Search Public Records
Please enter first name
Please enter last name
Please choose a state
Please enter a valid phone number
Please enter a house number
Please enter a street name
Please enter a city
Please choose a state

South Dakota Criminal Records

South Dakota Criminal Records serve as an essential source of information for the public, providing a comprehensive overview of an individual's involvement in criminal activities within the state.

These records are stored in South Dakota's Computerized Criminal History (CCH) system, overseen by the Office of the Attorney General. They help maintain public safety, support law enforcement agencies, and promote transparency in the justice system.

The content of criminal records may vary depending on the jurisdiction. However, in South Dakota, they typically include the following details:

  • Subject's personal information such as name, sex, race, and birthdate
  • Any known aliases
  • Physical descriptors
  • Fingerprint
  • Mugshots
  • Charges
  • Convictions
  • Court proceedings

In South Dakota, criminal records are accessible to the public under the South Dakota Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws

From an individual perspective, access to these records can be critical for various purposes, such as housing applications, employment background checks, and license requests. Employers, landlords, and licensing bodies often rely on these records to make informed decisions about applicants' suitability.

But remember that not all information in these records is publicly accessible. Specific data are not available to the general public, including sensitive information that could infringe upon the individual's privacy.

What Are the Types of Crimes in South Dakota?

Understanding the different types of crimes contained in a criminal record is crucial for legal awareness, personal safety, understanding potential consequences, and engaging in crime prevention initiatives. Therefore, individuals searching for South Dakota Criminal Records must familiarize themselves with the crimes included in these documents. 

The following are the most common type of crimes one may encounter when searching criminal records in South Dakota:


In South Dakota, felonies are serious criminal offenses with significant legal consequences. They result in harsh penalties, including imprisonment for more than one year and, in some cases, even the possibility of the death penalty.

Section 22-6-1 of South Dakota Codified Laws (SDCL) divides felonies into nine distinct classes, each representing different levels of severity. These classes determine the penalties individuals may face if convicted of these offenses.

The following are the classes of felonies recognized in South Dakota and the corresponding penalties they carry:

Class A Felonies

The most serious offense in South Dakota is a Class A felony. These crimes pose a significant threat to public safety or cause serious harm to individuals.

The only crime under this category is first-degree murder. In the event of a guilty verdict for this crime, the potential penalty includes a fine of $50,000, along with lifelong incarceration in a state correctional facility. In some instances, the death penalty may also be imposed.

Class B Felonies

Class B felonies in South Dakota are serious offenses, although not as severe as Class A felonies. Examples of crimes under this Class include first-degree aggravated kidnapping and second-degree murder.

If convicted of these crimes in South Dakota, individuals may face life imprisonment without the possibility of a lighter sentence, along with fines of up to $50,000.

Class C Felonies

In South Dakota, a Class C felony is considered a significant crime but less severe than a Class B felony. Examples of Class C felonies in this state include terrorism, second-degree manslaughter, and first-degree rape.

If someone is guilty of these crimes in South Dakota, they may receive a life sentence in prison and must pay a fine of $50,000.

Class 1 Felonies

Class 1 felonies are serious crimes that cause harm and put the public in danger. In South Dakota, these crimes include human trafficking with torture, second-degree rape, and selling drugs to a minor.

If someone is guilty of a Class 1 felony in this state, they will face a punishment of 50 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Class 2 Felonies

Class 2 felonies in South Dakota include first-degree burglary, robbery, and arson. These crimes come with a fine of $50,000 and a prison sentence of 25 years.

Class 3 Felonies

Class 3 felonies are serious crimes, although not as severe as Class 2 felonies.

In South Dakota, examples of Class 3 felonies are aggravated assault, vehicular homicide, and shooting at a building or vehicle with people inside.

If someone is guilty of these crimes in the state, they will face a punishment of 15 years in prison and have to pay a fine of $30,000.

Class 4 Felonies

Class 4 felonies in South Dakota involve violently rioting, stealing drugs, and selling child pornography. If someone is guilty of these crimes in the state, they will have to pay a fine of $20,000 and serve ten years in prison.

Class 5 Felonies

Class 5 felonies are less serious offenses compared to the above classes of felonies but still come with significant penalties such as five years in prison and $10,000 fines.

Examples of Class 5 felonies in South Dakota include promoting prostitution, repeated stalking offenses, and making threats to public officials.

Class 6 Felonies

Class 6 felonies are the least severe among the felony categories in South Dakota. Examples of crimes under this category include malicious harassment, possessing a firearm with an altered serial number, and falsifying evidence. If convicted of these crimes in South Dakota, individuals will face two years in prison, $4,000 in fines, or both.


In South Dakota, misdemeanors are less serious offenses than felonies but still carry legal consequences. These crimes encompass a range of criminal acts, from minor infractions to more significant violations.

Similar to felonies, section 22-6-2 of SDCL divides misdemeanors into two categories: Class 1 and Class 2 misdemeanors.

Class 1 Misdemeanors

Class 1 misdemeanors in South Dakota fall on the severe end of the spectrum. These crimes are punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

In South Dakota, examples of crimes under this category include:

  • Simple assault
  • Hiring a prostitute
  • Stalking
  • Operating an unauthorized vehicle or vessel
  • Rejecting to end up a riot or illicit gathering
  • Possession of illegal drugs
  • Petty theft in the first degree

Class 2 Misdemeanors

Class 2 misdemeanors are offenses generally involving acts that may be disruptive or offensive but are not as grave as those classified as Class 1 misdemeanors.

In South Dakota, the maximum penalty for Class 2 misdemeanors is a 30-day jail sentence, a fine of up to $500, or both. 

The following are some examples of crimes under this category:

  • Marijuana use by vehicle passengers
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Falsifying age by a minor
  • Public indecency
  • Petty theft on the second degree

How Does Probation Work in South Dakota?

Probation, a form of community supervision, is a crucial aspect of the criminal justice system in South Dakota. It allows individuals guilty of a crime to serve their sentences outside of jail as long as they follow the rules set by the judge and probation officer.

To make probation more effective, South Dakota uses evidence-based practices. These practices involve assessing the risks, using interventions to change behavior, and providing ongoing supervision to address the needs of the probationers.

Probation in South Dakota typically begins with a pre-sentence investigation conducted by probation officers. This investigation includes gathering relevant information about the offender, such as criminal history, personal circumstances, and risk factors. The collected data assist judges in determining appropriate probation conditions and sentence lengths.

Once judges determine probation is necessary, a probationer must follow specific conditions ordered by the court. These requirements can vary depending on the offense and the person's needs.

However, some common conditions include meeting regularly with a probation officer, maintaining employment or pursuing education, attending counseling or treatment programs, abstaining from alcohol or drug use, and refraining from further criminal activity.

In South Dakota, the court issues probation in proportion to the crime, so the nature and length of probation differ from case to case. However, the court may extend probation if necessary or if the probationer violates the conditions of their probation.

How Does Parole Work in South Dakota?

Parole in South Dakota is the conditional release of a convicted offender from prison before the completion of their maximum sentence. It allows individuals to demonstrate their rehabilitation and readiness to reintegrate into the community.

The Board of Pardons and Paroles, part of the South Dakota Department of Corrections (SDDOC), is responsible for the process and decision of parole. This board consists of experienced members appointed by the governor.

The parole process in South Dakota includes several steps to determine if an offender is eligible and suitable for release. 

First, a parole officer assesses the person, considering factors such as the type of crime committed, their criminal history, behavior while in prison, and participation in programs aimed at rehabilitation. After the assessment, a parole hearing takes place before the board.

During the parole hearing, the board reviews the case and decides whether the person should be released. They consider factors like the person's risk to public safety, their progress in rehabilitation, and whether they have a plan for reentering society.

If the parole board grants parole, the person must follow specific conditions to comply with the rules. The requirements set by the board can vary depending on the person's situation and the nature of the crime. Some common conditions include keeping in touch with the parole, agreeing to search and seizure at any time, and working persistently in a legal occupation. 

However, suppose the parolee disagrees with the conditions the parole officer sets. In that case, they can appeal to the supervisor of the parole officer, then to the executive officer, and finally to the board. This process may amend the conditions based on the parolee's appeal.

Nonetheless, individuals must adhere to these conditions the parole board sets throughout their parole. Failing to follow these conditions can have serious consequences, such as revoking parole and being sent back to prison.

How Does Expungement Work in South Dakota?

Criminal records greatly influence various aspects of an individual's life. They create obstacles and restrictions in areas like employment, housing, education, and personal relationships, which affect a person's well-being, opportunities, and overall quality of life.

Fortunately, South Dakota acknowledges the difficulties individuals with criminal records face and allows expungement to reduce these challenges and to provide a chance for a fresh start.

Expungement in South Dakota, also called the sealing of records, is the legal procedure through which an individual can have their criminal record erased in the eyes of the law.

If eligible, the expungement of South Dakota Criminal Records is possible through the provisions of sections 23-6-8.1 and 23A-3-34 of SDCL.

Criminal Records Expungement Under Section 23-6-8.1 of SDCL

Section 23-6-8.1 of SDCL stipulates that the Attorney General, the Director of the Bureau of Criminal Statistics in South Dakota, can authorize the destruction of information and records in certain situations.

These include cases no longer considered offenses under state law, misdemeanors with a 10-year disposition date, records of people over 75, and records of deceased individuals.

Criminal Records Expungement Under Section 23A-3-34 of SDCL

On the other hand, section 23A-3-34 of the same statute states that if a case involves a municipal ordinance violation, petty offense, or Class 2 misdemeanor, any conviction related to that case will automatically be removed from the person's record after ten years if they have met all court-ordered conditions.

However, court personnel and those authorized by court order can still access the case record.

When expunging arrest records without a resulting conviction, a different law applies in South Dakota. An arrested individual can request the court with jurisdiction over the crime to remove the history of the arrest under the following circumstances:

  • 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

Expungement Process in South Dakota

For individuals in South Dakota who are not eligible for automatic expungement, the commencement of the expungement process requires them to submit a motion to the court clerk who presides over the jurisdiction of the criminal matter. Concurrently, they must fill out and provide a civil case filing statement form with the motion above.

After filing the motion, the person must deliver a copy of the petition to the prosecutor responsible for handling the case. This service of the motion must be done at least 14 days before the scheduled meeting.

The court may schedule a hearing to consider the expungement request upon receiving the motion. However, if the accused, the prosecutor, and the victim agree, they can waive the meeting altogether.

If the court grants the expungement request, it will issue an order. This order directs the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to provide a non-public disposition record reflecting the expungement.

In South Dakota, it is essential to understand that filing a request for expungement incurs a cost unless the court decides to waive the fee. Thus, individuals should be prepared to pay the required fee or explore the possibility of waiving it based on their circumstances.

How To Obtain a Criminal Record in South Dakota

To obtain South Dakota Criminal Records, one can begin by conducting a background check in the Identification Section of the DCI, the primary repository for criminal records within the state.

The DCI maintains the CCH system, a comprehensive database of criminal records in South Dakota. They offer various channels to access these records fairly and transparently.

One way to get a criminal record from this department is by conducting a state-only background check. To begin this search, interested individuals must obtain a state applicant fingerprint card from the department.

Once they have the fingerprint card, they must provide the relevant information about the person they want to search, such as their name, birthdate, and social security number.

In addition to the fingerprint card, interested individuals must submit a complete and signed authorization and release form, a fully rolled set of fingerprints, and a check or money order for payment.

Once the DCI receives all the necessary information, fingerprints, authorization, and fees, it will conduct a state search. Note that DCI processes background searches and returns results in five business days plus postage time.

Apart from state-only background checks, individuals can also perform State/FBI background checks through the DCI. This search involves accessing criminal records maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on a national level. To initiate this search, one must follow specific procedures outlined by the DCI.

It's important to understand that state background checks and state/FBI background checks facilitated by the DCI have specific requirements. Requesters must have a valid reason for accessing criminal records, such as employment screening, licensing purposes, or personal safety concerns.

They must also comply with state and federal laws regarding using and disseminating criminal records. Unauthorized or unlawful use of obtained criminal records can have legal consequences.

What Are the Criminal Background Check Laws in South Dakota?

Employers, landlords, or individuals seeking South Dakota Criminal Records must follow the state's background check laws. Like other states, South Dakota follows the Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and  Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), but it doesn't have ban-the-box laws. Nonetheless, individuals must be aware of a few state regulations. 

In South Dakota, individuals who wish to conduct a background check should know that state law automatically expunges certain criminal convictions once eligible.

Individuals with arrests that didn't result in convictions in South Dakota can also have their arrest records removed from their permanent records. As a result, they can truthfully deny that they have been arrested or indicted.

Similarly, section 23A-3-35 of SDCL states that people in diversion programs can have their criminal records removed if they finish their diversionary punishments and are not charged with new crimes within a year and a day.

In South Dakota, these provisions give individuals a fresh start and prevent discrimination from interested parties like employers or landlords. These laws also protect public safety and the well-being of vulnerable populations.

Remember that the laws surrounding background checks in South Dakota can be complex and vary significantly from one jurisdiction to another, so legal counsel may be beneficial when navigating these issues.


Counties in South Dakota

Police Departments and Sheriffe Office in South Dakota

Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office320 W 4th St, Sioux Falls, SD
Pennington County Sheriff's Office300 Kansas City St #100, Rapid City, SD
Lincoln County Sheriff's Office128 N Main St, Canton, SD
Brown County Sheriff's Office22 Court St #1, Aberdeen, SD
Brookings County Sheriff's Office315 7th Ave, Brookings, SD
Codington County Sheriff's Office14 1st Ave SE, Watertown, SD
Meade County Sheriff's Office1400 Main St, Sturgis, SD
Lawrence County Sheriff's Office80 Sherman St, Deadwood, SD
Yankton County Sheriff's Office410 Walnut St, Yankton, SD
Davison County Sheriff's Office1015 S Miller Ave, Mitchell, SD