Fargo Litigation & Appeals Law Blog

What you need to know about North Dakota’s open container law

Summers in North Dakota are nearly perfect. After all, you have a seemingly endless number of possibilities for exploring everything the state has to offer. If you like to drink alcohol, you may want to have a cold beer or cocktail after a long hike or at a backyard barbeque. You should not, however, carry an open container into a motor vehicle. 

Like most states, North Dakota has an open container law that prevents drivers and passengers from having an open container of alcohol inside a vehicle. If you violate the law, you face both a fine and a blemish on your driving record. You may also encourage officers to search you or your vehicle looking for further evidence of criminal activity, such as driving under the influence. If you want to stay out of trouble, you should know a few things about North Dakota’s open container law. 

New North Dakota Law Allows for Sealing of Criminal Record

Written by attorney Scott Patrick Brand of Brudvik Law Office, P.C.

Until recently, there has been no process in North Dakota for citizens who have been convicted of non-violent and/or non-sexual offenses to have their convictions sealed from public viewing regardless of how long ago the offenses happened or how minor they were. However, a new law that becomes effective on August 1, 2019, fixes that problem. There is judicial oversight of the process to ensure the right citizens are getting the relief they seek while giving the court the authority to deny a request if it is improper.[1]

In order to get your record sealed, you must submit a petition to the court in the existing criminal case you want to be sealed.[2] The petition must include your name (including any aliases), your addresses from the date of your offense until the date of your petition, the reasons why the petition should be granted, and your criminal history.[3] You must file a proposed order when filing the petition and ensure the prosecutor is served with the documents.[4]


Tips for Testifying in Court

Written By Ashley Heitkamp of Brudvik Law Office, P.C. Testifying in court can be stressful and nerve-wracking for many people. It is often a new experience and one that carries a lot of weight. If you have been called to testify in court, read the general tips below to try to help you prepare for your testimony.

4 reasons to update your will now

Like most of your neighbors, you work hard every day. Whether you have millions of dollars or just a few assets, you want control over what happens to your belongings. If you do not have a comprehensive will, you may have little say in the matter. Further, if you have not reviewed your will in a few years, it may no longer represent your most current wishes. 

Writing a will can be challenging. Unfortunately, though, you may need to rework your will’s language several times throughout your life. If any of the following four situations apply to you, you should probably update your will now: 

5 estate planning goals for 2019

Now that 2019 is here, you may be thinking about your future more intently. Your New Year resolutions may include goals involving your health, relationships, work and family. Are you thinking about your estate plan

The New Year is the perfect opportunity to start thinking about your estate plan and putting it into place. Here are some essential planning goals you should work towards achieving this year.

The connection between college towns and DUIs

When college students flood their campuses at the beginning of fall for the start of classes, college towns once again fill up with their school-year resident population. Along with the boost that students provide to local college-town economies, there are also particular risks and hazards that come with hosting so many college students.

One particular risk that applies to college students is that of underage drinking and driving while intoxicated. But does drinking on college campuses affect the local rate of DUIs in towns that host colleges and universities?

What factors are involved in child custody decisions?

If you are facing divorce, you are probably wondering how the court will decide matters pertaining to the custody of your children. The same applies if you are already divorced but need to modify the custody agreement that is in place.

In the state of North Dakota, a judge will always begin by taking into account the best interests of the children.

Use trust and common sense in choosing your executor

When you are preparing your will, choosing your executor will be a top priority. Right away, you may think about naming your spouse for the task, but is this a good idea?

There are several points to consider about the person you choose, and attributes you might admire in a relative or good friend will likely play a role in your final decision.

More than fines await college students convicted of DUI

Most college students experiment with alcohol. Some drink occasionally and some become binge drinkers. Many feel they are able to drive when they have only had a few beers, but that is a bad idea.

Some college-age drivers think a DUI is nothing more than a simple traffic offense, but you should be aware that it is far more serious and can have long-ranging consequences.

A DUI conviction seriously curtails your driving privileges

No driver wants to interact with law enforcement, especially on suspicion of drunk driving. However, state officials are serious about reducing the high numbers of traffic fatalities related to the excessive alcoholic intake of people who drive on North Dakota roads.

Penalties for a DUI conviction range from fines to jail time to license suspension, and the latter may be especially problematic for anyone who depends on driving to get to school or work.

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