Allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence are emotionally charged, and can have devastating consequences for everyone involved.
Domestic violence and sexual assault charges may be the result of a misunderstanding. It may be a minor domestic situation that got out of hand and was overheard by a neighbor who then called the police. However, when police are called on suspicion of domestic violence or sexual assault, there is a good chance that someone is going to jail.
If you are facing domestic violence or sexual assault charges, Fremstad Law is here to help move you forward.
Domestic violence laws typically apply to classes of protected people who are living with someone who law enforcement believes to be an aggressor. This can include a spouse, significant other, family member or child of the victim, or other people who are involved in an intimate relationship.
But the definition of domestic violence does not stop at people who live in the same house. Domestic violence laws extend to parents, siblings, roommates, former spouses and domestic partners as well as people who used to be in a romantic relationship.
North Dakota’s domestic violence statute covers bodily injury caused to someone who lives in the same household or is a family member. This includes a spouse, or former spouse, people related by marriage, people who live together or have lived together in the past, and people who have a child together.
Allegations of domestic violence may be accompanied by allegations of sexual assault. North Dakota has separate statutes prohibiting sexual assault and domestic violence. Because domestic violence and sexual assault are two separate crimes, people who are accused of one may find themselves facing charges of both. This means that you could be facing multiple charges, some for domestic violence and some for sexual assault, all arising out of the same incident.
Sexual assault is the crime of having sexual contact with someone when the sexual contact is offensive to that person, or sexual contact with someone whose knowledge has been substantially impaired through the administration of controlled substances.
Because sexual assault and domestic violence are separate crimes but can arise out of the same conduct, is not uncommon for people who have been accused of sexual assault to also find themselves facing allegations of domestic violence.
If you have been accused to sexual assault, domestic violence, or both, contact a criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. The stakes are high, and an experienced lawyer can help.
North Dakota sexual assault and domestic violence laws are complicated, and you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side who knows how to fight for your rights and defend you against these allegations. A single charge of domestic violence can carry penalties as high as 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000, while sexual assault, depending upon the degree and type of sexual assault, may carry penalties as high as life imprisonment with a 20 year minimum mandatory penalty. At Fremstad Law, our experienced criminal defense lawyers represent people who have been accused of sexual assault and domestic violence in North Dakota and Minnesota. We are prepared to aggressively defend our clients against the most serious allegations, and will fight hard to protect your rights.
If you have been charged with sexual assault or domestic violence, say as little to the police as possible. Remember, “Anything you say can and will be used against you.” In a case of domestic violence or sexual assault, truer words cannot be spoken.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, you have a Constitutional right to remain silent. This law applies to innocent people as well as those who may be guilty. Unfortunately, too many people believe that people who remain silent must have something to hide. Even if this were the case, at trial, the prosecutor cannot point to your silence, even to imply that you remained silent because you were hiding something.
It is too easy for people - even lawyers who are facing criminal charges - to inadvertently say something that can lead to a criminal charge. And in cases involving two people who are or were in an intimate relationship, there are often no witnesses to the events. This means that a case of domestic violence or sexual assault often comes down to a case of “he-said-she-said” - and the less you say, the better, especially in cases where drugs or alcohol may have been a factor and where witness credibility is crucial.
If you are facing charges of domestic violence, sexual assault, or both, the experienced criminal defense lawyers at Fremstad Law are here to help.
Nick Thornton and James Teigland have years of experience representing people accused of crimes, and will put their experience to work defending you against criminal charges. Learn more about our criminal defense services, and contact us today by calling (701) 636-2326.
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