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South Dakota Arrest Records Search

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The following is for informational purposes only

How to Look Up Criminal Records in South Dakota

The state maintains a central database that holds all the criminal records for the state, including arrest records going back to 1989. SD is one of the few states that use a unified justice system making it easier for all the files to be kept in one repository. They offer records to the general public as part of the Freedom of Information Act and will supply copies upon request. The background checks are conducted by name, and each record costs a fee of $20.

Are Arrest Records Public Records in South Dakota?

Yes, the state allows the general public access to arrest records. Their unified justice system makes it easy for all documents to be stored and maintained in one location. Law enforcement of all types feed into this system adding new records every day. The general public has the right by law to request copies of anyone’s criminal or arrest records.

Victims & Offenders by Gender and Race

Offenders by Gender

Victims by Gender

Offenders by Race

American Indian or Alaska Native32%
Black or African American11%
Native Hawaiian0%
Offenders w/ reported race3,562

Victims by Race

American Indian or Alaska Native29%
Black or African American7%
Native Hawaiian0%
Victims w/ reported race3,765

What Information Does South Dakota Criminal Records Report Include?

What Information You Can Find in South Dakota Arrest Report?

A South Dakota arrest record will provide basic details about the person like name, email, phone, address, gender, race, age, date of birth, fingerprints, height, weight, and other physical descriptors. Other details included will be each arrest including South Dakota mugshots, date of arrest, arresting officer’s name, arresting agency, the location of the arrest, bail or bond posted, pleas, dispositions, jail time and all other details about the charge and conviction. If any vehicles were involved, that will be on there too.

South Dakota Police Reports and Mugshots

Are South Dakota State Police Reports Public Record?

Police reports in South Dakota are considered public records, and they are handled individually by each police department. For example, the Sioux Falls Police Department has a section on their website, and according to the information, they have an extensive police report documentation department with a lot of employees and support staff to help with management, organization, and public requests for copies. Typically, a police report will contain some or all of the following information:

  • Name and ages of people involved.
  • Date, time, and location of the incident.
  • A detailed description of the event.
  • What actions police took (if an arrest took place).
  • The charges brought against the suspect.
  • Any vehicles involved.
  • Crime photos, mugshots, and fingerprints.
  • Where the suspect was taken (rehab, hospital, or jail).
  • Bail or bond amounts.

The South Dakota Office of Accident Records also sells copies of vehicle accident reports for $4 each. There are stipulations and rules you must follow, but you can order online quite easily.

South Dakota Inmate Mugshots

Mugshots first originated in the 1800s after photography was invented. An innovative French policeman named Alphonse Bertillon devised the first mugshots by playing around with lighting, backgrounds, and angles. He decided upon a composite shot with a front-facing image next to a profile shot (side). He made this a standard part of his booking procedure, and later many other countries followed suit. Now all types of law enforcement agencies use mugshots.

South Dakota mugshots are not completely consistent. Most show a gray background, and some suspects hold boards up in front of them with information, and some do not. Many of them are in street clothes, while others wear jail attire. They show up on news outfits like Dakota News Now and others. Public records repositories also may have them online.

South Dakota Arrest Booking Process

People arrested in South Dakota are handcuffed and taken to the local county jail. Each jail operates differently, but the overall booking process will be similar. Some of the events that will take place are:

  • You will be searched, and all your personal belongings will be taken, inventoried, and stored for you. You will be required to sign an inventory form confirming that it is correct.
  • You will also be photographed and fingerprinted.
  • You may also have to provide a DNA sample (cheek swab).
  • You are allowed one or more phone calls.
  • You will be placed in a holding cell to wait.
  • Bail may or may not be set.
  • Police may charge you or release you.

The entire booking process may take hours. Inmates who have been booked and are being held for bail or their visit with the judge, may have visitors and use the commissary.

Violent Crime Rates for the last 10 years

The crime rate has increased over the past decade in South Dakota, going from 835 crimes in 2006 to 2,023 by 2% higher than it was back in 2006. The largest percentage of violent crimes falls into the Aggravated Assault category, with Revised Rape being the least popular crime in the state.

South Dakota Violent Crime Rate Change

Arrest Law

South Dakota Arrest Laws

An SD law enforcement officer may arrest someone legally with a warrant. They may also arrest someone without a warrant if the person commits more than a petty offense in his or her presence. If they suspect a felony or Class I misdemeanor has been committed not in their presence, then they can arrest someone on those grounds as well. A police officer from another state can also arrest someone when in fresh pursuit of a suspect.

Who has a Power of Arrest in South Dakota?

Not only do local law enforcement have the right to arrest someone in SD, but federal officers also have that power. Police officers, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, and state police comprise the local law enforcement officers. DEA, FBI, and CIA would be examples of federal law officers with the power to arrest someone. Any private citizen can also arrest someone in the state of SD. They can do so when they witness them committing a crime, (not a petty offense) in their presence or if they know they committed a felony or misdemeanor not in their presence.

How Long Will an Arrest Report Stay on your South Dakota State Records?

Many arrest records will stay on a South Dakota record forever. Offenders do have the option of applying for expungement but only for certain records and circumstances. They still must wait at least ten years before applying, and they can’t have any additional charges during that time. Arrests, where they were not charged, may be removed easily. Convictions for Class II misdemeanors or petty crimes are eligible to be expunged. If they were previously arrested for something that was decriminalized such as possession of marijuana, those arrest charges also might be expunged.

Can you Expunge your Records?

Yes. The state of South Carolina allows certain convictions and arrest records to be expunged. Offenders must comply with a list of regulations including a waiting period of 10 years before applying. They must also pay a fee. Not all convictions are eligible, and violent crimes will stay on their record forever.

The Arrest Rate in South Dakota

Arrest Rate in South Dakota

For 2017, 44,265 arrests were made. Of those, 11.9% (5270) were juveniles. Of the annual total, 6,671 were for DUIs, and 8,224 were for drugs. That is an increase 7.1% for drug arrests.

State Offender and Victim Age Group Statistics

Most of the violent crime offenders in South Dakota were 20-29 and the largest percentage of violent crime victims were 20-29.

Offender Age

Offenders w/ reported age2,279

Victim Age

Victims w/ reported age2,470

Crime Victim Demographics

Residence Home is the place where the majority of crimes in South Dakota were committed, in most of the crime cases the offender was a relationship unknown.

Location Type

Residence Home1,525
Parking Garage/Lot123
Convenience Store41
Gambling Facility/Casino/Race Track35
Gas Station31

Victim’s Relationship to the Offender

Relationship Unknown668
Otherwise Known156
Other Family Member48

South Dakota Arrest Records by Type of Crime

The popular arrests for 2017 in South Dakota was for All Other Offenses (except traffic) - 16,967, the same popularity of the arrest type was seen in Alabama, Alaska, and Arizona. The least popularity had Murder & Non-negligent Manslaughter arrests - with only 17 crimes a year.

Arrest TypeUnder 18All agesTotal arrests
Violent Crime1311,7481,879
Property Crime8093,2834,092
Murder & Non-negligent Manslaughter11617

South Dakota Department of Public Safety

  • Address:118 West Capitol Avenue Pierre, SD 57501
  • Phone:(605) 773-3178
  • Website:

Is your State Safer than South Dakota?

Select your state and find out:

South Dakota
Crime rate - 3,048
The crime rate in the last 5 years - up by 2%

5 Safest Counties in the Area

A list of 5 counties in South Dakota that have the lowest arrest rate in 2017

South Dakota Arrest Records Search
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