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What Defines a Criminal Record in North Dakota?

Criminal records provide official information on a person’s criminal history, including arrests, prosecutions, and convictions. It consists of information assembled, compiled and recorded from different police departments, courts, correctional facilities, parole board, and other government agencies across the state and different counties. The majority of North Dakota criminal records are organized in online record depositories maintained by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.


What’s included in a Criminal Record?

While the specifics of what’s included in a record vary by county, most criminal records provide the following:

  • Subject’s full name ad any known aliases
  • Current and previous addresses
  • Arrest dates for felonies or misdemeanors

Are Criminal Records Open to the Public?

The majority of the criminal records in North Dakota are open to public scrutiny. In accordance with state laws, members of the public may access or make copies of criminal records by submitting a formal request. However, some criminal records may be protected by law or court order.

What is an Arrest Warrant?

An arrest warrant is an official document that provides law enforcement officials with the legal authority to arrest and detain the named subject(s). Arrest Warrants are signed and issued by a magistrate, judge or grand jury. Some of the information contained in an arrest warrant include:

  • The subject’s name (or alias)
  • The crime allegedly committed
  • Warrant restrictions
  • Name and signature of the judge

Can the Police Make Arrests in North Dakota without a Warrant?

The police can arrest a person for committing a crime without a warrant. In most cases, this occurs when the person commits the crime in an officer’s presence.

What are North Dakota Misdemeanors?

A misdemeanor in North Dakota is a non-indictable offense that is generally less severe than felonies. Misdemeanors have a maximum penalty of up to a year in prison or jail. The state of North Dakota divides misdemeanors into multiple levels, based on the severity of the crime: Class A and Class B.

  • Class A misdemeanors carry a maximum penalty of 365 days in prison and/or a $3,000 fine
  • Class B misdemeanors carry a maximum penalty of 30 days in prison and/or a $1,500 fine

In addition, the state has a lighter category of crimes described as infractions. Infractions carry a penalty of up to $1000 in fines. Multiple infractions may constitute a class B misdemeanor. Some of the examples of misdemeanors in North Dakota include:

  • Ingesting a controlled substance
  • Possession of marijuana
  • Prostitution
  • Falsifying marital status
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Gambling on private premises where the amount exceeds $2,500 (infraction)
  • Sale of tobacco to a minor (infraction)

What are North Dakota Felonies?

Felony offenses in North Dakota are the more serious type of criminal convictions. They are punishable by a minimum of more than 1 year, which is to be served in a state prison or county jail. In some cases, a felony conviction may even be punished by death. Like most states, North Dakota organizes felony crimes into four separate categories based on the severity of the crime: Class AA, Class A, Class B, and Class C.

  • Class AA Felonies carry the most severe penalty of up to life imprisonment.
  • Class A Felonies carry a penalty of up to $10,000 in fines and/or 20 years in prison
  • Class B felonies carry a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine
  • Class C felonies carry a maximum penalty of up to 5 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine

Examples of felony offenses in North Dakota include

  • Murder (Class AA)
  • Human trafficking of minors (Class AA)
  • Treason (Class A)
  • Kidnapping (Class A)
  • Armed robbery (Class A)
  • Manslaughter (Class B)
  • Aggravated Assault of victims under the age of 12 (Class B)
  • Negligent homicide (Class C)
  • Human cloning (Class C)
  • Perjury (Class C)

What is a Sex Offender Listing?

A sex offender listing is a public registry that contains information on offenders who have been convicted of sex-related offenses. It’s updated in real-time every day and changes with new data from the courts, department of correction and local law enforcement. Searches through the registry provide details such as the offender’s name and aliases, crimes for which they were convicted, addresses, and photographs. North Dakota’s sex offender listing is managed by the Office of the Attorney General. Searches can be refined by city or county or to include/exclude incarcerated offenders.


Do Registered Sex Offenders Have to Notify Neighbors?

While offenders are required to notify neighbors, registration is required for offenders who have pled guilty or been found guilty of the following offenses:

  • Gross sexual imposition
  • Continuous sexual abuse of a child
  • Sexual imposition
  • Corruption or solicitation of minors
  • Luring minors by computer
  • Sexual abuse of wards
  • Sexual assault
  • Incest
  • Indecent exposure
  • Surreptitious intrusion
  • Sexual performance by children (all offenses)

It is also mandated for the following offenses against children:

  • Homicide offenses (all)
  • Assault (felony only)
  • Aggravated assault
  • Terrorizing
  • Stalking (felony only)
  • Kidnapping
  • Felonious restraint
  • Removal of a child from the state in violation of custody decree
  • Prostitution (all offenses)
  • Criminal child abuse

What is North Dakota Megan’s Law?

North Dakota’s Megan's Law is an informal term used to describe the state-created laws that establish the creation and maintenance of a sex offender registry. The first Megan's Law appeared after the rape and murder of 7-year-old New Jersey resident Megan Kanka by a sex offender who lived in the girl's own neighborhood. Soon after passage of this first Megan's Law, the federal government implemented a requirement that all states establish sex offender registries and provide the public with information about those registered.

What is a Serious Traffic Violation?

Serious traffic violations in North Dakota consist of moving and non-moving traffic offenses that involve disregard for public safety, serious bodily injury, damage to property and in some cases death. Serious traffic violations may also arise as a result of multiple minor traffic violations. When a person is convicted of a traffic violation, the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) adds points to his/her ND driving record. The number of points will depend on the severity of the offense.

Examples of serious traffic violations include:

  • Aggravated reckless driving
  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage
  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving death (hit and run)
  • Fleeing from a law enforcement officer in a motor vehicle
  • Racing in a motor vehicle
  • No liability insurance

What are North Dakota Conviction Records?

A conviction record in North Dakota is an official document providing information that a person was found guilty, pleaded guilty or pleaded nolo contendere against criminal charges in a civilian or military court. The criminal charges can be classified as a felony, misdemeanor or other offense. Conviction records also include when a person has been judged delinquent, has been less than honorably discharged or has been placed on probation, fined, imprisoned or paroled. A criminal conviction is rendered by either a jury of peers or a judge in a court of law. A conviction does not include a final judgment that was deleted by a pardon, set aside, reversed or otherwise rendered inoperative.

What are North Dakota Jail and Inmate Records?

North Dakota inmate records contain an official compilation of an inmate’s status. Access to these records is provided by North Dakota's Department of Corrections, which maintains an inmate database that can be searched online. Interested parties can conduct searches by keying in the offender’s last name or first name. Some of the information available in a public inmate record include:

  • The inmate’s name
  • Date of Birth
  • Incarceration date
  • Housing Facility
  • Photo
  • Expected release date
  • Convicted offense

What are North Dakota Parole Records?

North Dakota’s parole records provide official information regarding the early release of an offender. Prisoners who are out on parole are required to meet certain conditions as part of the terms for their release. The decision of whether a prisoner is eligible for parole is decided by the North Dakota Parole Board, which holds schedule meeting dates every month. The board may also impose any conditions of parole it deems appropriate in order to ensure the best interests of the prisoner and the citizens of North Dakota are served.

What are North Dakota Probation Records?

Probation records are official documents that show when a person receives probation as an alternative to prison. Probation allows people convicted of a crime in North Dakota to serve their sentences out of custody, as long as they comply with probation conditions imposed by the judge and probation officer. Probation is issued in proportion to the crime, so the length and nature of probation differ (sometimes drastically) from case to case.

The state of North Dakota has two major types of probation: Supervised and unsupervised. Unsupervised restrictions are typically used for low-level misdemeanors. Some of the terms of the condition associated with unsupervised probation include:

  • Paying court fees
  • Community service
  • Meeting with a monitoring agency

Supervised probation carries more restrictions than unsupervised protection, some of which may include:

  • Prohibition of taking alcohol
  • Submitting to irregular chemical tests
  • Restriction of movement to within the state
  • Permission for warrantless searches
  • Constant updates of any change in address or phone number

What are Juvenile Criminal Records?

Juvenile criminal records contain official records of arrests of a minor. It also includes records of cases filed in North Dakota’s juvenile courts. In compliance with state laws, juvenile records are generally confidential and may not be open to release or inspection except where authorized by court order or the law. However, juvenile records still remain open to inspection by

  • Judge or staff of the Juvenile court
  • Parties connected to the proceeding
  • Institutions providing supervision/custody of the minor
  • Agents or employees of the Department of Human Services

If a person was found adjudicated delinquent to a criminal offense, they do not have to respond “yes” if asked whether they have ever been convicted of a crime, unless the question specifically asks if they were ever adjudicated delinquent as well.

North Dakota History and Accuracy of Criminal Records

The accuracy of the data of criminal records depends on the recordkeeping and technological capabilities of the jurisdiction where the record was assembled and later digitized. North Dakota criminal records archives usually tend to go back as far as the 1970s when criminal and arrest data started to be centralized and compiled into an organized database much like we use today. Accuracy was more commonly affected by human error in the past, but in the 1990s the quality and accuracy of recordkeeping improved exponentially due to the advent of the computer. As a result of this, the information provided on may vary from person to person.

Different sources often collect information using non-standardized state level protocols, storage classifications, requirements, organization and digitization processes. As a result, the amount of criminal record information presented on may vary from individual to individual.

North Dakota State Archives

State Archives

Contact: (701) 490-8799

Search Includes

  • Arrests & Warrants
  • Criminal Records
  • Driving Violations
  • Police Records
  • Sheriff Records
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies & Misdemeanors
  • Probation Records
  • Parole Records
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Marriages & Divorces
  • Birth Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Personal Assets
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • Political Contributions
  • Unclaimed State Funds
  • Relatives & Associates
  • Address Registrations
  • Affiliated Phone Numbers
  • Affiliated Email Addresses

Results are based upon available information from state, county and municipal databases, and may not include some or all of the above details.

Criminal Record

Criminal Record