Persons with no criminal record, or at least no prior domestic assault convictions, are often offered disorderly conduct pleas as a "break" and also to manage the high volume of court cases (and of course to get a guilty plea). It sounds like your charge is a misdemeanor domestic assault which is punishable by 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine maximum. If this is your first offense, your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea whereby you serve no jail time and pay a less-than-maximum fine and perhaps some community service and/or counseling. Any negotiated plea agreement will depend on the specific facts of your case. If the alleged victim decides to "disappear" before trial, it potentially weakens the State's case. The court issue a witness warrant to bring the alleged victim into court whereby the trial could be continued, the court could dismiss the case or the State could press forward with trial without the alleged victim's testimony.
In short, you should get a lawyer to help you navigate your options. Feel free to call for a complimentary case evaluation - 612-338-5007.
Generally a first offense often does not have jail time. If the victim and witness are uncooperative it hurts the state's case, but some prosecutor's will play hard ball with the victim, especially if he or she already gave a statement to the police. Fine is often around $300 to $500. Again this presumes this is the only conviction, but if the prosecutor is willing to drop to disorderly it usually is the first time or the case is weak. Please feel free to call to discuss further. Robert Manson 651-604-0711.
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It sounds as though the domestic assault charge is a misdemeanor offense. A charge of disorderly conduct is also a misdemeanor offense. Any misdemeanor offense in the State of Minnesota is punishable by a maximum of up to 90 days in jail and/or up to a $1000 fine.
Whether a defendant would have a "good chance" at trial would only be answerable after a more in-depth examination of the specific facts of the case. There may be many reasons why a prosecutor would offer the disorderly conduct, including, but not limited to: (1) having a weak case; (2) acknowleding that the incident itself is not a terribly egregious occurrence; (3) acknowledging that the defendant has little or no prior record of violent or assaultive conduct; not wishing to devote the time and effort into preparing for and litigating a trial; or other reasons.
Anyone charged with an assault, even at a misdemeanor level, should retain an attorney to handle the case. There are far-reaching consequences to having an assult conviction on one's record.
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