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What are the penalties for a first North Dakota assault charge?

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2024 | Criminal Defense

The law prohibits certain types of conduct that could result in negative consequences for others. For example, it is illegal to wrongfully take possession of another person’s property, and it is also against the law to engage in conduct that could cause injury to another person.

Even those who have never had issues with the law before could end up facing significant criminal consequences after an altercation with another person or an incident that results in an accidental injury. State prosecutors might pursue assault charges against someone accused of causing injury to another person.

Potential penalties depend on the charges

There are actually multiple different forms of assault possible under state law, and the penalties the courts may hand down depend on the type of charges that prosecutors bring against someone. The degree of injury to the other party, the employment of the other party and whether the situation involved intentional harm or negligence while using some kind of weapon can all influence the charges and therefore the penalties someone faces.

A charge of simple assault is often a Class B misdemeanor. Someone accused of intentionally hurting another person or injuring someone negligently using a weapon could serve up to 30 days in jail and $1,500 in fines. If the injured party is a protected state worker, the offense might be a Class C felony. The penalties could include up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

If the charge is assault, the allegation likely involves willfully or negligently causing substantial bodily harm. Such charges are also often Class C felony charges. If the offense involves a family or household member, the state could bring special domestic violence charges. Sometimes, when that situation involves serious bodily injury, the state can pursue aggravated assault charges, which would be Class C or Class B felony charges. The penalties for a guilty plea or conviction could include up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.

There are numerous ways to defend against assault charges depending on the circumstances that led to someone’s arrest. As such, learning more about the basics of the law may benefit those hoping to defend against pending assault charges.