As a resident of South Dakota, you may know that the state has among the nation’s strictest drug possession laws. Although lawmakers have proposed reforms, these changes remain in progress.

Learn more about the potential legal penalties if you or a family member faces a court date for South Dakota drug charges.

Ingestion laws

Although several states outlaw ingestion of a controlled substance in addition to possession, failing a drug test is a felony in South Dakota and a misdemeanor elsewhere. While state representatives have moved to make this offense a misdemeanor, the reformed law has yet to pass both the South Dakota House and Senate.

Possession penalties

Many controlled substances, including cocaine, carry Class 4 felony penalties for the first offense. Conviction can result in up to two years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. In addition, this crime carries a mandatory minimum one-year prison sentence in South Dakota. Other controlled substances categorized in Schedule I or II can result in a Class 5 felony, while possession of controlled substances in lower schedules is a Class 6 felony.

Possession with intent to sell

An arrest involving more than a gram of cocaine or another Schedule I controlled substance constitutes possession with intention to distribute in South Dakota. This conviction carries at least two years and up to 99 years in prison, with possible fines of up to $50,000.

Selling a controlled substance to a minor is an elevated Class 2 felony. The mandatory minimum prison sentence for a conviction is five years for the first offense and 10 years for the second offense. Subsequent offenders do not qualify for a suspended sentence.

When in South Dakota, avoid the possibility of significant prison time with a controlled substance charge. A conviction for paraphernalia possession that would result in a fine in another state could result in a year in prison in South Dakota, even for offenders with no prior history of drug convictions.