniquely talented in handling multiple matters and putting people back on the right track when all is said and done.

State v. L.B.

Charges: 3rd Degree Assault - Felony

Resolution: Gross Misdemeanor sentence to assault plea. The client had a rough night in which she bit off part of the victim's ear. Both parties were intoxicated. Our client had no criminal record and it was critical to avoid a felony record in order to keep her career. Based upon our counseling to be proactive in addressing chemical dependency and mental health issues, combined with our experienced negotiating, the client obtained an agreed-upon gross misdemeanor sentence to the charge. Ultimately, the client was ordered to serve no additional jail, pay a $100 fine, and complete an anger management assessment. Considering the circumstances, this is a fantastic and necessary result for our client.

State v. J.R.

Charges: 3rd Degree Assault

Resolution: Stay of Adjudication. The client was placed on 5 years probation (with the understanding being that he'll be released early around the halfway mark) with minimal terms and conditions and costs ordered for $100. For a father of two with a clean criminal record, it was imperative to earn the opportunity to keep his record clean and put him in a position to have this matter expunged. Without any real viable defenses, this is a remarkable outcome achieved through strong advocacy and a client that was proactive in addressing possible chemical dependency and anger issues before a plea.

North Star Criminal Defense - Proven Success in Fighting Assault Charges

The Minnesota assault lawyers at North Star Criminal Defense have over 30 combined years of successfully defending against assault charges of all degrees and throughout multiple jurisdictions, including federal courts in multiple states. We know the law, the defenses, and the strategy necessary in order to obtain resolutions that avoid convictions and jail time. We have helped countless clients overcome these debilitating charges and get back on their feet. If you have been accused of any type of drug crime, you need to contact us right away.