Domestic violence is a serious criminal offense that generally refers to physical harm, or the threat of physical harm, inflicted by one family or household member against another. In South Dakota, domestic violence (also referred to as domestic abuse) can only be committed between family members. The table below outlines South Dakota's main domestic violence law.
|South Dakota Code chapter 10: Protection from Domestic Abuse|
|Domestic abuse occurs when an offender causes physical harm or bodily injury, attempts to cause physical harm or bodily injury, or inflicts the fear of imminent physical harm or bodily injury against a family member.|
Definition of "Family"
|Under South Dakota's domestic abuse law, a "family member" is limited to:
Domestic Violence Arrests
South Dakota has a law that governs police officers who respond to domestic violence calls. If the responding officer has probable cause to believe that the parties involved in the domestic dispute have assaulted each other, the officer isn't required to arrest both people. Instead, the officer shall arrest the person whom the officer believes to be the predominant physical aggressor. In order to make this determination, the police officer takes into account the following factors:
One of the main ways that a domestic violence survivor can help protect themselves from further abuse is by petitioning the court for a protective order. While a protective order isn't able to guarantee future safety, it does allow the victim to have the abuser arrested if any provision of the order is violated. If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that domestic abuse has taken place, the court may issue a protective order that provides the following relief:
State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding South Dakota's domestic violence laws contact a local criminal defense attorney.
If you're a domestic violence survivor there is help available for you. During an emergency dial 911 and when you're safe contact South Dakota Coalition Ending Domestic & Sexual Violence.
Contact a qualified attorney.