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North Dakota Criminal Records

North Dakota Criminal Records comprise a comprehensive collection of information regarding criminal offenses committed within the state's jurisdiction. These records are carefully maintained and regularly updated by law enforcement agencies, correctional facilities, courts, parole boards, and other relevant authorities responsible for handling criminal matters.

What constitutes a criminal record can vary slightly from county to county. However, a typical criminal record in North Dakota includes the following details:

  • Subject's details such as full name, date of birth, race, and gender
  • Any known aliases
  • Mugshots
  • Fingerprints
  • Current and previous addresses
  • Physical description
  • Type of offense
  • Date and location of the crime
  • Convictions
  • Sentences
  • Probation or parole information

In North Dakota, the state's Sunshine Laws generally make criminal records accessible to the public. These laws uphold the principle of transparency and recognize the public's right to access information that is of significant public interest.

By allowing individuals to review and obtain criminal records, North Dakota ensures accountability, facilitates background checks, and empowers citizens to make informed decisions in various personal and professional contexts. However, certain circumstances or legislations may allow for the limited withholding of specific records.

What Are the Types of Crimes in North Dakota?

When obtaining North Dakota Criminal Records, individuals must understand the different types of crimes documented in the state. By gaining this understanding, people can receive valuable insights into the criminal landscape and make well-informed choices regarding safety, employment, and personal relationships.

In North Dakota, some of the most prevalent types of crimes found in criminal records include the following:


North Dakota recognizes felonies as the most severe category of criminal convictions. These offenses entail punishments typically involving imprisonment for more than a year in state prison, with certain extreme cases even warranting the death penalty.

Like other states, North Dakota has a well-established legal system defining various offenses and stipulating their corresponding penalties. Felony crimes in the state are categorized into four classes, which differentiate their severity levels.

The following are the classes of felonies in North Dakota, along with their penalties:

Class AA Felonies

Class AA felonies represent the highest severity among felony offenses in North Dakota. They are considered the most serious and carry exceptionally harsh penalties. Depending on the specific offense, Class AA felonies can result in a minimum life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or even the death penalty.

Some examples of crimes under this category include human trafficking of minors, murder, and child sexual abuse.

Class A Felonies

In North Dakota, offenses falling under this classification of felony are still significantly severe and entail substantial penalties. Some examples of crimes in this category include kidnapping, armed robbery, treason, and kidnapping.

Convictions for Class A felonies in North Dakota may result in imprisonment of twenty years in state prison, accompanied by up to a $10,000 fine.

Class B Felonies

Class B felonies constitute the next severity level among felony offenses in North Dakota. While not as grave as Class AA or Class A felonies, these offenses are still deemed significant and carry substantial penalties.

In North Dakota, crimes such as aggravated assault of a child under 12, manslaughter, and sexual imposition are Class B felonies. Offenders convicted of these crimes can face ten years imprisonment in state prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Class C Felonies

Class C felonies represent the lowest felony offenses in North Dakota. Although less severe than the other classes, they are still considered serious and are subject to notable penalties.

Perjury, human cloning, and negligent homicide are some examples of crime that falls under this category. In North Dakota, anyone convicted of these crimes may face a punishment of five years in prison and pay up to a $5,000 fine.


Misdemeanors in North Dakota refer to less severe crimes, typically involving minor offenses or infractions that do not cause significant harm. These offenses usually carry lighter punishments than felonies, which can lead to a maximum of one year in jail.

North Dakota classifies misdemeanors into two categories: Class A and Class B.

Class A Misdemeanors

Class A misdemeanors in North Dakota involve criminal acts that moderately threaten public order and safety. Some examples of Class A misdemeanors are second-offense domestic violence that caused substantial bodily harm and embezzlement.

In North Dakota, the maximum penalty for those convicted of Class A misdemeanors is a fine not exceeding $3,000 and up to one year in jail.

Class B Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors under this category are the most minor offenses in North Dakota, but still, they violate the law and have consequences for individuals and society. Some examples of crimes under this category include:

  • Disorderly conduct
  • Criminal trespassing
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • First-time reckless driving offenses

Anyone convicted of these crimes in North Dakota receives a sentence of one month in jail and must pay a $1,500 fine.

How Does Probation Work in North Dakota?

Probation is significant in North Dakota's criminal justice system as it offers an alternative to confinement for convicted individuals. It is a form of community supervision that allows offenders to serve their sentences outside of jail while remaining under control.

In North Dakota, probation falls under the purview of the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (NDDOCR). This agency supervises probationers by enforcing court-ordered conditions and offering assistance.

There are two types of probation in this state: supervised and unsupervised.

Supervised probation is the more common form and involves close monitoring by probation officers employed by the NDDOCR. These officers play a crucial role in ensuring compliance with court-ordered conditions. They regularly interact with probationers, conduct home visits, and maintain frequent contact to evaluate progress and offer guidance.

During supervised probation, the court sets specific conditions that probationers must meet throughout their probationary period. These conditions can vary but often include requirements such as attending counseling or therapy sessions, maintaining employment or seeking education, abstaining from drug and alcohol use, and refraining from further criminal activity.

On the other hand, unsupervised probation is less common and typically granted to individuals convicted of low-level misdemeanors.

Unlike supervised probation, unsupervised probation does not involve direct supervision by probation officers. Instead, individuals must adhere to the court-ordered conditions independently. It often includes meeting with a monitoring agency, engaging in community service, and fulfilling financial responsibilities such as paying court fees.

Regardless of the type of probation, both supervised and unsupervised probationers are held accountable for meeting the requirements set by the court. Not adhering to probation terms may lead to repercussions for probationers, such as getting probation revoked and facing possible jail time.

How To End Probation Early in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, individuals can request early conclusions from probation by submitting a petition directly to the court. However, cases involving serious felony convictions or a history of violence are not eligible for early termination.

Interested individuals should seek legal counsel for guidance regarding completing or filing the petition, as the NDDOCR does not offer legal information. Professional assistance can ensure a smoother process and provide support tailored to their circumstances.

How Does Parole Work in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, parole provides a legal way for certain prisoners to finish their sentence in the community, supervised by parole officers, rather than confined in prison. It allows eligible offenders to show their rehabilitation and successful reintegration into society rather than staying incarcerated.

The parole process in North Dakota begins with evaluating an inmate's eligibility by the North Dakota Parole Board (NDPB). Operating under the NDDOCR's jurisdiction, this board makes decisions regarding parole release.

Once an inmate becomes eligible for parole, the NDPB schedules a hearing. During the hearing, the board assesses various factors, such as the nature of the offense, the inmate's behavior during their time in prison, participation in rehabilitation programs, and any input provided by the victims or their families. 

After carefully considering these factors, the board members decide to grant or deny parole.

In the case of denial, the Order Denying Parole must list and record at least one reason for the decision. On the other hand, if parole is granted, individuals must abide by specific conditions to ensure public safety and facilitate their reintegration into society.

These conditions vary depending on the offense's nature and the parolee's needs. However, standard requirements include:

  • Regular reporting to the parole officer
  • Maintaining employment
  • Participating in counseling or treatment programs
  • Refraining from criminal activities

In North Dakota, the duration of parole varies based on individual cases. But the NDPB establishes parole expiration dates extending beyond the court-ordered sentence's maximum date.

For felony crimes, the parole period typically does not exceed five years, while for misdemeanor offenses, it is usually limited to three years. Nevertheless, the board can modify or revoke parole based on the parolee's behavior or failure to comply with the imposed conditions.

How Does Expungement Work in North Dakota?

Expungement operates within specific guidelines in North Dakota, allowing individuals to remove their criminal records from public view. It presents a legal process to help individuals overcome the negative consequences of having a criminal record.

In North Dakota, when an individual's record undergoes expungement, it will be destroyed as if it never existed. It holds immense value for individuals seeking employment, housing, or other opportunities that the presence of a criminal record might hinder.

However, expunging a criminal record in North Dakota is only feasible in limited circumstances. Specifically, individuals eligible for expungement include those with a deferred imposition of sentence, individuals whose crimes resulted directly from being a victim, and individuals charged with minor offenses such as possessing less than one ounce of marijuana.

If an individual determines that they meet the requirements, they can petition the court to expunge their North Dakota Criminal Records by submitting a written motion. This motion must articulate the justifications for expungement and specify the desired relief or order.

Upon receiving the written motion, the court will schedule a hearing to determine whether the record should be removed. If the judge rules in favor of expungement, the court will proceed to expunge the individual's criminal history.

Individuals are encouraged to consult this research guide to learn more about expungement and its process in North Dakota.

Sealing of Criminal Records in North Dakota

Apart from expungement, North Dakota allows sealing criminal records under specific circumstances.

According to section 12-60.1 of the North Dakota Century Code (NDCC), individuals convicted of a misdemeanor can ask the court to seal their criminal records if at least three years have elapsed since their conviction.

In the case of individuals with felony convictions, they can request the court to seal their records after five years. However, certain offenses, such as violent crimes, are not eligible for sealing in North Dakota.

Once the court grants the petition, it will seal the records, allowing individuals to state that they have no convictions. Still, the court may disclose sealed criminal records to entities legally obligated to conduct background checks.

How To Obtain a Criminal Record in North Dakota

In North Dakota, individuals and organizations can access North Dakota Criminal Records through two authorized entities: the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NDBCI) and the North Dakota Court System (NDCS).

North Dakota Criminal History Record Checks

The NDBCI acts as the state's central repository for criminal history information. It enables the public, professional licensing boards, and state agencies to acquire criminal records by conducting searches based on fingerprints or names.

To initiate a search, interested parties must complete a Request for Criminal History Record Information form. This form requires submitting essential details about the subject, including their full name, any known aliases, birth date, social security number, current address, or a signed authorization form.

Once completed, requesters must mail it to the NDBCI with the necessary documentation and payment. Fortunately, eligible non-profit charitable organizations can reduce the required fee by applying a fee reduction form.

Note that a name-based search will not yield results if the individual was arrested under a different name than the one provided in the request form. A fingerprint-based search is recommended in such cases since it can identify criminal records even if the suspect used an unknown identity.

For fingerprint-based searches, individuals must submit their fingerprints, which can be obtained by contacting the local police department.

North Dakota Courts Records Inquiry

Another avenue to access criminal records in North Dakota is through the Courts Records Inquiry page of the NDCS. Interested individuals can utilize this page to conduct free public searches for criminal records.

To use this system, one must select the location and choose the "Criminal/Traffic" option. There, they will find a form that needs to be completed.

After entering the required information in the form, individuals can click the "Search" button to initiate the search query. This action triggers the system's search process, which retrieves relevant records based on the provided information.

Upon completion of the search, the Courts Records Inquiry page will display a list of matching records. Interested individuals can review the search results and locate the subject they are searching for. They can also click on the subject's case number to access detailed information.

What Are the Criminal Background Check Laws in North Dakota?

North Dakota's criminal background check statutes, like those in other states, provide a framework for employers and organizations to make well-informed decisions about the suitability of individuals for specific tasks. 

But these laws also have several essential purposes, including protecting vulnerable populations, mitigating liability, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.

Employers and organizations must comply with federal laws in North Dakota when conducting background checks to access North Dakota Criminal Records. These federal laws include the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

Moreover, there are additional state laws that employers and organizations must adhere to, such as the ban-the-box law for public sector employers. This law, outlined in section 12.1-33.02.2 of NDCC, prohibits public employers from inquiring about a job seeker's criminal background until the applicant has received an interview request.

However, this legislation does not apply to certain public employers, including the NDDOCR or any other public organizations legally obligated to perform criminal background checks or review a prospective employee's criminal record during recruitment.

In North Dakota, navigating the intricacies of the state's background check laws can be complex. Thus, seeking legal counsel can be beneficial in gaining a comprehensive understanding and effectively navigating these laws.


Counties in North Dakota

Police Departments and Sheriffe Office in North Dakota

Cass County Sheriff's Office1612 23rd Ave. N., Fargo, ND
Burleigh County Sheriff's Office514 E Thayer Ave, Bismarck, ND
Ward County Sheriff's Office204 Front St SE, Minot, ND
Morton County Sheriff's Office205 1st Ave NW, Mandan, ND
Stark County Sheriff's Office66 W Museum Dr, Dickinson, ND
Williams County Sheriff's Office223 E Broadway, Williston, ND
Stutsman County Sheriff's Office205 6th St SE, Jamestown, ND
Richland County Sheriff's Office413 3rd Ave N, Wahpeton, ND
Rolette County Sheriff's Office16 1st South West, Rolla, ND
Ramsey County Sheriff's Office222 Walnut St W, Devils Lake, ND