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South Dakota Arrest Records

South Dakota Arrest Records provide official information about an individual's arrest history within the state. These records indicate if a person got arrested, held in custody, or detained for questioning due to violating the South Dakota Codified Laws (SDCL).

Unlike criminal records, these documents do not prove someone's guilt. Therefore, they do not include details about judgments or penalties. However, if the person has a previous criminal record, it may indicate past arrests and charges.

The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) receives and files the arrest records within 96 hours after an arrest occurs. Once filed, these records contain valuable information, such as the person's full name, date of birth, and photograph.

Moreover, these records provide details about the offense committed, including the crime's nature, the arrest's date and location, and any charges or convictions resulting from the incident. Additionally, they may include information about court appearances, bail amounts, and case dispositions.

In South Dakota, arrest records are public documents as mandated by the South Dakota Public Records Law. Under this statute, these records are available for scrutiny by anyone who seeks them.

But it's important to know that not all of the information in an arrest record in South Dakota is open to the public. For instance, confidential data that could invade the privacy of the record holder is not available from public scrutiny.

What Laws Govern Arrests in South Dakota?

Like other jurisdictions, the legal system of South Dakota ensures public safety, maintains order, and upholds the rights of its citizens. To achieve these goals, South Dakota has implemented specific laws that govern the process of arrests.

Chapter 23A-3 of the SDCL is the primary law regulating arrest in South Dakota. Under this law, a law enforcement officer can arrest someone by obtaining an arrest warrant, a legal document issued by a judge. They can also arrest an individual without a warrant in specific situations.

For example, law enforcement officers in South Dakota can arrest people without a warrant if they see them committing a serious offense. They can also immediately execute an arrest if they have sufficient reasons to believe someone has committed a felony or Class I misdemeanor, even if they were not present at the time.

However, before arresting without a warrant, law enforcement officers must have probable cause to suspect an individual's involvement in criminal behavior.

The power to arrest someone in South Dakota is not limited to local law enforcement officers. Federal law enforcement officers and police officers from other states can also arrest individuals in fresh pursuit of a suspect guilty of a felony or misdemeanor.

South Dakota also recognizes the concept of citizen's arrest. Private individuals who witness or know about a crime in this state can arrest the offender in certain situations.

However, making a citizen's arrest comes with certain restrictions and responsibilities. The individual making the arrest must witness the crime or have reliable information indicating that a crime has occurred. 

Furthermore, the use of force must be proportionate and reasonable, and the arrested individual must be promptly handed over to law enforcement authorities.

What Is the Arrest Booking Process in South Dakota?

When an individual is arrested in South Dakota, the arrest booking process commences promptly. Booking is the legal process of inputting details regarding an arrested individual into a database maintained by a law enforcement organization. Thus, the arresting authority will collect the subject's information, which will be listed in South Dakota Arrest Records.

Law enforcement officers in South Dakota carry out the necessary procedures to ensure the proper identification and documentation of the arrested person. The following are the critical steps involved in the arrest booking process in South Dakota:

Identification and Personal Information

Upon arrest, the law enforcement officer will collect the individual's personal information, including their full name, date of birth, address, and contact details. This data serves as a vital reference throughout the legal proceedings.

Mugshots and Fingerprinting

Mugshots and fingerprints are taken during the booking process to establish a visual and physical record of the arrested person. Mugshots provide a photographic representation of the individual's appearance at the time of arrest, while fingerprints are used for identification purposes and to check against criminal databases.

Criminal History Check

As part of the booking process, law enforcement officers conduct a thorough criminal history check on the arrested person. This step involves verifying any outstanding warrants, previous arrests, or convictions, aiding law enforcement in assessing the individual's potential risk, and facilitating appropriate legal actions.

Collection of Property and Belongings

During the booking process, the law enforcement officers will collect the personal belongings of the arrested person, such as clothing, jewelry, and money. These items are typically stored securely until the individual's release or transfer to a correctional facility.

Health Assessment and Medical Screening

As part of the booking process, the arrested person will undergo a health assessment and medical screening to address immediate medical needs and ensure their overall well-being. The arresting agency will provide any necessary medical treatment and document any pre-existing conditions or injuries.

What Happens After the Arrest Booking Process in South Dakota?

Once an individual is arrested and booked in South Dakota, the post-arrest process begins, involving several vital steps. Like most states, South Dakota follows the general procedures outlined below:

Initial Appearance

Following an arrest and booking process, law enforcement officers will bring the arrested person before a judge for an initial appearance. During this stage, the court will state the detained individual's charges and rights, including the right to an attorney. The court may also discuss the bail conditions,

Arraignment and Plea

The arraignment is a formal court hearing where the respondent enters a guilty or not guilty plea in response to the charges. In South Dakota, the judge considers the petition and determines the next course of action, which may involve setting a trial date or negotiating a plea agreement.

Pretrial Proceedings

If the case goes to a jury trial, there will be pretrial proceedings, which include the prosecution and defense exchanging evidence. Motions and hearings may occur during this phase, allowing the reason to challenge the admissibility of evidence or present legal arguments.


Both sides present their evidence and arguments before a judge or jury in cases that go to trial. The prosecution seeks to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, while the defense aims to establish reasonable doubt and secure an acquittal.


A separate sentencing hearing is conducted to determine the appropriate punishment if the defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty. The judge considers various aspects, such as the defendant's criminal history, the severity of the offense, and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances.

What Are South Dakota Mugshot Records?

South Dakota Mugshot Records refer to official photographs taken at the time of an individual's arrest in the state. 

These records, part of South Dakota Arrest Records, are essential to law enforcement documentation and provide visual evidence of a person's physical appearance during their arrest. Mugshot records are generally considered public information in South Dakota; thus, anyone can access them.

There are different ways to obtain these documents in this state. One standard method to access mugshot records in South Dakota is through online databases maintained by law enforcement agencies. 

For example, the South Dakota Department of Corrections (SDDOC) has a Most Wanted page on its website where interested individuals can see mugshots of adult inmates who have escaped and are being sought by the police.

Another option to get mugshot records in South Dakota is searching the South Dakota Sex Offender Registry website. This website lets interested individuals find registered sex offenders by using the "Neighborhood Search" or "Text Search" options and filling in the search fields.

Once they click the search button, they will see a list of offenders in the state along with their details. Clicking on an offender's name will give seekers more information about the individual and their mugshot.

Alternatively, one can go in person to local law enforcement agencies or county Sheriff's Offices to request access to these records.

However, while these records are publicly available, their use may be subject to certain restrictions or guidelines. In South Dakota, it's essential to use this information responsibly and within the boundaries of the law. Using these records for illegal purposes is unlawful and carries potential legal consequences.

How Long Does an Arrest Record Stay in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, the length of time an arrest record remains on file is a crucial question that concerns individuals who have encountered the criminal justice system. Understanding this duration is vital for those seeking to move forward and rebuild their lives.

South Dakota's approach to maintaining arrest records is primarily governed by state laws and the practices followed by law enforcement agencies and courts. The retention period for arrest records can vary depending on several factors, including the offense's severity, the case's outcome, and the individual's overall criminal history.

Typically, the arresting agency or local law enforcement departments in South Dakota maintain these records indefinitely, regardless of the case's outcome. It means that even if an individual is acquitted or has dropped charges, their arrest history may remain on file.

However, South Dakota law does provide provisions for individuals to request the expungement of certain arrest records under specific circumstances. Expungement is a legal process that allows eligible individuals to have their arrest records sealed, effectively removing them from public access.

Nonetheless, these records may still be accessible to law enforcement agencies and certain government entities for specific purposes.

How To Expunge an Arrest Record in South Dakota

When someone gets arrested, the consequences can go beyond immediate legal issues. Having an arrest record can make finding employment, housing, and maintaining personal relationships challenging.

However, in South Dakota, individuals can expunge their arrest records, giving them a fresh start and an opportunity to rebuild their lives.

To be eligible for expungement, individuals in South Dakota must meet specific requirements. The essential requirement is that they must not have been guilty of the crime they were arrested for since expungement in the state is only typically available for cases where there was no conviction.

There is also a waiting period that must pass since the case resolution. In South Dakota, the waiting periods are as follows:

  • Within one year after the prosecuting attorney removes the record due to a compelling need
  • One year after the prosecuting attorney dismisses the entire criminal case on the record
  • After one year of arrest, if no indictment document was filed
  • Anytime after acquittal

By fulfilling these requirements and waiting for the appropriate period, individuals can take steps towards expunging their South Dakota Arrest Records and moving forward with their lives.

Expungement Process of Arrest Records in South Dakota

Interested individuals who wish to expunge their records must follow the following steps:

  • File a motion with the court clerk with jurisdiction over the criminal matter.
  • Complete and submit a civil case filing statement form along with the motion.
  • After filing the motion and submitting the civil case filing statement form, the individual must serve a copy of the petition to the prosecutor responsible for handling the case within 14 days before the scheduled meeting.
  • The court will schedule a hearing once the motion and petition have been filed and served. However, if the accused, the prosecutor, and the victim agree, they can waive the meeting altogether.
  • After the hearing, if the court finds the motion and petition valid and considers any opposition from the prosecutor, it may grant the expungement request. The court will order to expunge the arrest record in such cases.

After expungement, a background check conducted by anyone, including the public, potential employers, and schools, will not locate the arrest record.

However, in South Dakota, it is crucial to understand that filing an expungement request comes with a cost unless the court decides to waive the fee. Therefore, interested individuals must make the necessary payment to the relevant authorities.

How To Search South Dakota Arrest Records

Acquiring South Dakota Arrest Records is crucial in ensuring transparency, safeguarding public safety, and upholding the principles of justice. In South Dakota, interested individuals can quickly obtain these records by following a straightforward process primarily involving DCI and local law enforcement agencies.

When acquiring arrest records in the state, local law enforcement agencies serve as the primary source. They actively create and maintain these records within their respective jurisdictions. Therefore, anyone interested in obtaining these records can visit these agencies in person and submit a formal request to inquire about the specific document they are seeking.

Another avenue for obtaining arrest records is through DCI. They offer a comprehensive criminal record search through their Computerized Criminal History (CCH) system. This system enables individuals to access pertinent arrest information by conducting fingerprint-based background checks.

Interested parties must contact the Identification Department of DCI for a free state applicant fingerprint card to initiate the search process. Once they have the fingerprint card in their possession, they must fill it out with the necessary personal details of the applicant.

Afterward, they can mail the completed card, a signed authorization and release form, and the required payment to the department.

Once DCI receives and processes the request, they will promptly send the requester a copy of the criminal history report. However, this report will not include any information regarding private records, federal charges, traffic tickets, juvenile offenses, or crimes in another state.


Counties in South Dakota

Jails and Prisons in South Dakota

Minnehaha County Juvenile Detention4200 South West Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD
South Dakota State Penitentiary1600 North Drive, Sioux Falls, SD
Jameson Annex1600 North Drive, Sioux Falls, SD
Minnehaha County Correction Center1900 West Russell Street, Sioux Falls, SD
Minnehaha County Jail500 North Minnesota Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD
Western SD Juvenile Detention3505 Cambell Street, Rapid City, SD
Rapid City Community Work Center2725 Creek Drive, Rapid City, SD
Pennington County SD Jail307 St. Joseph Street, Rapid City, SD
Pennington County SD Work Release Facility108 E. Main St., Rapid City, SD
Lincoln County SD Jail128 North Main Street, Suite 200, Canton, SD