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If you or a family member have recently been accused or charged with a criminal offense in your state, such as theft or DUI, you probably are concerned about what will happen in the near future. You likely are wondering who will be willing to listen to your side of the events, and you want to know what your rights are and how your job and family may be affected. Most importantly you want to know who you can turn to for help.
At the first opportunity, you should consult an experienced attorney. This will help you avoid making mistakes and can also help to ease the consequences that often come with criminal charges. Now is time for a free consultation with a North Dakotacriminal lawyer who has a proven track record in criminal cases just like the one you or a loved one may be facing. You have the right to remain silent and protect your interests, but the sooner you meet with a criminal attorney the better off you will be. Remember, just because a person is charged with a state offense does not mean that they will be found guilty. Hiring a good criminal lawyer can help protect you and your family and will provide you with information on the rights and options that you may have. Many attorneys will even offer free advice during the initial meeting so that you can decide the next steps you wish to take.
Are You Looking for an Experience Criminal Lawyer?
We have an experienced and professional team of criminal attorneys that are well-versed in many areas of crime from domestic violence to fraud to DUI. We have capable lawyers who specialize in areas of criminal defense like theft, aggravated assault, manslaughter, sexual offenses, weapons charges and much more.
The sooner you act the better. It doesn't matter if you are actually facing charges or you simply fear that there will be repercussions for an act in your past, the longer it takes to get legal counsel, the fewer options you will have. Our North Dakota criminal attorneys have the expertise to fully understand how state law works and they will be able to offer valuable advice to you during your first meeting.
Build Up a Strong Defense for a DUI Charge
One of the most common charges at the state level is a DUI. Though consequences of this action can vary, many times they will include a night in jail, alcohol education classes, heavy fines and even a suspended driver's license. A smart move is to find a North Dakota criminal attorney who has the expertise and knowledge in DUI cases like the one you may be facing. Our experienced lawyers can help to find out if you qualify as a first time offender, to explain the fines and other penalties that you could face, and how you can plan, together, the defense strategy. They will also help you to understand how this type of charge may affect other parts of your life like your auto insurance and even your job.
Good Lawyers are Focused on Specific Areas of Law
Our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys concentrates on certain areas of the law. This helps them to gain thorough knowledge of their legal specialty and also helps them build up strong track records in specific types of cases. They will also have comprehensive information about particular state laws and know how they relate to your personal case. Our lawyers will use this background to formulate a solid defense strategy for your individual case. We help to match you with the perfect lawyer for your unique situation.
What to Expect From Your Criminal Lawyer
When you first meet with your criminal lawyer for a consultation you will need to discuss the facts of your case. Your attorney will be able to share their own expertise of the law and how it will relate to the charges being brought against you. You should always be as candid as you can be with your lawyer and be willing to ask them questions. Your attorney will make sure to keep your information confidential and will strive to represent your best interests. It is important for you to follow any advice that is given to you by your attorney and to understand that patience may be needed.
A Strong Reputation Will Count
Our lawyers belong to a variety of professional groups like the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. You will be able to track the success rate of our attorneys throughout their careers which can give you peace of mind. Our attorneys have been thoroughly screened in order to ensure they are providing top notch legal counsel.
You Can Trust Our Attorneys
The perfect criminal lawyer for you will be the one who is going to advocate for your best interests. They will be able to earn your trust, adhere to the highest ethical standards and provide you with that extra boost of confidence that is always needed in these situations.
Our lawyers will know the common methods of defense for you and will handle your case with the urgency and care that you need. Avoid mistakes early on in the criminal process by choosing an attorney quickly. It is important to have the trustworthy legal support that comes from professional counsel. Call one of our qualified attorneys today!
Are You Facing Criminal Charges in North Dakota?
If so, it would serve you well to understand the specific charges against you in North Dakota. This knowledge will help you assess the severity of your case, consider the potential punishment you may face in the event you are convicted, and approach the right law firms in North Dakota for assistance with your defense.
First, it is essential to recognize that not all lawyers in North Dakota practice criminal law, so you should be sure to seek out a North Dakota criminal defense attorney. Criminal lawyers in the state are those who have attained a level of familiarity and experience with North Dakota crime and the relevant statutes. These statutes and their applicable laws can all be found in the North Dakota Century Code, which is the collection of written laws for the state. It is here that all criminal activity is defined.
The North Dakota Century Code also specifies how each crime is to be charged and punished. The state divides all crimes into two separate categories. The less serious crimes are referred to as misdemeanors and the more serious crimes as felonies. This grading system not only denotes the severity of the crime, but outlines the maximum punishment that will be imposed if an individual is convicted.
Misdemeanors are further subdivided and classified as either Class A or Class B. The primary difference is that Class B misdemeanors can be punished by no more than 30 days in jail and a fine of no more than $500, while the sentences for Class A misdemeanors are capped at 360 days in jail and fines of up to $3,000.
Likewise, felonies are separated into classes. Whereas some states may divide felonies into six – or even 10 – separate classes, the system in North Dakota is simpler. The classes for North Dakota felonies are: Class AA, Class A, Class B, and Class C. The most serious felonies fall into the Class AA category; however, because the state no longer allows the death penalty, the maximum sentence imposed upon conviction for these crimes is life in prison without parole.
Facing criminal charges in North Dakota? Locate a North Dakota criminal defense lawyer here.
Five Common Crimes Charged in North Dakota
A brief explanation of the charges against you can provide clarity regarding your situation and the potential impact on your future circumstances; however, these explanations are not always clear to non-lawyers. This is where a North Dakota criminal lawyer can help. Any information that you may find confusing or any questions you may have about your specific case can be answered if you will contact one of the qualified North Dakota criminal defense attorneys at Criminal Lawyer.
Driving Under the Influence
The rules governing driving under the influence (DUI) in North Dakota are similar to comparable prohibitions in many other states. Generally, illegal conduct includes operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, but there are two exceptions to this general rule. The first is that the legal limit for individuals under the age of 21 is 0.04%, and the second is that the legal limit for operators of commercial vehicles is 0.04%.
DUI in North Dakota is subject to both administrative and criminal penalties. These penalties are imposed by separate entities, and several of the administrative penalties are mandatory; however – unlike other states – North Dakota law does not specify a mandatory minimum term of incarceration or specific amounts to be assessed in the form of fines for an individual convicted of DUI, even in cases of second and subsequent DUIs. Instead, the state assesses criminal penalties, including jail terms, on a case-by-case basis. This fluid approach to punishment determination makes engaging a North Dakota DUI lawyer even more essential to ensuring the successful outcome of your case
As a rule, DUIs in North Dakota are treated more severely in cases of particularly high BACs (above 0.16%) and when a driver is convicted of a second, third, or fourth DUI offense within any seven-year period. What is specified in North Dakota law is that a first DUI is charged as a Class B misdemeanor, but the offense rises to a felony DUI in North Dakota if the individual already has three prior convictions for DUI. This also means that a fourth or higher offense can result in incarceration longer than one year.
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North Dakota has a total of 11 statutes that criminalize behavior related to sexual assault and similar sexual offenses. These provisions cover criminal conduct that ranges from a single incident of non-consensual sexual contact to forcible rape. It follows, then, that the potential criminal penalties for individuals convicted of crimes related to sexual assault are similarly broad. Of these sexual offenses, sexual assault is the most commonly charged in North Dakota.
Sexual assault is defined in the North Dakota Century Code as sexual contact with another person or causing another person to have sexual contact with the actor when:
- There is reason to believe that the contact is offensive to the victim
- The victim cannot consent to the contact due to a mental disease or defect
- The victim cannot consent due to impairment from a controlled substance, whether the impairment was caused by the actor or the actor knows it was caused by another person
- The victim was held in a hospital or other institution, over which the actor exercised authority
- The victim was a minor above the age of 15 and the actor was a parent or guardian
- The victim was a minor older than 15 and the actor was an adult
Offenses that involve minors under the age of 15 are charged under a separate, more severe statute that specifically criminalizes sexual assault of a child. Additionally, unlawful sexual contact that involves penetration or any other egregious conduct will be charged as a more serious offense. In the event you are charged with rape or carnal abuse, your best possible defense will be found in the hands of experienced rape attorneys in North Dakota, as this crime is treated with particular harshness under North Dakota law.
Sexual assault can be charged as either a Class A misdemeanor or a Class C felony, dependent on the level of harm sustained by the victim and the identity of the victim. If charged as a misdemeanor, a convicted defendant can face a maximum of one year in prison; however, if charged as a felony the potential sentence can be as long as five years in prison.
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In North Dakota, arson falls under a subset of crimes that cover damage to property or public services. This is a very specific type of crime that includes starting a fire or causing an explosion with the intent to destroy any part of a building or inhabited structure. The statute in North Dakota explicitly includes setting a fire or causing an explosion on property owned by the accused individual.
This statute contains two clear elements, both of which must be proven by the prosecution in order to win a conviction. First, the defendant must be shown to have been the individual who started the fire or caused the explosion. Second – and more difficult – proof is required that the intention behind the fire or explosion was the destruction of property. Under ND criminal laws, accidental fires are not considered arson.
Arson, of any type or kind is charged as a Class B felony. That makes it an extremely serious offense which is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison. If arson results in injury or death to another person, the criminal charges increase substantially.
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Murder is the most serious crime one can commit in North Dakota and, as such, will subject a convicted person to the most severe penalty the state imposes for any offense. Murder is defined as the intentional killing of another person. In order to be charged as murder – as opposed to manslaughter, which is a lesser offense – evidence that the killing was done intentionally or knowingly must be present. Unintentional killings, referred to as homicides, are charged as manslaughter in North Dakota.
Unlike a number of other states which divide murder into two or more degrees based on the identity of the victim or certain heinous actions leading up to the crime – such as premeditation – North Dakota does not differentiate among murder cases. Instead, all murders in North Dakota are considered Class AA felonies, which is the most serious classification of offenses in the state. The maximum punishment for murder is life in prison without parole.
The only exception recognized in the murder laws of North Dakota comes into play if the actor killed while under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance, for which the cause was considered reasonable. In such instances, the defendant is charged with a Class A felony for which the maximum potential penalty is 20 years in prison.
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The North Dakota statutes that address theft charges are a consolidation of all crimes related to the unlawful taking of property and services. These crimes include larceny, embezzlement, false pretenses, blackmail, and misappropriation of public funds.
Of course, the theft laws in North Dakota only cover such crimes at the state level. Federal charges for embezzlement and other financial crimes may also be brought within the state under federal statutes. If you are charged with a white-collar crime in North Dakota, you need a lawyer who has been admitted to the federal bar. Luckily, several criminal defense attorneys in North Dakota are also also qualified to practice in the federal arena, so be sure to seek out a federal crime lawyer in North Dakota.
Despite the consolidation of all theft laws into one North Dakota state statute, multiple types of theft are still criminalized in North Dakota. For example, one may be charged with theft of property, theft of services, theft of lost or stolen property, and theft of entrusted property. Each of these crimes contemplates a different type of stolen property, and is not based specifically on the defendant’s actions. Therefore, in each instance, theft is still considered to be the taking or exercising of control over the property or services of another person with the intent to deprive the owner of this property.
The degree of each theft charge is determined by the value and type of the property that was stolen. By default, theft is a charged as a Class A misdemeanor which carries a maximum potential sentence of one year in jail; however, the presence of certain mitigating circumstances can lower the severity of this offense to a Class B misdemeanor. Mitigating circumstances include the theft of property valued at less than $500 if:
- The property was not taken by threat
- The theft was not committed by deception within a fiduciary relationship
- The property was not public funds taken by a public employee
Other thefts, such as those considered Class C misdemeanors, are treated with more severity in North Dakota. A theft can be raised to the level of a class C misdemeanor if:
- The value of the stolen property was more than $1,000
- The theft was committed by a public servant who carried it out using a threat or stole property valued at more than $100
- The property was valued at more than $100 in value and was taken by a public servant, irrespective of the means
- The property taken was a firearm or ammunition
- The property taken was an item specifically identified within the North Dakota statute
Likewise, theft can be charged as either a Class B or Class A felony. It is considered a Class B felony, with a potential sentence of incarceration for up to 10 years if the stolen property was valued in excess of $10,000 but less than $50,000, or if it was obtained by threat to commit a felony. If the stolen property was valued in excess of $50,000, the theft is designated as a Class A felony, with potential incarceration of up to 20 years in prison upon conviction.
The North Dakota criminal attorneys within Criminal Lawyer are prepared to defend a variety of crimes in the state. Our experience is not limited to the most common crimes in North Dakota. Rather, it extends to defense of federal crimes and appellate level defense. Whether you are seeking a lawyer to defend you against charges as serious as murder or a less severe misdemeanor, such as possession of a controlled substance, we can help.
Importance of an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
An experienced criminal defense lawyer offers the client far more than explanatory information about criminal law. While this is an essential aspect of the role, a lawyer is also tasked with providing case-specific advice and offering clients peace of mind. During a time that is often overwhelming and confusing for the accused person, a North Dakota robbery lawyer, sexual assault lawyer, or murder attorney can deliver the support you need.
For this reason, in addition to offering substantial knowledge about the criminal process in general, a North Dakota criminal lawyer brings a number of essential elements to the successful defense of your case.
If you don’t know where to turn in your search for an attorney to built your defense against criminal charges in North Dakota, turn to us.
Locate a qualified North Dakota criminal attorney.
[Disclaimer – this is not legal advice.]
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