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Make sure you understand North Dakota’s complicated assault laws

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Each state has laws governing how it deals with crime. Assault, for example, can occur in more than one way in North Dakota. The possible penalties of an assault conviction also vary, depending upon the nature of the alleged crime.

If you are facing a possible assault conviction, a good way to start defending yourself is to make sure you understand the precise assault offense filed against you.

Simple assault

Such a crime sounds relatively minor. However, it can still impact your life in negative ways. Simple assault occurs when:

  • You harm another person willfully
  • You negligently harm another with a weapon or object

If the alleged victim is a law enforcement or correctional officer, your simple assault will become a class C felony. Unfortunately, this usually increases the possible consequences if convicted.


Regular assault is typically a Class A misdemeanor offense. The crime occurs when:

  • You substantially harm a person willfully
  • You negligently and substantially harm another with a weapon or object

While similar to simple assault, the presence of substantial harm makes it more serious than simple assault.

Aggravated assault

A charge of aggravated assault is much more severe than other forms of this crime. Aggravated assault occurs when:

  • You seriously harm a person willfully
  • You knowingly cause injury or substantial injury to another with a weapon
  • You cause an injury or a substantial injury to someone while attempting to harm another
  • You use a destructive weapon against another

If the alleged victim is a child or a member of law enforcement, your Class C felony will automatically turn into a Class B felony. You may also face a Class B felony if your actions result in permanent impairment to the alleged victim’s body or organs.

Now that you understand some of the assault charges in North Dakota, you are ready to mount a defense. The more you understand about the charges you may face, the easier it is to participate in your own defense strategy.