Fargo Violent Crime Defense Lawyers
Being arrested for any kind of crime – especially a violent crime – can be terrifying, and it can also be confusing. You might not know where to turn, and you don’t know what potential punishments you might face.
A Sand Law attorney is standing by to help. Our attorneys are experts in North Dakota criminal law, and we also work with prosecutors regularly. Since we’re very familiar with how these prosecutors think, we may be able to help reduce your penalties. There’s also the possibility we could convince the court to throw out your case.
While we can’t make any promises, we can guarantee we’ll do everything we can to protect your rights at every turn. Schedule a free evaluation of your case by using our online contact form or giving us a call at 701-609-1510.
Types of Violent Crimes
The following is a brief look at four types of violent crimes committed in North Dakota.
- Murder – This is defined as intentionally unlawfully causing another human’s death or causing another’s death through an extreme amount of indifference.
- Manslaughter – Manslaughter occurs when a person causes another’s death through recklessness.
- Kidnapping – Kidnapping is where a person abducts someone and then restrains them. The reason could be holding that person as a hostage or for ransom or placing them in servitude.
- Aggravated assault – If someone causes a severe injury on purpose, that’s aggravated assault.
- Domestic violence – This is causing an injury to a family member or other household member.
Penalties for Fargo Violent Crimes
The penalties for violent crimes are, of course, significant. These are the punishments for the crimes listed above.
- Murder – There are several potential punishments associated with a murder conviction. They range from 10-20 years in jail and a fine of as much as $20,000 or life in prison with no hope for parole.
- Manslaughter – The maximum penalties for manslaughter are a $10,000 fine and 10 years in prison.
- Kidnapping – Kidnapping is punishable by a fine of up to $20,000 and 20 years in prison. If the person convicted of the crime released the victim in a safe place with no harm, they might face 10 years in jail and a maximum $20,000 fine.
- Aggravated assault – A conviction for this crime carries a fine of up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine if the victim suffers permanent disfigurement or permanent organ damage.
- Domestic violence – The penalties for a domestic violence conviction depend on the severity of the victim’s injuries. The maximum punishments are a fine of as much as $20,000 and 10 years in prison.
Long-Term Consequences of a Violent Crime Conviction
Beyond the immediate legal penalties, a violent crime conviction in North Dakota can have lasting repercussions. Convicted individuals might face challenges securing employment, as many employers are hesitant to hire someone with a violent criminal record.
Housing opportunities can be limited, with many landlords conducting background checks. Personal relationships can also be strained, with societal stigma affecting familial and social connections. Understanding these broader consequences underscores the importance of a robust defense strategy.
Your Rights After Arrest
If you’ve been arrested for a violent crime, you still have certain rights protected under the law. These rights are designed to ensure that law enforcement treats individuals fairly and provides due process of law.
One of your most important rights is the right to an attorney. This means that you have the right to have a lawyer present during any questioning or interrogation, and you also have the right to have legal counsel represent them in court.
In addition to the right to an attorney, you have the right to remain silent. You don’t have to answer any questions asked by the police, and if you do, they can use anything you say against you in court.
Other necessary rights include the right to be informed of the charges against you, a speedy trial, a fair and impartial jury, and the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.
It’s important to note that while these rights exist to protect individuals, they’re not absolute. For example, if there is probable cause to believe that you committed a violent crime, the police may search your person and property without a warrant. However, evidence obtained through an unlawful search may be excluded from court.
What to Expect After You’re Arrested
Crimes are investigated and prosecuted in different ways. In general, however, you’ll typically go through an arraignment or an initial hearing. You’ll enter your plea – in most cases, not guilty – and then the court will tell you about your rights. The court will then decide whether or not to grant bail. A judge could release you on your recognizance or order that you stay in jail.
While being arrested is frightening, try to remain as calm as possible. Yes, you’re facing a severe charge. But that doesn’t automatically mean a conviction.
Again, your rights include the right to remain silent. Only say something with a lawyer representing you. Also, don’t agree to take a lie detector test unless your attorney is present.
Stages of a Criminal Trial in North Dakota
Once charged with a violent crime, the accused will undergo several stages in the criminal justice process. After the initial arrest and arraignment, there may be pre-trial motions and hearings. If no plea agreement is reached, the case proceeds to trial.
The prosecution presents its evidence first, followed by the defense. Both sides can cross-examine witnesses. After closing arguments, the jury deliberates and returns a verdict. If found guilty, a separate sentencing phase determines the appropriate punishment.
How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help You?
A criminal defense attorney can help individuals accused of a crime in several ways. Here are a few ways a criminal defense attorney can be of assistance:
- Protecting your rights: One of the primary functions of a criminal defense attorney is to ensure your constitutional rights are protected. This includes ensuring you’re not subjected to illegal searches or seizures and that your right to remain silent and to an attorney is respected.
- Building a solid defense: A criminal defense attorney can use their legal knowledge and experience to build a strong defense. Building your case may involve collecting evidence, talking to witnesses, and presenting a compelling case in court.
- Negotiating plea bargains: In some cases, it may be in your best interest to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution. A criminal defense attorney will give you a complete understanding of your options and work to secure a favorable plea deal.
- Providing emotional support: Being accused of a crime can be an incredibly stressful and emotional experience. A criminal defense attorney can provide emotional support and guidance throughout the legal process.
By working with a skilled and experienced attorney, you can increase their chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in their case.
Common Defenses in Violent Crime Cases
In North Dakota, several defenses can be raised in violent crime cases. Self-defense is a common strategy, where the accused argues they acted to protect themselves or others from imminent harm. An alibi defense can be used to prove the accused was elsewhere when the crime occurred.
Mistaken identity, where the accused argues they were wrongfully identified as the perpetrator, can also be a viable defense. It’s essential to work closely with an attorney to determine the most appropriate defense strategy based on the evidence and circumstances.