Minnesota and North Dakota Sex Crime Defense
Our Fargo Criminal Defense Attorneys: Moving You Forward Past Difficult Times
Sex crimes are some of the most serious, emotionally charged crimes a person can be charged with committing. Our Fargo criminal defense attorneys understand how being charged with a sex crime can change your life — and we know how to successfully defend against these charges.
A conviction for a sex crime can have life-changing consequences, including lifelong registry as a sex offender, the stigma of being labeled as a convicted sex offender, and other serious penalties including significant fines and jail time.
Registration as a sex offender can prevent a person from living in certain areas, working certain jobs, or traveling where children regularly congregate.
At Fremstad Law, our sex crimes defense lawyers understand the sensitive nature of these types of allegations and the severity of punishments and collateral consequences if you are convicted. We move you forward past these difficult times by providing an aggressive defense, challenging the evidence against you, and working hard to have the charges reduced or the case against you dismissed.
Types of Sex Crimes and Penalties in North Dakota
The most common North Dakota sex crime charges include Gross Sexual Imposition, Sexual Imposition, Sexual Assault, Corruption of a Minor, and Solicitation of a Minor.
Most sex crimes are felonies, with punishments as severe as life without parole for the most serious offenses.
Aggravated charges can lead to even harsher penalties, including longer jail time and higher fines.
Gross Sexual Imposition
Gross sexual imposition (GSI) (NDCC 12.1-20-03) involves:
- the use of force or the threat of imminent death to cause a person to engage in sexual acts
- engaging in sexual acts with someone whose knowledge is substantially impaired by the administration of controlled substances or who is unaware that a sexual act is being committed
- a person less than fifteen years of age
- or a person who suffers from a mental disease that makes the person incapable of understanding the nature of the sexual act
GSI is a class AA felony, punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Sexual imposition (NDCC 12.1-20-04) is the crime of engaging in a sexual act with another or causing another to engage in a sexual act through the use of threats or coercion.
Sexual imposition is a class B felony that carries with it a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
Sexual assault (NDCC 12.1-20.07) involves knowingly having sexual contact with another person when the sexual contact is offensive to that person, sexual contact with someone who is unable to understand the nature of the sexual conduct or whose knowledge has been substantially impaired through the use administration of controlled substances, sexual contact by someone in a position of authority, or with a person who is a minor, fifteen years of age or older, and the actor is an adult.
Sexual assault is a class C felony that carries penalties including up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
Corruption or Solicitation of a Minor
Corruption or solicitation of a minor (NDCC 12.1-20-05) is the crime of engaging in or soliciting a minor with the intent to engage in a sexual act.
If the minor is age fifteen or older, the crime is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 360 days in jail and a fine of up to $3,000.
If the minor is under age fifteen, or the adult is age 22 or older and the minor is age fifteen or older, the crime is a class C felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Defenses to Sex Crimes
At Fremstad Law, our experienced sex crime defense lawyers represent people accused of sex crimes in state and federal courts in North Dakota and Minnesota. We are prepared to defend our clients against any type of sex crime allegations.
Defenses to sex crimes may include:
- False accusations
- False witness statements
- Misleading witness interviews
- Mistaken identity
- Faulty forensic testing methods or conclusions
- Witness, police, or prosecution bias
A common defense to a sex crime when adults are involved is the question of consent. In many allegations of sex crime there are no witnesses to the events, and drugs or alcohol may have been a factor. When the victim has lowered inhibitions and may have had second thoughts about consensual sex, consent can be a powerful defense.
Sex crime allegations often come down to whose version of events is more believable. In many cases, it is possible to negotiate a lighter sentence, or even have the case dismissed.
When children under the age of fifteen are involved, consent is not a defense. If the criminality of the sexual act involves the victim being a minor, a reasonable belief that the victim was an adult can be a defense. When the criminal act involves the victim being fifteen years or older, the actor can only be found guilty if the actor is at least three years older than the victim.
The Prosecution Must Prove All Elements, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
Regardless of the charge against you, the prosecutor must prove all elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Our sex crime defense lawyers will thoroughly investigate the allegations, and challenge the evidence and how it was obtained. In many cases, our lawyers have successfully had evidence excluded, which makes it harder for the prosecution to secure a conviction. This, in turn, can be used to negotiate a more favorable plea bargain, or to have the case against you dismissed.
Fremstad Law's Fargo Criminal Defense Lawyers — Moving You Forward
If you or someone you care about was charged with a North Dakota sex crime, contact the experienced sex crime defense lawyers at Fremstad Law today.
We will vigorously defend you against sex crime allegations by challenging the evidence, helping you to negotiate a plea arrangement, or even having the case against you thrown out.
With offices in Fargo and Valley City, we defend people throughout North Dakota and Minnesota.