Criminal charges in North Dakota are divided into two categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Felony charges are more serious than misdemeanors, but are all felony allegations serious matters? Is it important to have a criminal defense attorney, even if your felony charges seem relatively minor? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding YES.
Felony charges are further divided into classes as follows:
- Class C
- Class B
- Class A
- Class AA
Class C felonies are the most minor, however, these cases should still be taken extremely seriously. This is because even the most minor felony charges have the potential for highly serious penalties if you are convicted.
Possible Felony Penalties in North Dakota
North Dakota law sets out maximum penalties for felony charges, which include:
- Class C felony – Five years in prison and $10,000 in fines
- Class B felony – 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines
- Class A felony – 20 years in prison and $20,000 in fines
- Class AA felony – Life in prison
Clearly, you should know that Class AA felony offenses like murder are dire matters. However, even Class C felony charges can result in a lengthy prison sentence. Some examples of Class C crimes include perjury or aggravated assault. These might not seem like serious matters, though the penalties can still be harsh.
In addition, North Dakota has a habitual offender law that imposes even harsher penalties for those with two or more prior felony offenses. It is important to avoid even one felony conviction, as it can lead to extended sentences in the event you are accused of another felony down the line.
Long-Term Felony Consequences
Felonies can have lasting consequences aside from court-ordered fines and prison time. These can include:
- Getting fired from a job
- Not getting hired for a new job
- Being disqualified for financial aid and public benefits
- Being denied for rental housing
- Losing your professional license
- Not being accepted into educational institutions (or being suspended or expelled from current programs)
Having a felony conviction on your record can close many doors for you well into the future. Other parties will take felonies very seriously, and so should you.
Speak with a Fargo Criminal Defense Lawyer Right Away
If you are accused of a crime in the Fargo area, you want the right defense representation to minimize the consequences you face. At O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys in Fargo we handle defend serious felony charges and will fight to protect your rights. Contact our experienced criminal defense attorney, Tatum O’Brien, by email, or call O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys at 701-235-8000 or toll-free 877-235-8002.