MN 13.02 Assault–Infliction of Bodily Harm

10 Minn. Prac., Jury Instr. Guides–Criminal CRIMJIG 13.02 (6th ed.)

September 2020 update

Part II. Specific Crimes

A. Crimes Against the Person

Chapter 13. Assault and Related Crimes Against the Person

CRIMJIG 13.02 Assault — Infliction of Bodily Harm

[See CRIMJIG 13.31 for an example of an instruction on Assault—Infliction of Bodily Harm]

The term “assault,” as used in this (charge) (case) is the intentional infliction of bodily harm upon another [or the attempt to inflict bodily harm upon another].

“Bodily harm” means physical pain or injury, illness, or any impairment of a person’s physical condition. [In order for an assault to have been committed, it is not necessary that there have been any physical contact with the body of the person assaulted.1]

“Intentionally” means that the actor either has a purpose to do the thing or cause the result specified, or believes that the act performed by the actor, if successful, will cause the result. In addition, the actor must have knowledge of those facts that are necessary to make the actor’s conduct criminal and that are set forth after the word “intentionally.” [To “have knowledge” requires only that the actor believes that the specified facts exist.]

[“Attempted” means that the actor did an act which was a substantial step toward, and more than mere preparation for, causing the result, and that the actor did that act with intent to cause that result. “With intent to” means that the actor either had a purpose to do the thing or cause the result specified, or believed that the act, if successful, will cause that result. [Here insert CRIMJIGs 5.01 and 5.02 on Attempt if appropriate.]]


M.S.A. § 609.02, subd. 10(2).

In cases in which a defendant is charged with a degree of an assault with infliction of bodily harm, the court should incorporate this instruction directly into the first element of the appropriate elements instruction.

In State v. Dorn, the Supreme Court held that the mens rea required for assault-harm, M.S.A. § 609.02, subd. 10(2), is the general intent to commit an act that constitutes a battery. 887 N.W.2d 826 (Minn. 2016); see also State v. Fleck, 810 N.W. 303 (Minn. 2012). The court noted that “a general-intent crime only requires proof that ‘the defendant intended to do the physical act forbidden, without proof that [she] meant to or knew that [she] would violate the law or cause a particular result.’” Dorn, 887 N.W.2d at 830 (quoting Fleck, 810 N.W.2d at 308). On the other hand, for a specific-intent crime (e.g., assault with the intent to cause fear), the State must show that the defendant “meant to or knew that [she] would violate the law or cause a specific result.” Id.


1. See State v. Ott, 291 Minn. 72, 189 N.W.2d 377 (1971). This instruction should be given with the definitions of assault in the second degree and assault in the fifth degree.