Different Levels of Misdemeanors in North Dakota: What do They Mean?

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Generally speaking, a misdemeanor is a crime that has a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail or prison. In the United States, each state is able to classify different levels of misdemeanor crimes.

While most states have 4-5 levels, North Dakota only has three: Class A (most serious), Class B, and an Infraction (least serious). So what are the differences? If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor, here are a few things you should know about your class of crime.

Class A Misdemeanor

Maximum Penalty: 365 days of imprisonment, a $3,000 fine, or both.

Some crimes that would qualify as a Class A Misdemeanor in North Dakota are:

  • Failure to report or control a dangerous fire
  • Possession of marijuana paraphernalia
  • Ingesting a controlled substance

Class B Misdemeanor

Maximum Penalty: 30 days of imprisonment, a $1,500 fine, or both.

Some crimes that would qualify as a Class B Misdemeanor in North Dakota are:

  • Disorderly conduct
  • False representation of marital status
  • Prostitution
  • Theft of cable TV services


Maximum Penalty: Fine of $1,000. However, if a person who is convicted of an infraction had previously been convicted of an infraction in the previous year, they may be sentenced as if they are being convicted of a class B misdemeanor.

An example of a crime that would qualify as an Infraction in North Dakota is:

  • Selling of tobacco to minors

For certain crimes, such as theft, the level of the misdemeanor will be dependent on the cost of damage. For example, it will be a Class A Misdemeanor if the damage that occurred was done recklessly and is valued at over $1,000 or if it is done intentionally and valued between $100 and $2,000. A class B Misdemeanor applies when the stolen item or service does not exceed $250.

There are many factors taken into consideration when being charged with a misdemeanor crime. You could be facing some serious consequences as a result, including loss of a job or receiving a criminal record, but you can trust Tatum O’Brien of O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys to help guide you through the process. Contact O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys today to discuss your charges, or call 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002.