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You Can Be Arrested for Carrying a Gun After a Conviction in South Dakota

Jeff Cole
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Partner at Zimmer, Duncan & Cole

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You were released from jail over a year ago, and you have been following the judge’s orders to the letter. You lost your legal rights to own a gun after your conviction, but you’re worried about your own safety—and you know that it’s up to you to protect your family. Are you allowed to have a gun in your home for self-defense purposes, or could this lead to your going back to jail?

Gun Possession Charges After a Criminal Conviction in South Dakota

South Dakota has strict laws against owning, carrying, or even possessing a gun after a criminal conviction. Defendants can be charged with an additional crime if they have:

  • Prior domestic violence convictions. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor crime for committing an act of domestic violence, you cannot possess or control any firearm for one year after the date of your conviction. If you are found with a gun during this period, you could be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  • Prior felony convictions. If you were convicted of a violent crime or felony offense, possessing or controlling a firearm is a Class 6 felony.
  • Prior drug convictions. If you were charged with a drug offense in any state, you are forbidden from possessing or controlling a firearm in South Dakota.

Will I Ever Regain the Right to Own a Gun?

It is possible for people who have been convicted of a crime to have their gun ownership rights restored. As long as the required time period has passed and no additional crimes have been committed, a defendant can petition the convicting court for the restoration of firearm rights that have been lost. For more information on gun crimes or to start building your defense, call Zimmer, Duncan and Cole, LLP today at 888-733-2992 to speak to an attorney.


Category: Criminal Defense


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