The 48-Hour Rule and MN Domestic Violence

Domestic violence happens in Minnesota as it does in other parts of the country. To help deal with domestic violence issues, Minnesota has created laws on how to intervene in these situations in order to help keep people safe.

Understanding how the state defines domestic violence is the first step. However, it is also necessary to understand your rights if accused so you can ensure your rights are upheld.

Here is what you need to know about domestic violence in Minnesota and how long police can legally hold a person they’ve arrested under suspicion of perpetrating domestic violence.

Domestic Violence in Minnesota

Domestic violence occurs in Minnesota when someone physically harms or threatens to harm someone in their household or family.

Who does that include?

  • Anyone related to you by blood
  • Anyone you’ve been married to or currently are married to
  • Your children and parents
  • Anyone you share a child with
  • Anyone you currently live with or have lived with

In most cases, domestic violence will result in charges for the crime of domestic assault.

What If You’re Arrested for MN Domestic Violence?

If the police believe domestic violence occurred when they arrive at a scene, they may arrest the person they believe perpetrated it. They do not need a warrant to do this if they have probable cause to suspect domestic violence has occurred within the previous 72 hours between parties.

Additionally, if the police believe that a person is violating a protective or no-contact order, they can also make an arrest. However, a person cannot be held in jail indefinitely.

Under the law, anyone suspected of violating a protective order or perpetrating domestic violence must be held for a minimum of 36 hours. However, they cannot be held for more than 48 hours without going in front of a judge.

It’s important to note that if there is a signed complaint against a person that has been signed by a judge because there is probable cause to charge them with an offense, they can be held for more than 48 hours.

However, that complaint has to justify why a person needs to be held for longer than 48 hours. If no such probable cause exists, you must be released after 48 hours.

What Are the Penalties for Domestic Assault Minnesota?

If you accused of domestic assault in our state, it could result in a variety of charges, from misdemeanors to felonies.

Consequences for a misdemeanor involve up to 90 days in jail and fines of as much as $1,000. Gross misdemeanors are a bit more serious. They can result in up to 12 months behind bars and fines of $3,000.

Felony penalties vary as well. If strangulation was involved in the incident, you can face up to three years in prison – unless there is an applicable penalty that is greater based on the circumstances of the case.

For all other domestic assault felonies, your previous criminal history plays a role. Those with prior convictions can be sentenced to incarceration for up to five years. Those who used deadly weapons can go to prison for as many as 20 years.


About the Author:

A lifelong Minnesotan, founding partner Ronald R. Envall has spent his entire legal career fighting for the little guy, focusing on workers’ compensation, Social Security, and personal injury cases. He has been recognized by SuperLawyers as a Top Rated attorney in Duluth, placing him in the top 5 percent of all workers comp lawyers across the state. In his free time, Mr. Envall serves on the boards of several area government and nonprofit organizations and is a member of the Minnesota Association for Justice, which supports consumer rights.