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Sioux Falls Criminal Defense Blog

Yes, it is possible to get a protective order dismissed

Protective orders, often called restraining orders, exist to protect victims of domestic violence. Unfortunately, anymore, people do not always seek protective orders for the right reasons. This results in some South Dakota residents having protective orders put into effect against them when they shouldn't be, and the consequences can be significant. Can a PO, once granted, receive a dismissal?

The short answer to this question is yes. Of course, every case is different. Achieving a PO dismissal, or even modification, will not prove an easy feat.

A DUI conviction can derail your college career

If you expected your college years would bring you a host of new experiences, likely you have not felt disappointed so far. You have probably met people from different cultures, studied ideas you hadn't considered and discovered things you never knew about yourself. You may also have felt the thrill of living outside the boundaries of your parents and the freedom of being in control of your own destiny.

However, if your new experiences include an arrest for drunk driving on or around your South Dakota college campus, you may be wondering what this could mean for your future. Unfortunately, you have every reason to be concerned about what will happen if a court convicts you. The ramifications of a drunk driving conviction have the potential to follow you for years to come.

Understanding your Miranda rights

From the moment you encounter the police, your rights are at risk. This is not because a police officer is behaving unethically. Often the violation of someone's rights occurs when police act hastily or are overwhelmed with circumstances related to a crime. This is why it is important that you know and understand your rights so that you can demand them if police overlook them.

One way in which police may unintentionally violate your rights is by neglecting to warn you of what may happen when they begin to question you. This warning is called your Miranda rights. The law requires police to inform you of your Miranda rights from the moment you are under arrest. If they fail to do this, the court may exclude anything that happens during questioning from the evidence against you.

Field sobriety tests are optional for good reason

As you drove home after having a couple of drinks with friends, you saw flashing blue and red lights in your rearview mirror. You may have wondered what you did to draw the attention of the police officer as you pulled over.

After asking the officer what you did, he or she may have noticed the smell of alcohol on your breath and asked you to step out of the vehicle. You don't believe you are impaired, but the officer says to prove it by field sobriety tests. If this scenario ever happens to you, the following information could help you decide whether to do so.

Field sobriety tests are optional for good reason

As you drove home after having a couple of drinks with friends, you saw flashing blue and red lights in your rearview mirror. You may have wondered what you did to draw the attention of the police officer as you pulled over.

After asking the officer what you did, he or she may have noticed the smell of alcohol on your breath and asked you to step out of the vehicle. You don’t believe you are impaired, but the officer says to prove it by field sobriety tests. If this scenario ever happens to you, the following information could help you decide whether to do so.

Observations and questions are common during DUI stops

Getting pulled over by a police officer is typically a nerve-wracking experience. No matter the time of day or the reason, most people feel their heart speed up when they notice an officer trying to stop their car. For some, the situation may seem more intense if they had a few drinks before getting behind the wheel.

If you did have a few drinks before driving, it does not necessarily mean that you have broken the law. You may have waited enough time between drinks to keep your blood alcohol concentration level low, or you may not even have had enough to drink to change your demeanor in any way. Still, there is a chance that an officer may suspect you of DUI.

The details about national (and South Dakota) prison exonerations

Wrongful convictions are an unfortunate, but common occurrence handed down by the United States justice system. While the mantra has always been “innocent until proven guilty,” for some parties, it felt like and resulted in the opposite – “guilty until proven innocent,” or a more widespread term; exonerated.

False convictions are a nationwide problem that has led to over 22,000 years lost behind bars, and that number only represents those falsely convicted that have been exonerated since 1989.

Are violent crime rates on the rise or on the decline?

Crime rates in the U.S. have experienced a significant shift over the past 30 years. Specifically, violent crime rates have faced varying changes over recent years.

FBI statistics report a 49% national decrease in violent crime rates between 1993-2017. Domestic factors, such as changing a political environment and cultural dynamics, contribute to a variety of fluctuations in crime-related trends.

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