Rapid City Legal Issues Blog

You were charged with DUI — and not even driving?

The laws for driving under the influence are quite strict in South Dakota. For example, law enforcement can still charge you with DUI if you parked your car, but they found you intoxicated while sitting behind the wheel and in control of the ignition key.

If this is your first offense, the court could revoke your license for up to one year. The penalty is automatic if this is your second or third offense. However, you need to be able to drive because there is no other way for you to get to work. What you need now is sound legal advice and support.

Explaining divorce to your children

Divorce takes an emotional toll on you and your spouse, regardless of how the marriage ends. Whether it is through betrayal, abuse or just a decision to move on, it affects everyone around you. Perhaps no party is more vulnerable to the complicated divorce process than your children.

You can help your children get through the process unscathed emotionally if you are prepared. The first step is to tell your children about the split in the right way.

Using South Dakota's guidelines to develop a co-parenting plan

While you and your spouse may have good intentions when you sit down together to discuss child custody during your divorce, it can be all too easy to allow personal feelings to intrude and derail your attempts at an agreement. The South Dakota court system takes the best interests of your child seriously, though, and provides you with some detailed parenting guidelines that may help you stay on track.

Creating a schedule

Your goal should be a calendar that allows your child to spend as much quality time as possible with each parent. This not only includes the regular schedule, with details about childcare, weekends, evenings and special days, but also reasonable vacation times and holiday plans. Neither of you may disrupt this schedule or deny visitation because of unpaid child support or some other issue regarding the court order.

4 things to know about women and DUIs

Men are generally far more likely to be arrested for DUIs than women are. This does not mean that women are exempt from such charges, though. According to the Traffic Resource Center, in fact, arrest rates for women have been on the rise while rates for men have been on the decline. This is an alarming trend, and if you are a woman who has recently been arrest and charged with driving under the influence, there are four things you should know.

Issues with the credibility of child witnesses

Eyewitnesses are no longer the beacons of truth people once thought they were. For example, when stressful and unexpected situations unfold quickly, it is unrealistic to expect people to remember details well. Yet that was exactly what happened for many years. On the other hand, quite a few people have always approached the accounts of child witnesses with some skepticism, and today, the credibility problems of young witnesses are even more well-known.

The importance of establishing paternity

For mothers and fathers alike, there are few things as important as establishing the paternity of a child. If there is any question at all, it is crucial that you clarify and document parentage so that your legal rights can be maintained. There are several standards in South Dakota that dictate the process by which paternity is identified, and you can better understand what to expect by reviewing these four important points.

Understanding auto-brewery syndrome

When it comes to getting a DUI, there are countless complexities that a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer simply cannot take into account. Ideally these methods would be reliable, but anybody who has wrongfully been charged with drunk driving knows that is not always the case. One potential culprit of false charges, for example, is auto-brewery syndrome. Read on to better understand what this condition is and how it can affect DUI allegations.

How diabetes can affect a breath test reading

If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, the officer will likely request that you submit to a Breathalyzer test to gauge your blood alcohol level. You may refuse, of course, but in many places, this can mean an admission of guilt. This would be a simple situation if breath tests were an entirely reliable tool, but according to Diabetes Health, diabetics are at risk of triggering faulty results. See why and what you can do in such a situation.

Divorce after 50: Unique challenges

Perhaps it's the empty nest, or perhaps you and your spouse have simply grown apart. Whatever the reason, divorce rates for couples over the age of 50 has been on an upward trend for decades. For many of these couples, the issues surrounding the dissolution can be very different from a younger couple with children under 18. Consider these three issues to avoid making costly mistakes.

Taxes on Retirement Accounts

For individuals over 50, pre-tax retirement accounts can represent a significant asset. It is crucial to both sides to understand that the actual value will be less than the current balance. Because the funds are taxed upon withdrawal, the true value of the retirement account may be much less than the statement balance. This miscalculation can cause serious issues. You may opt for the retirement accounts rather than the house only to discover later the imbalance.

Rapid City and other jurisdictions have extra DUI patrols on the road

As the summer winds down, law enforcement agencies throughout South Dakota have been ramping up their efforts to find people driving under the influence. In Rapid City, DUI arrests are on a pace to exceed the large numbers recorded last year, according to KOTA Territory News. Holidays often bring out extra DUI patrols.

During any long weekend in the Black Hills, many out of state residents enjoy the scenery, Mount Rushmore and the many enjoyable establishments that serve local residents and tourists alike. Unfortunately, what was intended to be an enjoyable vacation, or long weekend for local residents, can turn into significant legal problems for many drivers who may have stayed out for one too many drinks.

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