Kinney Law, pc

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

Phone: 605-642-2147
Fax: 605-642-4079
Spearfish Law Office Map

Rapid City Office
909 St. Joseph Street
10th floor Suite 3
Rapid City, SD 57701

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Sturgis Office
2275 Lazelle Street
Sturgis, SD 57785

Sturgis Law Office Map

Contact The Firm
Fax 605-642-4079

Spearfish Criminal Defense Blog

The 3 ways the authorities charge possession

Driving in South Dakota with drugs can land you in hot water. The police have the right to allege possession of drugs which may land on you or extend out to others in the same vicinity.

Having the drugs alone may not constitute a criminal charge, but knowing you have them and what the drugs do is, in fact, illegal. If the police discover narcotics, the state may charge you with possession in one or more of three ways.

Why you should never leave an accident scene in South Dakota

Whether you are a resident of South Dakota or are simply on vacation, you must drive carefully on the state’s roadways. With a bit of care, you can likely increase your chances of avoiding an automobile collision. Eventually, though, you may find yourself in the middle of a car crash. 

Like most states, South Dakota has a law that prevents motorists from leaving the scene of an accident. Collisions can be both stressful and frightening. Still, how you behave after a car wreck is important. Here are some things you should know about leaving an accident scene in South Dakota. 

Utah lowers BAC limit. Will other states follow?

One of the biggest pieces of news of the new year is the new drunk driving law in Utah. The blood alcohol content limit is now 0.05 percent in the Beehive State, down from the national limit of 0.08 percent. This is the strictest law regarding driving under the influence in the United States.

Some people are cheering on this move, while others claim it is going too far. But one of the most important questions is whether South Dakota will fall in line with this strict BAC limit.

Opioid use on the rise throughout rural areas

America is in the midst of a crisis. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioid overdoses accounted for 72,000 untimely deaths in 2017. That number was up 15 percent from 2016. When the data for 2018 comes out next year, it will, no doubt, show another increase.

South Dakota is not immune to the opioid epidemic. The rate of abuse in nonmetropolitan rural areas is disproportionately higher considering that fewer people live in these areas. The percentage of opioid-related deaths in rural areas is 45 percent higher than in cities.

What are your risks at a sobriety checkpoint?

As you know, the holiday season means time spent with family and friends, which often involves alcohol. Law enforcement is also aware of this, and they take measures during prime drunk driving periods to keep intoxicated drivers off South Dakota roads. You might not worry if you are pulled over at a sobriety checkpoint while sober, but unfortunately, you may have something to worry about.

A sobriety checkpoint is a method officers use to pull over vehicles in a predetermined pattern, such as every five cars. Drivers are usually asked if they have been drinking, and they may need to complete some field sobriety tests.

How to avoid a DUI on vacation

When visiting the Spearfish or Sturgis area visiting friends and family, attending an event or simply out on a weekend getaway, you deserve to have some fun. This may involve enjoying some alcohol at one of the local bars. 

However, you do not need to get a criminal conviction or hurt someone because of drunk driving. A DUI charge will ruin your otherwise enjoyable trip. Here are a few strategies for avoiding a DUI arrest on your South Dakota vacation.

Tourists and arrests while on vacation

When you go on vacation, the last thing you expect to happen is a police arrest. However, some locales are quite aggressive when it comes to cracking down on particular behaviors that tourists engage in, and areas such as Sturgis is one of them. 

Law enforcement agencies in places that have a large tourist population, such as Sturgis, often work extra hard to enforce laws against tourists to maintain order for local residents. With hundreds of thousands of visitors regularly attending the annual nine-day motorcycle rally there, it is no wonder that some tourists often find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

DUI laws are tougher on truckers

Anyone who faces a DUI conviction may worry that the harsh penalties could cause difficulties with work. At the least, license suspension or revocation can lead to transportation issues. 

For commercial drivers, the repercussions may be much worse if they are behind the wheel of a large truck and South Dakota law enforcement discovers they are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The consequences of impaired riding are more than criminal

From the windy plains of the Missouri River Valley to the winding roads of the Black Hills National Forest, motorcyclists visiting for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally have plenty to enjoy on two wheels. However, there are many more things that could enhance or detract from your experience on the road. Riders beware.

You probably like visiting the rally because it is a gathering of people who share your interests in motorcycles, music, the outdoors and fun - but as the old saying goes, too much of a good thing isn't always a good thing. It is important to keep safety and responsibility top of mind during the rally. Everyone wants to return home safe without incident or injury, but the reality is that not every does so.

Caught in South Dakota with THC oil?

In most South Dakota counties, you're probably going to be facing a felony controlled substance charge ... the same charge as if you were busted for harder drugs such as methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, MDMA, unauthorized oxycodone or psilocybin mushrooms. That trip to Colorado just got more expensive! You may or may not be able to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor, as if you had only flower marijuana.

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