Abuse and Neglect

The Department of Social Services works with law enforcement and the court system when child abuse and/or neglect is suspected. Anyone who feels like a child has been abused or neglected may report their observations to law enforcement, the State's Attorney's office, or the Department of Social Services.

South Dakota law requires certain professionals to report suspected child abuse or neglect. It permits others, who are not mandated, to report. SDCL 26-8A-3. Mandated reporters are to report orally and immediately to the State's Attorney, Department of Social Services or law enforcement. SDCL 26-8A-8. The minimal standard for a report to be made is a reasonable cause to suspect that abuse or neglect has occurred or is occurring.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is defined under SDCL 25-10-1. This includes violence perpetrated on any family or household member. If Law Enforcement is summoned to a domestic violence call several statues apply. If Law Enforcement has probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, the officer is required to arrest the person who is suspected of committing the crime. The officer shall arrest the person whom he believes to be the primary aggressor. The person arrested for domestic assault may not be released until he has gone before a judge who will determine bond and other conditions of release that are necessary for the protection of the victim. SDCL 25-10.

Drug Crimes

Drug crimes can be prosecuted on a misdemeanor and/or a felony level. Prosecutors work with Drug Task Forces, Sheriff's Officers, investigators, Criminal Investigation, U.S. Attorney's Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service to coordinate investigations and prosecutions of drug crimes. Individuals who suspect drug crime is occurring are encouraged to report it to 911. You can also reach the Drug Tip Line at 605-394-1884.

Driving While Intoxicated

It is provided by statute in South Dakota that any person who drives, or is in actual physical control, of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, is guilty of a crime. Drunk drivers kill and injure thousands every year. Loss of a driver's license, substantial lawyer fees, increased auto liability insurance costs, and time in the county jail or state penitentiary are some of the consequences of driving drunk. Others include loss of employment and even loss of family. IF YOU DRINK, DON'T DRIVE.

South Dakota law prohibits driving while intoxicated. The law defines "under the influence" to include not only all well-known and easily recognized conditions and degrees of intoxication, but also any abnormal mental or physical condition which is the result of indulging any degree in an alcoholic beverage and which tends to deprive the driver of that clearness of intellect and control of oneself which the driver would otherwise possess. It is also a separate crime to drive or be in control of a motor vehicle with .08 percent or more by weight alcohol in the blood. This offense is committed even if the driver is not "under the influence" as that term is defined in the preceding paragraph. It is also unlawful to drive or be in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana or any controlled drug or substance to a degree which renders the driver incapable of safely driving.

Juvenile Crimes

As a general rule, the juvenile court has jurisdiction over offenses committed by a child, defined as being a person under the age of eighteen at the time of the offense. Traffic misdemeanors and petty offenses are not brought into juvenile court but remain in adult court in the Magistrate Division. Offenses that would be criminal if committed by an adult are delinquencies if committed by a person between ten and eighteen. Additionally, a juvenile may be brought into court charged as a child in need of supervision (CHINS) for behavior which is not criminal but violates laws applying only to juveniles. Truancy, underage consumption, and running away from home are CHINS offenses. If a criminal offense is committed by a person under the age of ten, that child can be brought into court as a CHINS.

Property Crimes

Property crimes cover thinks like theft, forgery, fraud, auto theft, stolen property, damage to property, embezzlement, and burglary.

Sexual Crimes

Sexual offenses are rape, sexual contact with a minor, possession of child pornography, sexual exploitation of a minor, and failure to register as a sex offender.

Violent Crimes

Violent crimes include serious crimes against persons like murder, robbery, rape, assault, child abuse, domestic abuse, and vehicular homicide. Prosecutors work with law enforcement, victim/witness assistants and the court system to investigate and punish violent crime.

For more information

South Dakota's complete list of crime laws

South Dakota's authorized punishments