MN Non-Physical Acts That Can Lead to DV Charges

The term domestic violence conjures images in the minds of one person physically abusing another, but that’s not always the case. While physical harm can be done in domestic violence situations, there are other non-physical acts that can lead to charges, as well.

Nonphysical domestic violence acts can leave mental, emotional, and psychological scars on others, and perpetrating it is just as against the law as physical violence is in Minnesota.

Here’s what you need to know about the non-physical acts that can lead to domestic violence charges in Minnesota.

Domestic Violence in Minnesota

Under Minnesota law, it is illegal for a person to assault, physically harm, or inflict bodily injury on a person in their family or household. However, the law doesn’t stop there. It is also illegal to put someone in fear of physical harm or another crime against them. Making threats, stalking, and interfering with an emergency phone call are all also considered domestic violence.

A person is considered a household or family member if they are:

  • A former or current spouse
  • Parent, children, or stepchildren
  • Share children together
  • Have lived together or currently do live together

Perpetrating threats that put any of these people in fear of potential harm is a form of domestic violence in the state.

What Non-Physical Acts Can Be Domestic Violence?

You can get charged with domestic violence in Minnesota if you do any of the following to someone in your household or in your family:


Threatening to harm someone or hit them can be considered domestic violence.


If you use intimidation to make someone in your family or household afraid of you, then that can be domestic violence. This includes acts such as destroying property, looking at someone in a threatening way, smashing things, or even injuring a pet.

Emotional Abuse

In some situations, you can perpetrate domestic violence against another by calling them names, humiliating them, or even putting them down. If it’s a small part of a much bigger domestic violence picture that shows you put fear into someone else, then you can be charged.


If you work to control the movement, interactions, and actions of your partner, then that can be considered a type of abuse as well.

Economic Abuse

Controlling money, taking money from your partner, or preventing them from getting a job can be considered domestic violence.


Stalking is when someone repeatedly follows, contacts, tries to communicate with, or monitors another person. Stalking can be considered a form of domestic violence if you continually text, email, call, or follow someone in your family or household.


Domestic violence can also be taking extreme measures to control another person such as threatening to commit suicide, reporting someone to child protective services, or making them take part in illegal acts as a way to control them.

Duluth Domestic Violence Attorneys

Defending Yourself

You have the right to defend yourself against these types of charges in Minnesota, so make sure to work with an experienced attorney as soon as you can in the criminal justice process. This will help you understand the charges against you and formulate the best defense. It is unfortunate that some people do falsely accuse a partner of domestic violence in order to give them an advantage in a divorce or child custody hearing – or to get revenge. Make sure you fight back legally.