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Fremstad Law Defends People Facing North Dakota Sexual Assault Charges

Stressed Man Wrongly Accused of Sexual Assault in North Dakota

Being charged with North Dakota sexual assault can be devastating. People facing sexual assault charges are understandably concerned about the criminal penalties they could be facing. But allegations of sexual assault are unique in that the mere allegation of a sexual assault crime carries a stigma that can be difficult to overcome.

If you or someone you care about is facing North Dakota sexual assault charges, it’s important that you hire an experienced North Dakota sexual assault lawyer as quickly as possible. By getting out ahead of these charges, you can minimize the damage to your reputation. You also may be able to craft a strong defense that might allow you to avoid charges entirely, negotiate a reduced charge or favorable outcome,  or even have the case dismissed.

North Dakota Sexual Assault Crimes and Penalties

North Dakota has defined a number of different crimes that fall under the sexual assault umbrella. The most severe of these sexual assault crimes include:

  • Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child - three or more sex acts with a child under the age of 15 over the course of three or more months.  When the offender is over the age of 22 Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child is a Class AA felony punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. When the offender is not over the age of 22, Continuous Sexaul Abuse of a Child is a Class A felony punishable up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000, or both.

 

  • Gross Sexual Imposition (GSI) - GSI can be charged in a number of ways.  The State may charge Gross Sexual Imposition when the actor compels the person by force or threat of force.  A person can be charged with Gross Sexual Imposition when the person administers intoxicants like alcohol or drugs to a victim without that person’s knowledge to prevent that person from resisting.  A Gross Sexual Imposition can also be charged when the victim is unaware of a sex act being performed upon them, the victim is a minor under the age of 15 years of age, or the victim suffers from some mental disease or defect that renders the victim unable to consent.  Depending upon the facts of the case, Gross Sexual Imposition is either a class AA or class A felony, punishable up to life in prison without parole, or 20 years maximum. Gross Sexual Imposition also carries with it certain mandatory minimum penalties. 
  • Sexual Imposition - forcing someone to engage in a sexual act through threat or coercion. Punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of up to $20,000,
  • Sexual Assault - knowingly having sexual contact with a victim who is unable to consent or is a minor. Depending on the age of the victim, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of up to $10,000.

 

Defenses to North Dakota Sexual Assault Charges

While the penalties for a North Dakota sexual assault conviction are severe, there is hope. With the assistance of a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer, you may be able to have the charges reduced or even have the case dismissed.

Depending on the circumstances of your situation, a North Dakota criminal defense lawyer may able to raise some or all of the following defenses.  

Innocence

Innocence is always a defense, and that is certainly the case if you are facing charges for North Dakota sexual assault crimes. For example, someone accused of a sexual crime may claim that they could not have committed the crime in question because they were in a different location when the crime was committed, or that they were improperly identified as the perpetrator. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will know when and how to raise these defenses in an effort to have your case dismissed.  

As with any criminal charge, the prosecution bears the burden of proving the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the highest burden of proof in the American legal system. Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, your sexual assault defense lawyer will work with you to craft a defense that raises a reasonable doubt as to whether you actually committed the crime in question.

Consent

In some sexual assault cases, consent may be a defense. In sexual assault cases that do not involve minors or when there are no allegations that the the victim was drugged, consent can be a defense to a charge of sexual assault. In most sexual assault cases there are no witnesses, and alcohol or drug consumption may have been a factor. In cases like this, when the victim has lowered inhibitions and may have had second thoughts about consensual sex, consent can be a powerful defense.

In cases where a minor is involved or where there are allegations that the victim was unable to give consent, consent cannot be raised as a defense. In cases such as this, a sexual assault defense attorney will often challenge the manner in which evidence was collected.

Constitutional Defenses

As with any crime, someone accused of a sexual assault crime has many constitutional defenses available, which include that the evidence was illegally obtained in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights, or that evidence was taken after you had expressly requested an attorney. An experienced criminal defense lawyer knows how to raise these defenses to negotiate a plea deal or even have your case dismissed.

Do Not Talk to Reporters About North Dakota Sexual Assault Charges

North Dakota sexual assault charges are often highly publicized. If you or someone you care about is facing charges of sexual assault, do not talk to reporters, or anyone else, for that matter. Anything you say could be taken out of context and later used against you. It is better to let your lawyer decide what, if anything, to say to the press about the case.  

Fremstad Law Defends People Facing North Dakota Sexual Assault Charges

If you or someone you care about is facing North Dakota sexual assault charges, it is critical that you hire an experienced North Dakota sexual assault defense lawyer as soon as possible.

North Dakota criminal defense lawyer Nick Thornton has defended thousands of criminal defendants.  Since joining Fremstad Law, Nick continues to defend people accused of crimes and passionately seeks justice for his clients.  

Contact a North Dakota criminal defense lawyer at Fremstad Law today by calling (701) 478-7620.

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