Thursday, January 17, 2013

Well that's good to know

Let's say you are mad and decide to choke/strangle someone. Not enough to cause them to black out or suffer any substantial bodily harm. Just a good ol' choking to let out your frustrations with them. And in this scenario, you are in Minnesota.
If you choke a "household or family member" (meaning anyone who you live with, have a kid with, are married to, had a significant sexual or romantic relationship with, etc.) then you will be charged w/ Felony Domestic Assault by Strangulation.
If you choke a stranger, your annoying co-worker, your kid's teacher, your friend, or anyone who isn't a family or household member, you will be charged w/ a Misdemeanor Fifth Degree Assault.
That misdemeanor could be knocked down to a disorderly conduct if it's a first offense. That's pretty much nothing.
So, the lesson here is only strangle friends, co-workers, or total strangers.
Thanks, silly Minnesota laws!


  1. What if you move out of the house you shared with the party with whom you had a relationship, and choked them 6 months later? ;)

    1. Tempting, but you'll likely end up with the felony still. Too bad...

  2. Misdemeanor Fifth Degree Assault

    How is this not a battery?

    1. MN's criminal code only has assaults, not battery. By law, an assault is either causing bodily harm to someone or causing someone to fear that you will cause them immediate bodily harm or death.

      The severity of the assault charge increases based on how seriously the person is injured (for example, causing "substantial bodily harm" like breaking someone's nose is a felony third degree assault) and/or prior assault convictions.

      I'm not sure about civil law in MN and whether there is "battery" in civil law in this state.