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South Dakota Domestic Abuse Laws and How to Get Help for Domestic Abuse

According to the law of South Dakota, a person can commit domestic violence by threatening, causing injury or trying to cause injury to a family member. Restraining an order is also considered a crime in South Dakota.

Family members include a previous spouse, spouse, blood relation relatives, people living together, marriage, and people who have produced children.

Below are considered as domestic abuse under South Dakota laws:

If a person does the below to a family member or household person:

  • Causing violation of protective order
  • Causing fear of bodily injury
  • Harming a person
  • Committing a crime
  • Causing physical harm
  • According to the law of South Dakota, an assault crime is considered the one causing an injury to a person, or causing fear of harming a person.

If the criminal assaults or harms a person living in the house, it is considered domestic abuse.

If the legal officer feels that the criminal has committed a crime, and it is a case of domestic violence, then the legal officer can make an arrest.

In such a case, the officer may not even require a warrant to arrest the person.

Domestic Abuse Laws

The criminal who is arrested for assaulting a family member or a person living in the house, or violating the law, then the protective order cannot be released until the judge has seen the defendant and decided upon the protective measures.

As per the laws of South Dakota, the petitioner can file for a protective order and the defendant is given a copy. During the hearing, the defendant and the petitioner both appear.

The protective order is also called a restraining order. The hearing should be conducted within 30 days.

If the court feels that the crime is that of domestic abuse, it can issue a protective order:

  • Not including the defendant from the petitioner’s home or a sharing residence.
  • Avoiding a family member from conducting domestic abuse
  • Giving temporary custody of the children.
  • Giving temporary spouse or child support
  • Making it compulsory for the defendant to participate in counseling
  • Giving any relief measures to protect the family.
  • The court gives instructions to the defendant for parenting.
  • The protective order is effective for five years.

The court can also issue a temporary protection order. This order is also called the “ex parte” order as it is given to the defendant without any notice. The defendant does not need to appear in court.

If the petitioner feels that there is an immediate injury risk, the court can enter orders it feels necessary. It prohibits the act of domestic abuse and avoids the defendant from the petitioner’s home. The temporary order is present for 30 days.


In the absence of a protective order, in a domestic abuse case, the court can order the defendant to stay away from and not communicate with the victim. He also orders to surrender dangerous weapons.

South Dakota Domestic Abuse Laws
Class 1 Misdemeanor

This crime is punishable for one year in jail and a fine of up to USD 2000. If the violation is an assault, and if the criminal has two or more previous convictions for violation of protective order and no previous contact in the past one decade, this crime is a class 6 felony crime. It can be punishable for up to two years in jail and a fine of up to USD 4000.

Assaults can cause a minor injury or no injury which is punishable by up to one year in jail. It can also lead to a fine of up to USD 2000. Serious injury crimes can lead to graver punishment.

Such punishment can be up to USD 30,000 in serious cases and up to 15 years in prison.

A person can contact a criminal defense attorney in South Dakota if there is a case of assault against a family member. A protective order or a domestic abuse case can lead to serious consequences. The attorney can aid in navigating the court system and get the best possible consequences in the case.

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