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Domestic Violence Charges in South Dakota Are Serious and Potentially Life-Ruining

Jeff Cole
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Partner at Zimmer, Duncan & Cole

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South Dakota takes domestic violence charges very seriously. If you are accused of committing domestic violence, you may face jail time even if you did not inflict injury. Keep reading to learn more about domestic violence charges in Sioux Falls and across the state.

What Is Domestic Violence?

South Dakota defines domestic violence as injuring, threatening, or attempting to injure a household or family member. Under the law, this includes:

  • Current and former spouses
  • Blood relatives
  • People related by marriage or adoption
  • People who live or have lived together
  • People who have children together

Violations of protective orders are also considered domestic violence. These protective orders are often in place because of prior abuse or fear of potential abuse, and can last up to five years. Temporary protective orders usually only last about 30 days, but they are issued quickly and often without notice to the defendant.

How South Dakota Treats Domestic Violence Charges

South Dakota takes a very tough stance on domestic violence charges. If an officer is called to your home and has reason to believe that domestic violence has occurred, he or she must make an arrest. Many times, the defendant cannot be released from jail until appearing before a judge.

Domestic violence charges are often met with a protective order, and for first time offenders and cases resulting in little to no injury, fines up to $2,000 and jail time of up to one year. For offenders with prior assault charges or cases that ended with serious injury, defendants face up to 15 years of imprisonment and much larger fines.

Because of the severity of South Dakota’s punishment of domestic violence, it is imperative that you seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Domestic violence cases can often be biased or based on speculation, and lives should not be ruined over hearsay. Call us today at our office, or fill out our online contact form to be put in touch with an attorney now.


Category: Criminal Defense


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