4th Degree Assault

4th degree assault is when the assault is committed against a certain class of individuals, including, but not limited to the following: police officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, correctional employees, prosecuting attorneys, judges, probation officers, secure treatment facility employees, a school official while engaged in his/her duties, and vulnerable adults. 4th degree assault also occurs if the act was motivated by bias, such as race, color, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. Most of the time, this is a gross misdemeanor offense, which carries a maximum penalty of 1-year in jail and/or a fine of $3,000. But, if there is demonstrable bodily harm to the alleged victim, it may be a felony.


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 or 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. S.M.

Charges: Felony 4th Degree Assault (of an Officer) and Gross Misdemeanor Obstruction of Legal Process

Resolution: Stay of adjudication to the assault charge. Offenses involving harming an officer and disobeying their commands are often difficult to resolve in a favorable manner. Almost always, the prosecutor will want a permanent conviction. Yet, Mr. Gempeler was able to get a stay of adjudication, which means the client will not have a conviction following her successful completion of probation. Another terrific result - and this was in a county in which Mr. Gempeler had yet to practice in, proving that our approach works across the State.

State v. K.W.

Charges: 4th Degree Assault

Resolution: Case was dismissed on motion of Defense. Early Discovery demand and artful arguments on absence-of-evidence turns into justice for our client. Client was facing up to a year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine. Cases like this shows just how having an attorney represent you can make a world of difference.

State v. A.B.

Charges: Client faced the four charges in one case including 4th Degree Assault of an Officer

Resolution: Client pled down to Obstruction of Legal Process. This was an incredible result for a client that, at one time, had five pending domestic-related matters. In the end, he will have no new jail time, minimal fines, and be on probation with standard conditions. For a young man with no criminal record, limiting the damage to only an obstruction is a home run. The client is ecstatic and thrilled with this outcome.

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.