Rapid City Legal Issues Blog

Are you eligible to enroll in a South Dakota drug court?

When South Dakota authorities catch you possessing, selling or planning to sell drugs within state lines, you can anticipate some pretty hefty consequences. If you are like many other drug offenders, you may wind up spending time behind bars. If you meet certain requirements, though, you may be able to avoid some traditional criminal penalties that typically come with South Dakota drug convictions by enrolling in one of the state’s drug courts.

In addition to helping you potentially avoid other criminal penalties, such as time behind bars, South Dakota’s drug courts can essentially force you to take a good, hard look at your life and what prompted your criminal behavior. Drug courts have strict compliance requirements that typically include undergoing regular drug testing and counseling. For many offenders, this forced accountability gives them the structure they need to kick their habits.

Why you should never represent yourself in a DUI case

Drivers in South Dakota need to do more to avoid driving while under the influence of alcohol. The state ranks the third worst state in the entire country for DUIs. Nearby states like Wyoming and North Dakota similarly ranked poorly in the study performed in 2017. 

A lot of people in South Dakota end up in court for drunk driving. If this ever happens to you, then you need to know precisely what steps to take to increase your chances of having a successful outcome. The one mistake you want to avoid at all costs involves representing yourself in court. 

Do you have to take a chemical test in South Dakota?

Sometimes judgment is poor, and you may make the mistake of getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or another drug. You have no intention to harm; you simply think you are fine because you only had a few drinks. Next thing you know, a police officer pulls you over.

At a DUI stop, law enforcement often ask you to participate in a field sobriety test, which reveals common signs of impairment. This test is not mandatory for you to take. However, what should you do if police require you to provide a chemical sample (breath, blood or urine)?

Can a drug conviction impact financial aid eligibility?

While it is not at all uncommon for some college students across South Dakota to experiment with alcohol or drugs, doing so as a recipient of federal financial aid has the potential to cause you considerable financial hardship. Similarly, if you are the parent of a South Dakota college student and your student receives a criminal charge for a drug-related crime, you may face substantial financial repercussions if that charge ultimately leads to a conviction.

Why? These days, just about any type of drug conviction can impact a student’s financial aid eligibility, and if your child receives a conviction for a drug charge, you can pretty much count on him or her losing financial aid access for a certain period.

Common mistakes people make in DUI cases

No one should ever run the risk of driving while intoxicated. One drunk driver in South Dakota ran her car into a school bus in February, leading to her arrest and one student sustaining injuries. 

Regardless of how much you actually drank before the arrest, you need to take the process seriously. Some people are completely clueless about how to proceed, so they end up making serious mistakes. Here are some of the biggest errors you need to avoid if you are facing a DUI arrest and trial

How many drinks do you need to reach a BAC of 0.08?

All states have a blood alcohol content limit of 0.08 percent. However, it is vital to remember that under South Dakota law a police officer can still arrest you for DUI if he or she believes you are a danger to yourself or others. 

A lot of people think they are fine to drive because they only had a few alcoholic beverages that night. You could still end up with a DUI, and the truth of the matter is that it does not take much to hit 0.08. You need to be extremely cautious if you drank anything in the hours before driving, and you need to keep the following in mind. 

Factors that contribute to elderly car accidents

One issue that often gets overlooked about car accidents is they are not always caused by young, inexperienced, intoxicated or reckless motorists. Many collisions involve older people. Though seniors are far less likely to engage in dangerous driving conditions and irresponsible behavior, some do. They are also still at risk of sustaining serious injuries and dying in car accidents.

Many seniors are living and staying in the driver’s seat longer. Driving helps many of them maintain their sense of independence. However advantageous driving as senior can be, it does pose some unique challenges for everyone on the roads, especially the elderly.

Can an employer discriminate against you due to your DUI?

Keep in mind that if you have a conviction for DUI, a job hunt could become more difficult for you. That DUI mark will show up on your record for all to see, including the recruiter you are planning to meet.

Would a recruiter be guilty of discrimination if you do not get the job you want? It is a possibility.

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.

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