What types of cases in South Dakota are handled in juvenile court?

All criminal cases against juveniles, except hunting, fishing, boating, park, traffic offenses or underage consumption or possession of alcohol, are started in juvenile court. After the filing of the petition alleging a child to be delinquent, the prosecutor has the option of seeking to have the case moved to adult court.

Before a court will transfer a juvenile from juvenile to regular court, the judge will consider the seriousness of the offense, the manner in which the offense was committed, whether the offense was against persons or property, the prosecutorial merit of the complaint, the desirability of one proceeding where adults and juveniles have been charged in the same action, the prior record of the juvenile, the protection of the public, the prospects of rehabilitation of juvenile, and the juvenile's mental, physical and social history.

If a child is 16 years of age or older and has committed murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, rape, 1st degree burglary or other serious violent felony, it is presumed that he should be transferred from juvenile court and treated as an adult.

Brooke Swier Schloss
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Family Law and Estate Planning attorney helping families across South Dakota plan and protect their loved ones