South Dakota Criminal Records Search

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How to Check for South Dakota Criminal Records

South Dakota’s Attorney General’s Office is the agency in charge of fingerprint-based background checks for the state. They offer both a state-level and state/FBI criminal record report. They also provide free fingerprint kits to anyone who needs them. They have a copy of the instructions and the authorization form on their website. The cost of a state-level background is $26.75 and $43.25 for a state/federal-level criminal background report. You can also use an online portal for criminal background checks.

South Dakota criminal records online

Federal Records vs. Court Criminal Records in South Dakota

South Dakota uses a Unified Judicial System (UJS), and they have a helpful website where the public can perform name searches to lookup criminal federal and state court records. Each search costs $20. You can also use the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system to find federal criminal court documents. As always, you can visit both federal and district courts to get copies of records. You may have to wait while they process your order and pay a small fee.


How Long do Felony or Misdemeanor Charges Last?

South Dakota uses a “pardon” to expunge criminal records. However, you must comply with some requirements first. You must wait two years after your conviction. You have to have completed your sentencing and have no pending or new charges. You must pay a $70 fee when applying for a pardon. Many felonies will remain on your record forever and some misdemeanors. A pardon is not guaranteed removal of your criminal history.


Who Can Lookup your Criminal Background?

Anyone with a connection to the Internet can review your criminal history. According to the Freedom of Information Act, criminal records are public records. Your bank, medical facilities, government agencies, adoption agencies, the military and schools along with the general public all have access to your criminal background. You can also get a copy yourself at any time.


Why Check Someone’s Filed Criminal Charges?

Gun dealers are required by law to check your criminal file before selling you any firearms. Companies use them for security clearances. License bureaus also use them before issuing permits. Government agencies and law enforcement review them daily. Private citizens use criminal checks for various reasons.


Types of Criminal Records

When you request a copy of a South Dakota criminal record, the types of things you will see are general information like name, address, phone, email, age, date of birth, race, gender, height, weight and a physical description including any scars and tattoos. You will also see their criminal file with arrests, charges, warrants, convictions, sex offenses, felonies, misdemeanors, and prison terms.


How Are SD Criminal Records Created?

Law enforcement agents create South Dakota criminal records when they arrest someone or move them through the justice system. Any event or change that takes place is documented, and all that paperwork becomes the person’s criminal history file.