North Dakota Criminal Lawyer

Call (888) 519-6013 to speak with a criminal defense attorney.

If you have been accused of a crime, the prospect of losing your freedom can be a scary thought. But incarceration is only one of the many options that the government has to punish lawbreakers. There can be also be substantial fines, rehabilitation programs, community service, probation or parole if you are convicted. That's one reason you need a criminal attorney to represent you in all stages of the criminal trial, from questioning and arraignment all the way through to a trial, if your case goes to trial, and appeal, if you are convicted.

A crime can be defined as an act or behavior that has been defined by the state as deserving of punishment. Another definition of crime is as an act, or the omission of an act, which is in violation of a rule, requirement or law prohibiting or commanding it. Though there are some common law crimes, most crimes in the United States are established by local, state, and federal governments. Criminal laws vary significantly from state to state.

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in the state of North Dakota, your first call should be to a criminal attorney. Even if you have been charged with a crime, you have rights that must be protected. From the moment you are arrested, you enter a system where you are innocent until proven guilty, though it may not feel that way.

There are two classifications of crimes: misdemeanors and felonies. Felonies are the more serious of the two, and include such crimes as arson, aggravated assault, murder, rape and grand theft. Felonies can also be defined as crime requiring incarceration in a state or federal prison, for a period of over one year. Misdemeanors are lesser crimes such as vandalism, simple assault, DUI, drug possession, and prostitution. Misdemeanors are also crimes that are punishable by incarceration in a local or county jail, for less than one year. Each of these kinds of crimes can also vary in degree depending on the severity and circumstances of the crime. For example, murder in the first degree indicates planning or forethought, so it carries a harsher punishment than 2nd degree murder, which indicates a crime of passion or heat of the moment and which lacks intent. These degrees are applied not only to murder, but to many other felonies as well.

Even if you are guilty of a crime, the degree of the felony with which you are charged may not match the circumstances. Your attorney can help prove that. It is not the job of a criminal lawyer to prove you are not guilty of a crime, per se. The burden of proving your guilt is on the prosecutor, who is employed by the government. The jury will be instructed by the judge that they must find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Your criminal defense attorney will try to introduce enough doubt into the case that the jury is unable to find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

There is also a chance that your lawyer can come to an agreement with the prosecutor for a reduced sentence in exchange for your guilty plea. A plea deal can be in your best interest, depending on the crime, the political leanings of the prosecutor's office, and the legal climate in your area. For example, your attorney may be able to negotiate your felony down to a misdemeanor if you meet certain conditions, such as drug and alcohol counseling or anger management classes.

Should your case go to trial, your attorney will compile the best defense possible, and argue your defense skillfully in front of the jury. At every step of the way, from arraignment to sentencing, a professional criminal attorney will be there fighting for your rights and your liberty. If you've been accused of a crime, contact a criminal attorney today.