The first thing you should do if you are accused of sexual assault in North Dakota is to seek a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney that you can trust.
Allegations of sexual assault are some of the most serious criminal charges on the books.
Even if the accusation is untrue and unfounded, it can wreak havoc on your life.
Sexual Assault in North Dakota
North Dakota defines sexual assault as knowingly:
- Having sexual contact with another person when the sexual contact is offensive to that person,
- Having sexual contact with someone who is unable to understand the nature of the sexual conduct or whose knowledge has been substantially impaired by controlled substances,
- Having sexual contact with someone over whom you are in a position of authority, or
- Having sexual contact with a person who is a minor, 15 years of age or younger, and the actor is an adult.
The penalties for this crime vary, as per below.
It would be a class A misdemeanor if the defendant was younger than 22 at the time of the crime. The penalties for a conviction include:
- Up to one year in jail,
- A fine of up to $3,000, or
However, if the defendant was 22 or older, the crime is elevated to a class C felony and punishable by:
- Up to five years in prison,
- A fine of up to $10,000, or
Perhaps even worse than the possibility of jail time and a substantial fine are the other repercussions of a sexual assault conviction.
The stigma of any sexual assault accusation or conviction can impact your professional and social life.
However, it is not only the smeared reputation that you have to worry about. You must also think about the implications of the legal reporting requirements.
North Dakota Reporting Laws for Sexual Assault
Each state has a form of a sex offender registry, some more strict than others.
In North Dakota, the law requires that, in addition to the appropriate incarceration time and fine, individuals convicted of sexual assault and other sex crimes must register as sex offenders.
Sex offender registration, in many cases, lasts far beyond the criminal sentence.
In North Dakota, offenders are classified into one of three categories: low, moderate, or high-risk offenders.
The reporting period is as follows:
- A low-risk offender must register for a minimum of 15 years,
- A moderate-risk offender has to register for a minimum of 25 years, and
- A high-risk offender will have to register for life.
Generally, the more severe crime and prior sex crime convictions will dictate the sex offender registration level.
Sex offender registration will undoubtedly influence your familial, social, and professional life.
It can keep you from obtaining particular employment, such as any job opportunity that requires a security clearance and a clean record.
It will also negatively impact your ability to move about freely. You will be prohibited from being within a certain distance of children.
People may also generally want to steer away from you if they are aware of your status.
Contact Our Sexual Assault Lawyer in North Dakota
If you are accused of sexual assault in North Dakota, do not take a gamble with your life. Your freedom and reputation are on the line, even if it is merely an allegation.
At the Criminal Defense Attorney & Workers Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka, we have a track record of achieving highly successful results for our clients.
With a strong and dedicated focus on criminal defense, we understand what makes up a successful defense strategy.
Attorney John Arechigo has a passion for criminal defense in St. Paul, MN. John received his J.D., from Hamline University School of Law and also carries a Bachelor of Arts from, The University of Minnesota. John was named Attorney of the Year for 2019 by Minnesota Lawyer. Additionally, John was also named as a 2019 Rising Star and was selected to Minnesota Super Lawyers in 2021. He devotes nearly 100% of his practice to defending individuals charged with a crime.