Rapid City Legal Issues Blog

Understanding heroin laws in South Dakota

Heroin is a highly addictive drug that destroys lives. Unfortunately, those who become addicted to the drug face huge challenges when getting clean, because of the profound withdrawal symptoms and the highly addictive nature.

Federal laws and South Dakota state laws make heroin illegal, and those found in possession of even the smallest amount of heroin can face severe consequences. If you or a loved one has been found in possession of heroin in South Dakota, you must take action to better understand the law.

Are you aware of these DUI defenses?

If you have recently been charged with a DUI, this likely occurred after you were pulled over by law enforcement officials and asked to perform a Breathalyzer test. If this was the case, you must take swift action to adequately defend yourself. Failing to do so could mean that you will lose your driver's license, pay significant fines and perhaps even face jail time.

There are many different possibilities when it comes to defending yourself against a DUI charge. Some of these you may be already aware of, and others you may not be. Take the time to understand all of the possible defense routes available to you before deciding how to move forward. The best defense will depend on the specific circumstances pertaining to your case. The following are some defenses that you may be able to use.

Do you know the weaknesses of Breathalyzer tests?

Failing a Breathalyzer test is a frustrating, often frightening experience. In the moment, many people feel as though they are headed straight for a drunk driving conviction and there is nothing they can do about it. Drunk driving arrests are all different, so there is no one-size-fits-all defense that can protect all defendants, but building a strong legal defense after receiving charges is always better than failing to prepare any defense at all.

If you recently received drunk driving charges after failing a Breathalyzer test, now is the time to take action to protect your rights and your future. Drunk driving convictions are costly, and may lead to jail time, loss of driving privileges, and may impact your ability to keep your job or home. Make sure to examine the specifics of your arrest carefully to find weaknesses in the evidence against you, using the strength of the law to keep your rights secure.

A DUI conviction, a suspended license and your future

Let us say that you were returning home after attending a party to celebrate the new job you are about to start. Law enforcement pulled you over for a broken taillight but smelled alcohol on your breath.

The officer arrested you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. You are understandably nervous. Your future looks bleak. How will a DUI conviction affect you?

How to avoid a DUI around the holidays

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's should be a joyous time of year. You do not want to ruin such a memorable and happy occasion by getting a DUI

South Dakota consistently has the highest rate of DUIs in the country. There are approximately 938 arrests for DUI out of every 100,000 people. There is no reason for anyone to contribute to that number, so now that the holiday season is here, it is vital to understand some tips to avoid an arrest. 

The state legislature set to address meth epidemic

Possession of a controlled substance is a crime in South Dakota, but that does not seem to stop the parade of methamphetamine users going to lockup. Over 80% of people incarcerated for drug offenses are there because of meth addiction.

Getting help with handling a meth problem is something the state legislature is set to tackle. Thus far, the efforts of law enforcement agencies across the state have failed to stop this growing epidemic. What needs to change amid this crisis? Take a look at some of the ways the state wants to help you or a loved one escape this cycle of addiction.

What can impact Breathalyzer accuracy?

The cost of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is severe. However, a recent study showed that South Dakota actually has the most lenient DUI laws in the country. A wide variety of factors came into consideration for this study, including first, second and third DUI penalties

When the cops pull over a driver on suspicion of DUI, it is common for them to perform a breath test. They use a device known as a Breathalyzer to see if there are any traces of alcohol on the person's breath. Although South Dakota has lenient laws, you still never want to find yourself in a courtroom defending yourself. If you do, there are several defenses you can make for why a Breathalyzer would give a false positive. 

DUIs down and felony charges up at last year's motorcycle rally

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people hop on their bikes and make the trip to Sturgis, South Dakota. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally draws roughly half a million bikers each year with the promise of scenic tours, races, concerts and camaraderie. It's an internationally famous party of epic proportions, and every year some people take their partying just a bit too far.

Every year, dozens or hundreds of bikers get arrested for DUIs and drug charges. The good news is that there were fewer DUI arrests in 2018 than in 2017. The bad news is that felony drug arrests in 2018 were up by 67%.

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. 

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