Felony crimes are the most serious types of crimes possible in any state. While all states recognize both felonies and misdemeanors, many states also organize each type of crime into separate categories or classes.
North Dakota organizes felony crimes into four separate categories: class AA, Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class AA felonies are the most serious criminal offenses possible in the state, while Class C offenses are the least serious type of felony.
For information on misdemeanors, see North Dakota Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences.
Sentence Range for Each Level
Each class of felony in North Dakota has a maximum possible penalty associated with it. A court has the power to give a lesser sentences than the maximum allowed, so the actual sentences imposed in any case can differ significantly. Additionally, a person convicted of a felony faces fines, incarceration, or both.
- Class AA. Up to life imprisonment without parole.
- Class A. Up to 20 years' imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.
- Class B. Up to 10 years' imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.
- Class C. Up to five years' imprisonment and up to $5,000 in fines.
Examples of Crimes in Each Level
The following list of crimes represents a small portion of all the felony offenses in South Dakota, organized by class.
- Gross sexual imposition
- Continuous sexual abuse of a child
- Human trafficking of someone under the age of 18
- Kidnapping, unless the victim is released alive in a safe place prior to trial
- Human trafficking of someone 18 or older
- Robbery with a dangerous weapon
- Manslaughter of an unborn child
- Aggravated assault where the victim is under the age of 12 or suffers permanent impairment
- Kidnapping where the victim is released alive in a safe place prior to trial
- Intentional tampering with or damaging of a public service
- Negligent homicide
- Human cloning
Statute of Limitations
A criminal statute of limitations is a law that requires prosecutors to file criminal charges in any case within a specific amount of time after the crime takes place. If prosecutors don’t file charges before time runs out, they can no longer do so in that case.
The North Dakota statute of limitations imposes no limits for the crime of murder, but other felonies have either a three or seven-year limit, depending on the particular crime. For a more detailed explanation of these limits read North Dakota Criminal Statute of Limitations.
Find a Lawyer
Being charged with a felony offense in North Dakota is a very serious situation. If you’re convicted of a felony you face significant penalties that can permanently change the course of your life. You need to find a local criminal defense attorney if you are ever arrested for, charged with, or investigated for a crime. Talking to an attorney who has experience representing clients charged with felony cases in local courts is the best way to protec