Rapid City Legal Issues Blog

3 facts about South Dakota's DUI laws you should know

The South Dakota Department of Public Safety wants you to stay safe and not become a casualty. According to their website, 28 people die in drunk driving accidents daily. Out of all the motor vehicle accidents that occur each day, one out of every three involves someone driving under the influence.

South Dakota has enacted a few initiatives through the years to send a clear message: The state will not tolerate driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

3 tips for a child-friendly divorce

When it comes to divorce, it may often feel like there is absolutely nothing positive or constructive to come from the process. However, when you have children, it is imperative that you and your ex make an effort to put the children's best interests at the forefront.

There are several key things you can do both during and after your divorce to help your children experience less trauma and adjust in a healthy way to their new reality. Here are just three of the pointers that many experts recommend when it comes to making your divorce as child-friendly as possible.

Can the cops search your car after a DUI arrest?

Drunk driving is far too common in South Dakota. One recent example took place in Butte County, where the police also arrested the individual for committing a felony with a firearm and possession of a controlled substance. 

In some cases, a person arrested for DUI will have evidence of another crime inside the vehicle. There are several different circumstances when the police can legally search your vehicle, so you need to be cautious. 

How joint custody can benefit your kids and you

If you and your spouse are contemplating a South Dakota divorce, both of you likely are very concerned about the ways in which this divorce will impact your children. Possibly the best way you can minimize the negative effects of your divorce on your children is by considering a post-divorce joint custody arrangement.

In recent years, joint custody has achieved the status of most favored custody arrangement for judges, divorce attorneys, child psychologists, legislators and parents across the country. All of these people firmly believe that a child’s best interests are served by maintaining a continuing and meaningful relationship with both of his or her parents after they divorce.

Marijuana penalties remain strict in South Dakota

Research suggests that attending festivals and rallies can impact how we feel about ourselves and our individual identities. Many people feel a sense of belonging and relative freedom when they are away from home and around people with the same interests. This notion also applies to riders who attend the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, where fast bikes and loud engines are celebrated by all.

It's no secret that everyone likes to have a little fun at the rally because they feel empowered to do so by those around them. You might be willing to partake in activities you would usually avoid, or feel free to do them because everyone around you is doing the same, but this doesn't always lead to good results. In fact, an increase in people and events often brings with it an increase in drug crimes.

3 reasons motorcyclists should be wary of DUIs

With the notorious Sturgis Motorcycle Rally approaching, bikers from around the country will soon flock to South Dakota and enjoy 10 days of biking-related festivities. In addition to the obvious riding that will take place, the fest brings food, music and general festivities. Needless to say, there will be plenty of beer available, but bikers should be especially wary of drinking and biking, lest they end up with a DUI.

There are several reasons why the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally might put bikers at risk of getting DUIs. Consider the following three reasons to be careful and avoid drinking and biking when you are at the festival. If you are charged with a DUI, consulting with a legal representative can help.

Never represent yourself in a DUI case

Whether the police arrest you for your first or eighth DUI offense, you always want an experienced attorney in your corner. Eight DUI offenses is certainly a possibility, as is the case with one South Dakota man whom police arrested on May 29th. 

If you do not have the money for a lawyer, then you may qualify to receive a public defender. However, even when money is an issue, you will always be better off with an experienced attorney fighting for you. Even one drunk driving offense could result in jail time and significant fines, and you want to take advantage of every asset at your disposal. 

Can officers search for drugs during a traffic stop?

As a South Dakota driver, you know that traffic stops are not all that uncommon. Whether you get “busted” for a broken tail light, speeding, failing to signal when you change lanes, or some other relatively minor traffic offense, things can get out of hand rather quickly if the officer who pulls you over then finds drugs in your car. But does (s)he have the right to search for drugs in the first place?

The answer is no. During a traffic stop, officers have the right and authority to do only the following:

  • Ask to see your driver’s license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration, all of which you must provide
  • Investigate the alleged traffic violation
  • Check to see if there are any outstanding warrants for your arrest and arrest you if any exist
  • Write the appropriate traffic ticket(s)

How does a DUI affect insurance rates?

In South Dakota, a person accused of driving with a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 can face arrest for DUI. However, drivers accused of having a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08 in the state can still face arrest if the police believe the individual was in no condition to safely operate a vehicle.

There are many costs associated with a DUI. In addition to the state fine, a convicted party will also typically need to pay for towing and impound, ignition lock, and payment for an alcohol treatment program. Drivers can also expect their insurance rates to go up significantly.

Will a drug conviction hurt my chances of getting custody?

Are you heading for a divorce with concerns about child custody? If you are facing the possibility of a drug conviction or have a past such conviction, you probably fear that it will impact your ability to be an active parent. Will you lose all your parental rights? Or will you get visitation instead of joint custody?

These questions can be stressful and overwhelming. Here is some information on how drug crimes may affect the outcome of your custody case. 

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