Kinney Law, pc

Spearfish Office
121 W. Hudson Street
P.O. Box 729
Spearfish, SD 57783

Phone: 605-642-2147
Fax: 605-642-4079
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Rapid City Office
2020 W. Main St
Suite 103
Rapid City, SD 57702

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Sturgis Office
2275 Lazelle Street
Sturgis, SD 57785

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Contact The Firm
605-642-2147
Fax 605-642-4079

Spearfish Criminal Defense Blog

Factors that can impact Breathalyzer accuracy

If you find yourself traveling through Sturgis or another part of South Dakota and a law enforcement officer pulls you over and believes you are driving while intoxicated, he or she will likely ask you to take a breath test with a device known as a Breathalyzer. Breathalyzers assess the amount of alcohol you have in your body to give authorities a sense of how impaired you might be behind the wheel. While, if used and calibrated properly, these devices are often accurate, there are several factors that can cause them to produce false results.

Because the penalties linked with drinking and driving in South Dakota are so substantial, it is critical that your breath test reveal accurate, and not falsely elevated, results. However, it may produce a false reading of your blood alcohol content if:

2 defense options for a marijuana possession charge

With jurisdictions around the country taking steps to legalize the use of medicinal and recreational marijuana, you may feel there is nothing wrong if you use a little of the substance here and there. Though you may be a supporter of legalization, it is still a crime to use and possess marijuana in South Dakota. If an officer pulls you over and arrests you for being in possession of marijuana, you could end up with a drug charge. 

You may think that you cannot do anything about the charge but to accept the consequences. But a criminal charge means you allegedly committed a crime. It is up to the prosecution to use evidence they may have against you to secure a conviction. You should not take any criminal accusations lightly. Here are two drug possession defense tactics you should consider. 

Is it possible to have my DUI charge dismissed?

If you are facing criminal charges in the Spearfish area for a DUI, you may find yourself wondering if there is some way for you to beat them. You may not believe you deserve those charges and are beating yourself up about the circumstances that led to this predicament. But there is still time for the tide to turn in your favor.

It is possible for an alleged offender to have DUI charges dropped. However, not everyone who receives a DUI charge qualifies. Here is a brief overview of different defense strategies that can help to reduce and dismiss DUI charges. 

Prison is rarely a solution for substance abuse issues

Your doctor prescribed pain pills for your chronic health issue, but the medication has a high risk of dependence. Once you have been taking the habit-forming pills for a while, your doctor decides you should take something else. At this point, you lose your source, but your dependence on the drug continues.

If you move on to a different drug in order to keep from going into withdrawal, you could put yourself at risk for arrest. Drug charges are serious, but there may be an alternative to prison that will help you to rebuild your life.

Consequences of another DUI in South Dakota

Do you already have a DUI conviction and now face another? You may wonder how it got to this point. You swore it would never happen again, that you learned your lesson the first time after all the consequences you received.

Regardless of how it happened, the fact is that another DUI conviction will bring harsher penalties than before. South Dakota law regarding multiple offenses of impaired driving are as follows.

  • Second offense: Your second time still counts as a misdemeanor. You will lose your license for a year and stay a brief time in jail.
  • Third offense: The fine goes from the hundreds to the thousands, and the crime becomes a felony if all occurrences have happened in the last 10 years.
  • Fourth offense: The classification of the felony continues to grow more severe. In addition to significantly higher fees and jail time, you also lose your license for two years.
  • Fifth offense or more: License revocation lasts for three years.

Can I get a DUI from using marijuana?

South Dakota is one of the strictest states on marijuana use. There is zero tolerance for THC impairment and motor vehicle use. It is also a partial home to one of the busiest highways in the country. Many people who use marijuana recreationally and medicinally pass through the area on Interstate 90, not realizing that possession of the substance is illegal. Many tourists and locals also do not realize that driving while under the influence of pot is not legal. 

However, if you smoked some pot or ate a few edibles while in Colorado and traveled into the area and the police detain you for impairment, it is possible for you to face charges of drugged driving. Here is a brief overview of how marijuana use can lead to a drugged driving charge in South Dakota. 

How a DUI affects tourists in South Dakota

Have you been enjoying the thrilling events at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally? Along with rides, concerts, contests and food, your entertainment has probably included consuming alcohol to beat the heat and relax.

Whether it is your first time attending or you go every year, one thing to always remember is to stay off your bike after drinking. Driving under the influence out of state is still a serious offense. In addition to the physical harm you can cause yourself and others, drunk driving comes with legal consequences that will follow you home.

Do police target tourists to make arrests?

Whether you are planning a quick weekend getaway or a relaxing week-long vacation, Sturgis is a popular destination to hit. The town is home to the annual motorcycle rally, but there are plenty of other attractions that draw tourists to the area, too. No matter the nature of your visit, nothing will throw a wrench in your plans like getting arrested by local law enforcement.

The aggression police officers maintain even towards tourists might surprise you. In some cases, it may seem that tourists are a target of law enforcement. There are a few reasons why police may target tourists for arrest more frequently than others in the area.

What progress in marijuana laws means for South Dakotans

There are many advocates in South Dakota and surrounding areas who would love to see marijuana legalized. In recent years, they have made significant progress in convincing state and federal authorities to rethink legislature which bans marijuana and its derivative compounds. Considerations have taken place as recently as a few months ago, in fact, that might be indicative of progress.

There are several things that every South Dakotan — or person visiting South Dakota — should know about marijuana in the state. Read on for more information on its current legal status, the possibility of that status changing in the foreseeable future and the consequences currently associated with possession.

The consequences of an underage DUI on your teen

Raising a teenager comes with many challenges, from school to relationships. One challenge you do not want to face as a parent is your teen driving while drunk. If it does happen, and your son or daughter has a DUI charge, you may have many questions about how it will affect your teen's future.

You may worry that a DUI conviction will make it difficult for your child to apply for college or employment. You may be worried your teen is on a slippery slope, or maybe this incident came as a complete surprise. No matter the circumstances, it is important to know what a first-time DUI will mean for your teen.

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