South Dakota has only a few laws governing the expungement or sealing of criminal records. However, if your circumstances are not covered by one of the laws discussed below, you may still be able to clean up your record. In many cases, courts have the authority to order the expungement or sealing of criminal records. You should consult a qualified criminal law attorney for help determining whether your record qualifies.
If your record is expunged, it will no longer be visible to the general public, including potential employers. In most cases, you may say that you were never arrested or convicted of a crime.
When Criminal Records May Be Destroyed in South Dakota
South Dakota law authorizes the destruction of criminal records for:
- misdemeanor offenses, if at least ten years have passed since successfully completing all terms of sentencing
- incidents that are no longer considered criminal in South Dakota
- offenders who are at least seventy-five years old, if there have been no criminal proceedings against the person for ten years or more, or
- people who have died.
(South Dakota Statutes § 23-6-8.1.)
When Criminal Records May Be Sealed in South Dakota
If you successfully completed all the terms of probation, your record may qualify for sealing. (South Dakota Statutes § 23A-27-17.)
Expungement of DNA Evidence in South Dakota
If your conviction was reversed or dismissed, the South Dakota State Forensic Laboratory must expunge your DNA records and related evidence from its database. (South Dakota Statutes § 23-5A-29.)
Talk to a Local Criminal Law Attorney
If you're looking to fix up your criminal record, you'd best be served by talking to an attorney familiar with your local courts. An attorney with experience in record expungement in your area can advise you on your options for cleaning up your record.