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The Criminal Charges for Assault in North Dakota: An Overview

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The Criminal Charges for Assault in North Dakota: An Overview

Being convicted of assault crimes carries with it penalties. Learn more about the criminal charges for assault in North Dakota here.

It’s estimated that there are nearly 1.6 million violent crimes in the United States each year. It doesn’t matter what part of the country you’re in – any assault charge can carry major penalties that affect your life.

However, here in North Dakota, the courts are particularly tough on these types of violent crimes. That’s why it’s vital to familiarize yourself with the laws surrounding criminal charges for assault in the state if you’ve been charged.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through assault charge types and the various penalties they carry. We’ll also provide you with resources that can help you avoid conviction or minimize your penalties.

Simple Assault vs Assault

Let’s start with the lowest level assault charge in North Dakota: simple assault. According to Chapters 12.1-17 of the North Dakota Century Code, simple assault is defined as trying to cause injury to another individual.

This also includes negligently causing an injury with a weapon that would likely cause an injury or death. In North Dakota, this type of charge is a Class B misdemeanor. That means you can face thirty days of incarceration, as well as a fine of $1,500.

The exception is if the person is a peace officer, hospital worker, firefighter, court proceeding official, or emergency medical worker. In these cases, simple assault is raised to a Class C felony. Domestic assault shares a lot of similarities with simple assault.

The difference is that domestic violence occurs between a family or household member. In the law, regular assault has the same definition as simple assault.

However, a conviction with a regular assault is a Class A misdemeanor (compared to a Class B). A Class A misdemeanor raises the incarceration period to one year and increases the fine to $3,000.

So what is the difference? The answer lies in the amount of injuries you cause. If you cause multiple injuries, or they’re serious injuries, simple assault can be upgraded to regular assault.

Aggravated Assault

Like simple and regular assault, an aggravated assault occurs when someone causes bodily injury to another individual. The difference is that instead of negligently causing the injury with a weapon, the individual in an aggravated assault does it knowingly.

Discharging a firearm or throwing a potentially destructive object at a person is also classified as aggravated assault. Aggravated assault carries some very serious penalties with it since it’s classified as a Class C felony.

If convicted, you could face up to five years of incarceration, as well as a possible fine of $10,000. Also, if the aggravated assault was committed against a child under twelve or a peace officer on duty, it’s upgraded to a Class B felony.

What Should You Do if You Face Criminal Charges for Assault in ND?

Facing an assault charge in North Dakota can be stressful, especially once you learn about the penalties. The good news is that there are things you can do to minimize your chances of getting a penalty.

In this section, we’ll walk you through what to do when you face these criminal charges.

Be Careful What You Say

Often, immediately following an assault, you’re in an aggravated state. If you’ve been arrested, it’s easy to say something that could potentially incriminate you.

As soon as police arrive on the scene, stop talking. You can answer any simple questions, but remember that you have Miranda Rights for a reason. As such, your lawyer should be present before you answer any questions.

Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer

There are some cases in court where you may not need the legal help of a lawyer. An assault charge in North Dakota is not one of these situations. If you attempt to represent yourself, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll face the maximum penalties.

When you’re facing assault charges, you should contact a criminal defense attorney for protection as soon as you’re able. Make sure that the lawyer you’re contacting specializes in this type of criminal defense.

Then, describe the situation to them and ask for their recommendation. You want an attorney who doesn’t provide judgment. A good professional will only care about your rights in this case.

You want to make sure that you can trust your defense lawyer. Why? Because they’ll be your representation from the start of your trial to the sentencing.

And, if you’re convicted, your lawyer will be responsible for handling your appeal. We recommend checking out this guide for some tips on how to find the best criminal defense lawyer.

Await the Arraignment Process

The arraignment process is when a judge will decide if there’s enough evidence to take your assault case to trial. If they decide there’s enough evidence, they’ll tell you the charge and your court date.

They’ll also decide whether or not to release you. If bail is required, they’ll set the bail. Your lawyer must be present at the arraignment process. That way, they can give the appropriate responses.

Prepare for Trial

During this time, your lawyer will prepare the best strategy for proving your innocence or minimizing your sentence. This starts with finding potential eyewitnesses or character references for you.

If there’s not enough evidence to convict you, there’s a good chance your case could get dismissed. If there is evidence that proves you’re guilty, your lawyer will work to get it out of the courts.

If they can’t, they might recommend a plea of guilty to get a better deal. It’s important to be as forthcoming with your lawyer as you can. That way, they can prepare the best defense for you.

Are You Facing Assault Charges in North Dakota? Contact Heartland Law Office

We hope this guide helped you learn more about the criminal charges for assault in North Dakota. Here at Heartland Law Office, we know that a criminal charge like assault can put an entire hold on your life.

That’s why we do everything in our power to protect your rights. We handle all of the court details to reduce your stress during this turbulent time. If you’re ready for judgment-free representation, contact Heartland Law Office today to request a free case consultation.

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