Facing a charge for any kind of sex offense is a terrifying experience. If you’ve been arrested and charged with this kind of crime, you’re going to need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Law enforcement aggressively investigates and prosecutes crimes of this nature, and the penalties are severe. You must take action to ensure the best chance of the best possible outcome.
Talk to a Sand Law attorney for more information on how we can help. We’ll do everything we can to reduce your penalties either or possibly drop your case. You can contact us online or call 701-609-1510.
North Dakota Sex Offenses and Penalties
There are several different types of sex offenses, and the state of North Dakota punishes most of them severely. Some offenses carry penalties that can result in life in prison without the chance for parole. The following is a look at some of these different offenses and the penalties that can result from a conviction.
Gross Sexual Imposition
Gross sexual imposition occurs when someone threatens another to perform a sexual act. These are a few examples:
- The person threatens the victim with substantial injury or death if they don’t perform the act.
- The attacker impairs the victim through alcohol or drugs, making it impossible for the victim to control their behavior.
- The victim is younger than 15.
- The victim has a mental illness or other condition that makes it impossible to understand what’s happening to them.
Gross sexual imposition is a felony, either Class A or AA, depending on circumstances. The penalties are 20 years to life in prison without the chance for parole.
A person can face a charge of sexual assault if any of the following apply:
- The attacker either knew the victim didn’t want to engage in sexual activity or had reason to suspect this was the case.
- The attacker either knew or had reason to believe the victim had a mental issue that made it impossible for them to consent to the sexual act.
- The attacker gave the victim a controlled substance and then committed the act.
- The attacker was in a position of authority or control over the victim. For example, the victim was in jail or a patient in a hospital or nursing home.
- The victim was older than 15 but younger than 18, and the attacker was either their parent, guardian, or another adult.
Sexual assault is sometimes considered a Class A misdemeanor, but in most cases, it’s a Class C felony. The maximum penalties for a Class A misdemeanor are 360 days in jail and a fine of $3,000, and class C felonies carry a prison term of as much as five years and a $10,000 fine.
This crime involves showing a person’s genitals in public, masturbating in public, or sending unwanted images of their genitals through an email or text. Indecent exposure is a Class C or Class B felony. As stated above, Class C felonies can lead to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000, and class B penalties are up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
There are many examples of surreptitious intrusion, including the following:
- Installing a recording device in a home.
- Peeping into a bathroom, hotel room, or another area that people expect to be private.
- Installing a recording device in any of the areas mentioned above.
In most instances, someone convicted of surreptitious intrusion will face Class A misdemeanor penalties (360 days in jail, a fine of up to $3,000). But if they’ve previously been convicted of the same crime or are registered as a sex offender, they could face Class C felony punishments.
If someone blackmails another person into committing a sexual act, they could face a charge of sexual extortion. The state typically classifies this as a Class B felony, punishable by 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000.
In addition to the penalties mentioned above, sexual crime offenders may also have to register with the state of North Dakota. The public has access to this registry. Sometimes, offenders must register for life and inform law enforcement whenever they move. They also have to update their status every 30-90 days, and failure to do so could result in more penalties.
What to Do if You’re Arrested for a Sex Crime in Fargo
The first thing you need to do if you’re arrested is remain calm and remember your rights. Your Miranda rights include the right to remain silent and the right to be informed of the charges against you. You also have the right to legal representation. The court will provide you with a lawyer if you can’t afford one.
Defending Against Sex Charges
You also have the right to due process of law, which means you’re innocent until proven guilty. There are several defense strategies you could possibly pursue. Here are just a few your attorney will very likely consider.
- Innocence – This is the most effective strategy, of course. The jury must acquit you if they have any doubt whatsoever of your guilt.
- Consent – Consent is the most common defense. It involves the defendant showing that the victim agreed to the sexual act.
- Insanity – Attorneys will sometimes employ the insanity defense when a defendant can prove they were incapable of comprehending what they were doing due to a mental condition or some other type of defect.
Why Hire a Fargo ND Sex Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyer?
There are a lot of reasons you’ll need a criminal defense lawyer if you’re facing a sexual offense charge. The stakes are incredibly high, so you’ll want the best possible legal representation.
At Sand Law, we’ll investigate the allegations against you and do everything we can to help reduce the potential penalties. You’ll be able to count on us for a vigorous defense provided by a skilled, experienced attorney.
Schedule a free consultation by contacting us online or calling 701-609-1510.