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Theft and shoplifting are some of the most common criminal offenses around the country. North Dakota is no different.

Under the North Dakota statute, most theft offenses are generally classified according to the value of the stolen property or services.

However, in some instances, the circumstances will determine the charge. North Dakota theft law is thorough and harsh.

Whether you are accused of stealing groceries, defrauding creditors, or dealing in stolen property, the defense attorneys of Arechigo & Stokka are here for you. 

North Dakota Law on Theft

With a few exceptions, North Dakota theft law is relatively straightforward, although lengthy.

The legislature generally classifies theft offenses as misdemeanors or felonies according to the monetary value or type of property or services stolen.

Here is a glance at how theft offenses are classified. 

Misdemeanor Theft 

Misdemeanor theft can be a Class B or Class A misdemeanor.

Class B Misdemeanor Theft

If an individual steals goods or services valued at $500 or less with no aggravating factors (i.e., threat of force, use of a weapon, etc.), it is a class B misdemeanor. In North Dakota, a Class B misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of thirty days’ imprisonment, a fine of one thousand five hundred dollars, or both. This offense is punishable under North Dakota law.

Class A Misdemeanor Theft

If the value of stolen goods or services is between $501 and $1,000, it is considered a class A misdemeanor. A conviction is punishable by up to 360 days in jail and a $3,000 fine.

Felony Theft

If the value of the goods or services exceeds $1,000, the offense is a felony. 

Some exceptions will escalate an otherwise misdemeanor theft offense to a felony regardless of monetary value (i.e., firearms, cars, drugs).

Whether the theft is classified as a Class C, B, or A felony will typically depend on the value of the property taken.

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Class C Felony Theft

Theft constitutes a class C felony if the value of the goods or services stolen is between $1,001 to $10,000 or the property is any of the following:

  • Firearms, ammunition, or explosives;
  • Vehicles;
  • Banking instruments (e.g., credit or debit card);
  • Livestock; or
  • Prescription drugs.

A class C felony is punishable by up to five years in prison, up to a $10,000 fine, or both.

Class B Felony Theft

Under North Dakota law, theft becomes a Class B felony when:

  • The property or services is valued between $10,001 to $50,000, or
  • The property is taken through a threat to commit a felony.

A conviction is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or a combination of both. 

Class A Felony Theft

A class A felony theft conviction is the most severe under North Dakota Law. An individual may be guilty of class A felony theft if the stolen property or services exceeds $50,000.

This offense is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, up to a $20,000 fine, or both.

Laws for Shoplifting in North Dakota

You might be wondering how shoplifting fits into North Dakota theft laws. It is generally straightforward. Any shoplifting or retail theft will be penalized based on the value of the merchandise stolen. 

Notably, you may face criminal and civil penalties, including paying restitution.

North Dakota Theft Defense Attorneys

No matter the severity, you should seek legal counsel if you are facing a theft crime. North Dakota law on theft is voluminous.

Even a misdemeanor conviction will tarnish your reputation and make it challenging to obtain or maintain a job, social standing, bank loans, and more.

At the Criminal Defense Attorney & Workers Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka, we have over 20 years of combined experience defending individuals accused of a wide array of theft crimes.

Let us be your advocate! Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation!

Author Photo John T. Arechigo, Esq.

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.

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