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Nicholas Dwight Thornton

Nicholas Thornton’s Answers

261 total


  • In 1997 I plead guilty to a violation of a protective order. I was awarded 25 hours of community service which I completed.

    My question is can I now own a firearm?

    Nicholas’s Answer

    It depends. Under North Dakota law, a person loses his or her firearms rights for 10 years following completion of any sentence or probation on a violent felony and 5 years following completion of any sentence or probation on a non-violent felony. A person also loses their right to possess firearms for 5 years following completion of a sentence or probation for a violent or threatening misdemeanor offense. Under federal law, however, a person may lose their right to possess a firearm forever if they were convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. So, the question becomes not whether you are prohibited as a result of the protection order conviction, but rather whether you were convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. You should talk about this with an experienced criminal defense lawyer before you make any decisions about owning or possessing a firearm or ammunition. Good luck.

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  • Can I still plea innocent?

    I was arrested on a sex crime charge and I was told by the detective that all he needed from me was for me to admit it and apologize to the victim and everything would be over. I didn't want any more problems and although I didn't actually commit ...

    Nicholas’s Answer

    You can plead not guilty in court, but there isn't any way you're going to retract your statement made to law enforcement. Talk with your defense lawyer about any possible motions he or she can file, but don't make another statement to law enforcement without speaking to your lawyer first! Good luck.

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  • Do I need to mark that I have a felony if I am on a suspended sentence?

    I am trying to apply for jobs. I have a felony sentence that was 18 months all suspended for 3 years. I have been told that If you're on a suspended sentence that you don't need to mark felony on job applications. Will I be omitting information if...

    Nicholas’s Answer

    An 18 month "suspended" sentence is a permanent felony conviction. An 18 month "deferred" sentence may or may not result in a permanent felony conviction, depending on your compliance with probation. A pronounced sentence of 1 year or less for most crimes (there are some exceptions) may be deemed a misdemeanor after successful completion of any incarceration and probation imposed as part of the sentence. Under North Dakota law, it sounds like you've got a permanent felony conviction that would be reportable on a background check. Good luck.

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  • I plead no contest to misdemeanor assault with deadly weapon in 2009. I wanted to buy a long rifle for hunting. possible?

    I've paid all fines and completed the probation.

    Nicholas’s Answer

    Depends. In North Dakota, state law would prohibit you from possessing a firearm for 5 years following completion of probation, unless you file a motion with the court for an earlier discharge of the firearms disability. If the umderlying offense was a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence or a crime for which you still have a no contact order in place, federal law might restrict you for a longer period. If you aren't sure, you should contact a lawyer to discuss your specific situation. Good luck.

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  • Do I need lawyer and if so what kind of lawyer?

    I have been served a warrant but I already paid the amount that's being asked of me months ago.I don't have the money to pay it because I have no money. I didn't receive any ticket from the issue and I already put forth at least 800 dollars to get...

    Nicholas’s Answer

    If you have already paid the amount owed yet you still were served with a warrant, you should appear in Court to answer the warrant when the warrant directs you to appear. There, you'll have the opportunity to explain your situation to the Court. Good luck.

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  • How many times can a judge reschedule a trial?

    My daughter was date raped in may of 2013, the accused was arrested of a class A felony for sexual assault. The judge has signed off on rescheduling the trial 5 times. At this time, over two years will have passed until the trial (that is , if it'...

    Nicholas’s Answer

    A judge can reschedule a trial as many times as he or she wants, so long as there is good cause to do so. If it's been rescheduled as many times as you say, often they are waiting for things like DNA to come back, or trying to arrange depositions, or continue investigating the matter. Victims and witnesses do not have the right to a speedy trial; the defendant does. Your daughter does, however, have the right to communicate her wishes to speed things up to the States Attorney's Office. Good luck.

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  • Child protection

    My son's mother just had all of her children taken away for the 2nd time. However my son is here at his grandmother's on a visit. The last time this happened my mother his grandmother got her foster care license to take my son. She is more that qu...

    Nicholas’s Answer

    It depends on how the children were taken away, and on what basis they were taken away. As a general matter, parents are presumed to be the best placement for their children, and parents have a constitutional right to parent their children. Children can be removed from the custody of a parent only when there is reason to believe a child's welfare is in imminent danger.

    Here, your question is somewhat unclear. It sounds like your child's mother has had issues with CPS in the past, and had "all of her children" removed. It also sounds like when that happened, your son was not in her custody--instead, he was at grandma's house. Are you asking if grandma needs to give the child back to the unfit mother, and then hope that CPS places the child back in grandma's house as a foster home (as was done the first time)? Why wouldn't you take your son, unless there are some concerns about your living arrangement or ability to provide care for your son? Is there a court order concerning custody of your son? If so, what does the order state? Have you contacted CPS to get their input on safe placement for your son with grandma if you are unable to provide him what he needs right now? There are lots of questions here and not enough information to provide any answers. I wish you the best of luck in straightening this up.

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  • I already had an evaluation, is it possible to get a second one and use that recommendation instead?

    It's my first DUI, and I got an evaluation right away, but there is a specific place I want to go to and they don't offer the services recommended by the first facility. Is it possible to get a second evaluation? The first place sent the informati...

    Nicholas’s Answer

    You can get another evaluation if you'd like. The second evaluation may have the same or a different recommendation than the first. If the recommendation is the same and the second provider can do the follow-up treatment, then it's no problem at all. It just confirms to the Court and the DMV that the first evaluation was accurate and reliable. If the second evaluation comes back with a stronger recommendation (i.e., inpatient treatment where the original recommendation was for outpatient treatment), depending on who you ask the evaluation report to go to, it may be that you do not choose to file the second evaluation. If the treatment recommendation in the second evaluation is weaker (outpatient treatment instead of inpatient treatment), you should consider filing the second evaluation. Of course, the Court might err on the side of requiring more treatment rather than less. In other words, the Court might ignore the second evaluation if it's more lenient than the first. For the Court's purpose, probation's purpose, and for the DMV's purpose, the only thing that really matters is that you do the required follow up. Good luck.

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  • Can a distirict court in north dakota see prior class b misdemeanors from 5 years ago that where all in minnesota

    can a distirict court in north dakota see prior class b misdemeanors from 5 years ago that where all in minnesota

    Nicholas’s Answer

    Most likely, yes. Some prosecutors will only look to North Dakota information available through the North Dakota Supreme Court's electronic case management system. Some will use information from the National Crime Information Center (a division of the FBI), which contains information from Minnesota.

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  • Why wasn't I arrested for assault?

    I was out drinking and i was black out drunk. i supposedly knocked a female unconscious but i dont believe i did. why was i accused of this and detained in a police car and not arrested right there? I have no recollection of what happened, how wil...

    Nicholas’s Answer

    Under North Dakota law, you cannot be arrested for a misdemeanor level assault unless it was committed in the officer's presence or it was a domestic violence situation. Officers could arrest you for a felony-level assault without them being present. Perhaps they were investigating it as a misdemeanor assault, which would explain why you were not arrested on the spot. If you are charged, the prosecutor can still choose to allege felony-level or misdemeanor-level charges, regardless of what the officer wanted you charged for. As for being "black out drunk," that does not provide a defense to the charge of assault, although it may help mitigate punishment. Your best bet is to find a top notch attorney right now and get them involved in the pre-charge defense of this incident.

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