If you've been charged with drunk driving in South Dakota, chances are you've been charged with two separate criminal offenses: 1) Driving or Control of Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol, Marijuana, or Controlled Substance in violation of SDCL 32-23-1(2) and 2) Driving or Control of Vehicle While Having .08 Percent or More of Alcohol in Blood in violation of SDCL 32-23-1(1).
In South Dakota, you can't lawfully operate motor vehicle if you have either more than .08% BAC (even if that amount of alcohol has no physical effect on you) or if you have less than .08% BAC but you are impaired nonetheless (like if you're high on marijuana or have a low tolerance for alcohol). Routinely, the State charges those arrested for drunk driving with these two counts in the alternative, which means you can only be convicted of one offense. If the results of your blood test indicate a blood alcohol content (BAC) equal to or greater than .08%, the State will likely attempt to convict you for violating SDCL 32-23-1(1). Instead, if the results of your blood test indicate a BAC less than .08% the State may attempt to convict you for violating SDCL 32-23-1(2) by attempting to prove that you were impaired nevertheless. A first or second offense DUI in South Dakota is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in the county jail, a $2,000 fine, or both. There are also collateral consequences, such as the loss of a commercial drivers license (CDL). Subsequent convictions have even more serious consequences, such as increased fines and jail time, a loss of driving privileges, costly alcohol treatment, and a total prohibition on your consumption of alcohol (including being tested twice a day). And those are just the penalties imposed by the State. Will you lose your job if you can't drive to work? Will your insurance premiums become affordable?
When you hire Nelson Law, we start with a thorough review of the circumstances of your stop and arrest. Were you lawfully stopped? Did the police follow the rules? Was there a valid warrant or consent for a search? Are there other issues with the stop or the arrest that can get your charges dropped entirely? Do the circumstances suggest the State may accept a plea to a lesser charge with reduced punishment? The attorneys at Nelson Law have handled hundreds of DUI cases. We know the system and know what steps to take to help you secure the best possible outcome based on your unique situation. Call us today.
Drug Crimes (Possession, Ingestion, Distribution, Manufacture)
Getting busted for possessing or dealing illegal drugs can be a life-altering experience, especially in South Dakota. Possession of marijuana concentrates (like vape pens and edibles) may be legal in numerous states, but it's a felony in South Dakota. South Dakota will even charge with you possession of marijuana if there are cannabis metabolites in your urine. If you are arrested for possessing or dealing illegal drugs in South Dakota, you need Nelson Law on your side.
At Nelson Law, we start with a thorough review of the circumstances of your stop and arrest. Were you lawfully stopped? Were you lawfully searched? Did the police follow the rules? Was there a valid warrant or consent for a search? Are there other issues with the stop or the arrest that can get your charges dropped entirely? If not, we will attempt to negotiate a favorable plea deal. If all else fails, we're ready for trial. If you have a drug problem, we also have the resources to get you the treatment you need, which, if you're ready to make a change, may lead to a more lenient sentence and the ability to get your life back on track.
If you or someone you love has been arrested for using, possessing, or distributing illegal drugs in South Dakota, the experienced attorneys at Nelson Law are ready to take over and get you through this experience.
The punishment for being convicted of a violent crime is severe. You could be facing years, or even a lifetime, in prison. Nelson Law's attorneys have defended clients charged with robbery, burglary, rape, assault, and even murder. We truly believe all individuals deserve a legitimate defense. When the next step feels uncertain, it’s important to choose a law firm with the courage to fight for you and the experience to win. If you or a loved one has been arrested for or questions in connection with a violent crime, take the first step in your defense by exercising your right to remain silent. An experienced attorney can ensure you don't say anything that could incriminate yourself, even accidentally. Innocent people often agree to lengthy police interviews because "they have nothing to hide." But, innocent people can be convicted of a crime just for numerous reasons—even just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Think it couldn't happen to you? Think again. The National Registry of Exonerations—a Project of the University of California Irvine Newkirk Center for Science & Society,
University of Michigan Law School & Michigan State University College of Law—reports 151 innocent and wrongly-convicted people were exonerated in 2018. How many hundreds or thousands more weren't and never will be? Don't be one of them.
The first step in your defense is exercising your right to remain silent. The second step is calling Nelson Law. If you or someone you love has been arrested for or questions in connection with a violent crime, the experienced attorneys at Nelson Law will put the full weight of our criminal defense resources on your side.
Simple Assault Domestic Violence
Verbal and physical altercations in the home can easily lead to simple assault domestic violence charges. In many South Dakota communities, if the police are called during one of these disputes, someone is spending the night in jail. A simple assault domestic violence conviction can have devastating impact on your life, including the potential prohibition of possessing a firearm.
If you've been charged with simple assault domestic violence, you need to consult with an attorney. When the next step feels uncertain, it’s important to choose a law firm with the courage to protect your family and the experience to win.
Put Nelson Law's criminal defense resources on your side
When the handcuffs click, your life can change in an instant. Any criminal charge, misdemeanor or felony, can have a serious impact on your life – your career, your family, your finances, your future. With so much at stake, it is crucial to exercise your right to an attorney. An attorney will be your advocate when you need an advocate the most.
You may be looking for an attorney to help a loved one. If you have been on the other end of the phone to receive your loved one’s one phone call, you know all to well the worries that come with “the phone call.” Worries about what the future might hold –jail time or fines, worries about mental and physical safety of your loved one, and worries about what you can do to help. Hiring an attorney right away is the fastest and surest way to help. Nelson Law has a unique skill set and the ability to help your loved one in this unfortunate situation.