i hv pending fel assault 3rd deg ,what effects will accepting a plea for a lesser charge have on me in mn regarding firearms purchase, travel to canada or hunting in another state with a firearm. i am weighing whether to go to trial
1 Answer from Attorneys
Re: felony assault
The answer depends on what the facts of the case are and the offer made.
Any conviction for an assault regardless of the level, can have significant implications. In most cases, you would be precluded fro going to Canada for a period of at least 5 years.
An assault can be very serious. It requires that you acted with an intent to harm someone or that the other person was in reasonable apprehension of physical harm from an act. The significance of the victim's injury or the use of a weapon increases the offense and the possible criminal penalties for prison time and fines.
Moreover, the collateral consequences of a conviction are extremely significant and, arguably, more severe than the criminal penalties themselves. As a result, it is extemely important to protect your public and criminal record.
First, if convicted of an offense, employers who require a background check will not hire you. That is particularly true if you work closely with customers or in some other service oriented profession.
Second, many landlords now perform background checks for applicants and, if you decide to rent, you may be denied an apartment with a crime of violence such as an assault on your record.
Third, a conviction for assault may result in licensing problems for certain occupations or interfere with acceptance into some schools of higher learning.
Finally, it is also compelling that a non-citizen may suffer deportation and, even a citizen would lose their right to possess a weapon ,even for hunting purposes, after a conviction.
Often, the best defense is a good offense. In most instances, an argument for self defense may be made and Motions should be served to acquire all statements and medical records from the prosecution. Often, with skilled legal representation jail time and convictions can be avoided.
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