March 23, 2017

Domestic Violence

Stopping the cycle of domestic violence is a major priority of the State’s Attorney’s Office. The office does this by diligently prosecuting family violence crimes and helping victims with care and compassion. The State’s Attorney’s Office also participates in multi-agency efforts to combat family violence throughout the County.

The State’s Attorney’s Office pledges to treat all family violence victims with the dignity and understanding they deserve. We will file criminal charges whenever there is legally sufficient evidence of a family violence crime and hope that all victims cooperate with our efforts. However, because our client, the State of South Dakota, has an interest in protecting the safety of family violence victims and holding perpetrators accountable for their crimes, the State’s Attorney’s Office will proceed with family violence prosecutions with or without the victim’s cooperation.

Domestic violence encompasses violence directed by one family or household member towards another. When law enforcement officers are called they are required by law to arrest the predominant aggressor.

In addition, a condition of release on a charge of domestic violence is that the arrestee is prohibited from contacting the family member alleging the domestic violence. This means no direct or indirect contact, no telephone conversations or face to face meetings.

While this is a burdensome condition it is a law of this state designed to protect victims of domestic violence until the matter is resolved. Neither the police nor the states attorneys office can remove this condition. Violation of this no contact provision is a Class 1 Misdemeanor.