Possession of a Controlled Substance in South Dakota

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All states regulate the possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), though each differs in its exact definition of CDS and the penalties for illegal personal possession. South Dakota classifies not only well-known drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine as CDS, but also the compounds used to manufacture them.

This article discusses illegal CDS possession only. Illegally making or selling CDS carries different penalties. For more information on CDS manufacture and sale, see Sale of Controlled Substances in South Dakota.

Also, while marijuana is considered a CDS, this article does not cover South Dakota’s marijuana possession and sale laws. To learn more about that topic, see South Dakota Marijuana Laws.

How South Dakota Classifies CDS

South Dakota divides CDS into five “Schedules.” Schedule I lists the most dangerous drugs, which have a high probability of abuse and addiction, and no recognized medical value. Schedules II, III, IV, and V decrease in dangerousness and probability of abuse, and increase in recognized medical uses.

If you’ve been arrested for illegal CDS possession, you’ll need to consult the South Dakota Code that lists precisely which drugs fit into each group. Go to the statute (S.D. Cod. Laws §§ 34-20B-12 through -26) and find the substance you're charged with possessing -- it will be listed under one of the five classes.

Penalties for Illegal CDS Possession

It is a Class 4 felony in South Dakota to possess CDS without a valid medical prescription. Penalties include a fine of up to $20,000, up to ten years in prison, or both. (S.D. Cod. Laws § 22-42-5.)

Talk to an Attorney

CDS possession convictions can incur harsh fines and long periods of incarceration. A local lawyer who practices CDS defense will review the facts of your case, explain your options, and advise you of the possible consequences.

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