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Understanding Your Rights When Arrested in South Dakota


When you are arrested in South Dakota, you have unalienable rights that you should know about. Everyone arrested in the state has a right to a lawyer, the right to a speedy and impartial trial, the right to remain silent, and more. In this article, we will highlight the key rights you have when you are arrested and what they mean for you in your case. 

At our law firm in Sioux Falls and Mitchell, SD, we have an experienced team of criminal defense lawyers who are on your side. Attorney Grant G. Alvine is a former prosecutor with dozens of trials, and attorney Zachary T. Flood has represented clients in all types of cases, including capital cases, murder trials, and misdemeanors. 

Call us at 605-275-0808 to request a free consultation. You deserve the best legal representation available, and we are here to do everything in our power to help you achieve the best results in your case. 

What Happens When You’re Arrested in South Dakota? 

Arrests can take place on the scene of a crime, or when police have probable cause to make an arrest. You can also be arrested for committing a crime in the presence of law enforcement since they have directly borne witness to the illegal acts. Arrests can also be made after police obtain an arrest warrant, which is a document from the court that states a crime has taken place and the person in question is likely to be guilty given the current evidence. 

Anyone who is arrested in South Dakota should be told their rights. These rights, called Miranda rights, were established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1966 after Miranda v. Arizona. 

You Are Owed the Miranda Warning

If you have ever watched a police movie or seen an arrest on television, you have likely heard an officer say, “You have the right to remain silent.” This is part of the Miranda warning that every arrested person is entitled to under United States federal law.

The Miranda warning is provided by an arresting officer to a detainee prior to being brought into custody for questioning. It includes:

  • You have the right to remain silent during interrogation.
  • Anything you say can be used against you in court. 
  • You have the right to consult with a lawyer and have the lawyer present during interrogation.
  • You have the right to an appointed defense lawyer if you cannot obtain one yourself. 

These rights are upheld by the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination as well as the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. 

You Have a Right to Know Why You Are Being Arrested

South Dakota Codified Law (SDCL) 23A-3-2 states that a law officer is allowed to arrest without a warrant if a public offense (other than a petty offense) is committed in their presence or there is probable cause to believe that a person has committed a felony or Class 1 misdemeanor. 

Your Miranda rights are a Constitutional requirement. Failure to read you your rights can result in the court not accepting any statements you make in questioning as evidence. You have a right to be told why you are being arrested; you also have a right to be informed of the suspected crimes you may be charged with, and the possible consequences of those crimes.

Know Your Rights After Being Arrested in South Dakota

At Alvine Law Firm, we work tirelessly for our clients to ensure that their Constitutional rights are upheld. These seven rights should never be denied or violated. Let us fight for you.

Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. Call 605-275-0808 to arrange a free consultation with one of our criminal defense attorneys. 

1. The Right to Remain Silent

Protected by the Fifth Amendment, you are legally allowed to remain silent during interrogations. You can say you plead the Fifth, but this is not necessary. The right to remain silent gives you the power to avoid answering questions you do not want to or revealing details about yourself to law enforcement.

If you indicate at any point in time during interrogation that you wish to remain silent, the questioning must stop. If you state that you wish to have an attorney present, then interrogation must end until you have one. 

You do need to answer that you understand your Miranda rights, but not affirming your understanding does not automatically waive them. 

2. The Right to an Attorney 

Detainees are legally entitled to legal counsel, whether they hire an attorney or have one appointed for them. You also have the right to not speak unless a lawyer is present, and you can refuse to continue speaking during interrogation until a lawyer is present at any point in time.

3. The Right to a Speedy Public Trial 

A speedy public trial is guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment. This means that an indictment must occur within 30 days after being arrested and a trial must begin within 70 days of being arrested. This helps prevent you from being held in custody or charged with a crime without the hope of a swift resolution.

4. The Right to an Impartial Trial

Impartiality is vital to justice. Every person accused of a crime has a legal right to a trial with their verdict made by an unbiased, impartial jury. 

5. The Right to Confront Witnesses Brought Against You

The Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment provides you the right to question any witnesses brought against you by prosecution. 

6. The Right to Subpoena Witnesses 

You can apply for a subpoena for witnesses to testify in court. If someone will not appear as a witness voluntarily, you can subpoena them instead. This legally requires them to appear during trial.

7. The Right to Appeal Your Conviction in a Higher Court

Defendants who are found guilty of criminal acts have the right to appeal their case. You cannot be found guilty for a crime once you have been found innocent. But you can be found innocent after a guilty verdict. In some cases, appeals are not to deny guilt but contest an unfavorable ruling.

Appeals can result in convictions being reversed, sentences being altered, or a new trial being ordered. 

8. Protection Against Cruel or Unusual Punishment

“Innocent until proven guilty” is a pillar of the United States legal system. Suspects are entitled to be treated with dignity. The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishments such as excessive bail, fines, and other penalties. 

Consult With a Sioux Falls Criminal Defense Lawyer 

We understand how invaluable your rights are and do everything we can to protect them. Alvine Law Firm represents individuals facing any criminal charge in South Dakota. You can contact us to request a free consultation at 605-275-8080. We’re here to fight for you.

Additional Resources

What Are Your Miranda Rights? | Mirandawarning.org 

Fifth Amendment | National Constitution Center

Sixth Amendment | National Constitution Center

Eighth Amendment | National Constitution Center

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