Misdemeanor By Disposition In North Dakota

In North Dakota, a useful law over the years for defendants charged with felonies is the misdemeanor by disposition statute. N.D.C.C. § 12.1-32-02(9) states that “[a] person who is convicted of a felony and sentenced to  imprisonment for not more than three hundred sixty days is deemed to have been convicted of a misdemeanor.” This provision has been interpreted to include one’s entire imprisonment sentence, even stayed time. Hence, a sentence of 366 days, with all but one day suspended would not be covered under the statute. Whereas, a straight sentence of 359 days of imprisonment would be covered.  However, [...]

By | 2022-06-16T12:30:28+00:00 June 15th, 2022|Criminal Defense|

Why You Need to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal law is a set of rules that defines acts that are deemed illegal.  Criminal Procedure outlines how the government will prosecute you if you commit these acts. If you are charged with a crime, it is a very serious matter. Not only is your freedom at stake, but elements in your future may be negatively impacted, such as your employment, housing, and your personal relationships.  Without a law degree and extensive criminal law training, you lack the knowledge necessary to represent yourself.  Moreover, you are not objective! There is nothing riskier than taking on the legal field without legal [...]

By | 2022-06-16T19:48:05+00:00 March 30th, 2022|Criminal Defense|

Field Sobriety Tests: “No, thank you. North Dakota law does not require me to take these tests.”

Last year I wrote an important article on standardized field sobriety tests. In this article, I want to focus on improper testing procedures by law enforcement officers. As noted in the previous article, this is one of the main reasons you should not take the field sobriety tests. I want to focus on this particular issue because over the last year, I have observed numerous, troubling deviations from the approved scientific method. The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, the Walk and Turn test, and the One Leg Stand test are all scientific tests. However, they are only scientific tests if the [...]

By | 2022-06-16T19:32:32+00:00 September 22nd, 2020|DUI|

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests: Should I take them?!

This article is based on my 23 years of experience, having zealously defended hundreds of DUI cases, reviewing hundreds of DUI police reports, and watching hundreds of police videos.  It is not intended to be politically correct, nor a thorough article on the science of standardized field sobriety tests. Instead, it is a no-nonsense, practical guide. In the 1970s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration developed three scientific tests to help determine if a driver is impaired due to alcohol consumption. The standardized field sobriety test battery consists of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, the Walk and Turn test, and [...]

By | 2022-06-16T19:30:35+00:00 March 7th, 2019|DUI|

Murphy’s Law and Arrest Warrants

I have been practicing criminal defense for almost 22 years.  Based on my experience, I can definitely attest to the fact that Murphy's law definitely applies to arrest warrants.  People with active arrest warrants do not get arrested when it is convenient for them.  Typically, they get arrested at the worst and most inconvenient time for them.  Hence, that is why in my practice, I advise clients to take care of and clean up arrest warrants as soon as possible.  ​Additionally, if you know criminal charges are imminent, it is advisable that you retain an attorney to attempt to avoid [...]

By | 2022-06-16T19:23:18+00:00 April 23rd, 2018|Warrants|

What if Conor McGregor had done that at the Fargodome?

As both an attorney and MMA fan, I thought I would write an article about the recent legal troubles of UFC Superstar, Conor McGregor. For a fun, yet informative article, let's assume Conor did not commit the alleged acts in Brooklyn, New York. But instead, he committed the acts in Cass County, North Dakota, at the FargoDome. According to various news reports and various videos, Conor McGregor threw a dolly onto a parked bus, shattering a bus window, and injuring three people, including two fellow UFC fighters.  One fighter had multiple lacerations on his face and had to go to [...]

By | 2022-06-16T19:44:08+00:00 April 9th, 2018|Assaults|

The criminal appeals process in North Dakota simplified

In North Dakota, you have thirty days after the Judgment has been entered to appeal your conviction. For this article, I am going to assume the conviction was in a North Dakota state district court. 1 The first thing a criminal defendant must assess is whether he should appeal the conviction to the North Dakota Supreme Court.  There are a multitude of factors that must be considered: the merits of an appeal, the cost of an appeal if hiring a private attorney, the time it takes to obtain a decision, whether the conviction is a misdemeanor or felony, the length [...]

By | 2022-06-16T18:58:22+00:00 March 26th, 2018|Appeals|

Does your vehicle scream, “Stop me, officer?!”

Don't toss your Fourth Amendment rights out the window. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects Americans from "unreasonable seizures" from their government. This is a very important right that few countries have to protect their citizens from their government. Compare this to 1938 Nazi Germany, where law enforcement officers could stop any person on the street on a whim, and compel that person to produce his identification papers. In United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873 (1975), the United States Supreme Court held that law enforcement officers cannot randomly stop a moving motor vehicle on a subjective [...]

By | 2022-06-16T19:00:20+00:00 March 19th, 2018|DUI, Traffic Violation|