Criminal Defense Lawyers in South Dakota
South Dakota is perhaps best known for featuring the faces of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt in granite on Mount Rushmore. Thomas Jefferson is also featured on the monument that draws significant tourist traffic each year. The state is also home to the Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park, and Dinosaur Park. South Dakota State and the University of South Dakota are two of the largest schools in the state. While the people are generally friendly and easy to get along with, your reputation might take a hit if you are charged with violating state or federal law.
How to Start the Process of Clearing Your Name
The first thing that you’ll want to do to clear your name is to hire a South Dakota criminal defense attorney. An attorney will likely take a number of steps to help with your case such as gathering evidence that might exonerate you or at least create sufficient doubt to obtain an acquittal at trial.
Legal counsel may also make statements on your behalf to the media, the state, or anyone else who wants to hear from you. This is important because it allows you to tell your story without potentially saying something that might be seen as incriminatory.
Your attorney can be by your side during an interrogation. If a question seems to be designed to get you to incriminate yourself, your advocate may prevent you from answering. At a minimum, you’ll be able to answer such a question knowing that it’s in your best interest to say as little as possible.
Finally, your attorney may help you obtain bail or reduce the amount that you have to pay to secure your freedom. It’s also possible that counsel will be able to minimize the conditions that are placed on you prior to being released. If you violate the terms of your bail, your legal team may be able to convince the judge that they shouldn’t be changed or enhanced.
An Overview of Your Key Rights
In addition to the right to legal counsel, you have the right to remain silent throughout the legal process. This means that you don’t have to answer questions prior to being detained or taken into custody. You also don’t have to talk in court during pretrial hearings or at your trial itself. If you are not informed of your right to remain silent, anything that you say may be ruled inadmissible by the judge overseeing your case.
You have the right to be free from improper searches and seizures. Generally speaking, authorities can only perform a search if they have a warrant to do so or there is a valid exception to the warrant requirement. For example, authorities may search your car, home, or other belongings without a warning if potential evidence of a crime is in plain view. For instance, if you’re wanted for murder, police may search your home if there is a gun on the front step or a knife covered in blood in your hand.
Finally, you have the right to a speedy trial. Typically, it can take your case from six to eight months to wrap up. However, there is a good chance that your case will take much longer than that to get through, and often, taking your time may be an effective way to get the best possible outcome in your case.
The Types of Cases Our Firm Handles
Our firm will handle just about any type of criminal case that you might need help with. This means that if you are charged with drunk driving, drug possession, or larceny, we can likely provide the assistance that you need to protect yourself and your family’s interests. If you are charged with tax evasion, bank fraud, or other types of financial crimes, we can help with that as well. Finally, if you are charged with murder, arson, or any other type of serious felony, our team can likely create a defense that meets your needs. Let’s take a closer look at some of the common charges that state authorities typically pursue.
Larceny is typically an umbrella term for any crime involving the taking of property from a person or business. Burglary generally means that you entered a structure to commit any type of crime while robbery implies that you took items by force. Larceny simply means that you have taken goods without permission either with or without force. The value of the goods taken will determine if you’re charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.
The definition of drunk driving is operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more. If you are under the age of 21, you can be charged with DUI if your BAC is 0.02% or higher. You may be charged with impaired driving regardless of your age or blood alcohol level if you are showing signs of impairment such as bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, or difficulty standing.
Assault and Battery
Assault occurs when you intentionally create the apprehension of imminent harm in someone else. Battery occurs when you put your hands on another person without permission with the intent of hurting that person. The severity of the charge will likely depend on the severity of the injuries that a victim incurs. It may also depend on who your victim is as assault or battery on a state or federal official may automatically be a felony.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I know about the initial consultation?
During the initial consultation, you can learn more about the firm, what we do and how we may be able to help. You can also feel free to tell us as much about your case as you’d like as anything you say is covered by attorney-client confidentiality rules. You should expect the initial conversation to take about 15 to 30 minutes depending on how much you want to divulge right away. The consultation itself is free and comes with no obligation to hire The Criminal Defense Firm to represent you during the legal process. However, you will likely receive a contract that you can choose to sign or ignore at the completion of the consultation.
What sets your firm apart from the competition?
Our team is staffed primarily by former federal prosecutors as well as individuals who served as federal agents. Therefore, if you are charged with tax evasion, there is a strong possibility that you will be represented by someone who used to work for the IRS. If you are charged with drug possession, you may be represented by someone who has spent time with the DEA. In addition, you can be sure that the person who is selected to serve as your South Dakota criminal defense attorney will be the person who is by your side for the entire case. We do not believe in passing cases to junior associates for any reason.
What penalties might I incur if convicted?
You may be sentenced to jail or prison time, a fine, or probation if convicted of any type of criminal offense. It’s also possible that you’ll receive a suspended sentence or have the ability to perform community service in lieu of spending time in state custody. The severity of your sentence will depend on a number of factors such as your criminal history and whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. Felonies are more serious than misdemeanors. However, if there are aggravating factors in your case, you might spend years or decades in prison or face other harsh penalties if convicted of a misdemeanor charge.
What are examples of aggravating factors?
Aggravating factors are specific circumstances that make the offense worse. For example, in a DUI case they may include the fact that you had an extremely high BAC when police stopped your vehicle. If there was a child in your vehicle, it may also be an aggravating factor that results in enhanced penalties. If you attempted to flee from the police, that may be another factor that could be used to justify additional sanctions if you’re convicted. Finally, if you have a criminal history, that might be enough to have a misdemeanor charge upgraded to a felony or for a prosecutor to pursue additional charges for being a habitual offender.
Contact The Criminal Defense Firm Today for Help in South Dakota
If you are looking for a South Dakota criminal defense attorney, don’t hesitate to contact The Criminal Defense Firm’s nationwide intake hotline by dialing 866-603-4540. You can also get in touch with the firm by using our contact form.