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Arrest Records in South Dakota

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South Dakota has a population of 884,659, which makes it the 47th most populated and 46th most densely populated state in the United States. 

The state has slightly above-average crime, posting a 2018 violent crime rate of 4.05 per 1,000 that’s about 9.7% higher than the national rate. Rapid City is the most dangerous city in South Dakota with a violent crime rate that’s 60% higher than the statewide rate. South Dakota experiences a very high frequency of arrests: the state logged the 3rd highest arrest rate in the U.S. in 2018.

South Dakota Arrest and Crime Statistics

  • In 2018, 44,268 arrests were made in South Dakota, as reported by 114 law enforcement agencies across the state. Of these arrests, 4,886 were made of minors under the age of 18.
  • The leading identified cause of arrest in South Dakota was drug abuse violations, which resulted in 8,108 arrests. 
  • South Dakota ranks 7th in the country in registered sex offenders per capita, with a rate of 419 offenders per 100K residents. 

Sources: FBI: 2018 Crime in the United States, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children


What is a public arrest record?

An arrest record is a report produced by a law enforcement entity after the arrest or apprehension of an individual which contains the details of the incident, the individual’s personal information, and occasionally includes additional information about the individual’s criminal record.

An arrest record is often a key document in a criminal case and may play a significant role in an ensuing trial. The arrest record may remain in the public record for a long time regardless of whether the suspect is ultimately convicted of the crime(s) for which they were initially arrested. This means that it can be accessed by the general public.  

What is included in a public arrest record?

  • Description of the incident: An arrest record will include a chronological account of the alleged crime produced by the arresting officer that may utilize information provided by first-hand witnesses and/or victims of the alleged crime. 
  • Date and location of the arrest
  • Physical description: The height, weight, hair color, sex, and race of the arrested person, along with other distinguishing characteristics such as tattoos, scars, or birthmarks. 
  • Personal information: The name, age, date of birth, phone number, address, social security number, and other contact information of the arrested individual, as well as any other names the person may go by. 
  • Photographs
  • Fingerprints
  • Criminal charges filed
  • Classification of the crime: Whether the alleged crime is a felony or a misdemeanor.
  • Bail
  • Court date
  • Police interrogation details

What are the types of charges that may appear on an arrest record?

Generally, charges are classified into three main categories:

  • Infraction – An infraction is a minor violation of the law that is regulated at the state level. Punishment for an infraction is typically a fine or a written warning, rather than a jail or prison sentence. Examples of infractions include minor traffic violations, public nuisance offenses, and littering. 
  • Misdemeanor – A misdemeanor is a crime that is more serious than an infraction, but less severe than a felony, and generally punishable by a term of imprisonment of less than a year, or a term of probation. An individual convicted of a misdemeanor is more likely to serve time in a county or local jail than a federal or state prison. Examples of misdemeanors include driving under the influence, most drug abuse violations, and petty theft.
  • Felony – A felony is the most serious type of crime and generally results in a term of imprisonment of more than one year in a state or federal prison. Having a felony on one’s record may result in limitations of employment and the acquisition of specialty licenses. Examples of felonies include rape, murder, and arson.  

Who can access arrest records?

As in most other states, arrest records (also known as arrest reports) are public records in South Dakota and can be accessed by anyone upon request to a law enforcement agency, and may come up during a routine background check. 

Other examples of South Dakota public records include:

  • vital records such as birth and death certificates
  • marriage licenses
  • mugshots
  • court records
  • voting records
  • property records 

Where are physical copies of arrest records kept in South Dakota?

Arrest records are typically held by the law enforcement agency responsible for the arrest, usually a local police department or county sheriff’s office. They also may be kept in the archive of a state government agency, or circuit court. 

While there is no official repository for arrest records, the Office of the South Dakota Attorney General, Identification Section is the central repository of criminal history records in the state. 

Why can’t I access an arrest record in South Dakota?

There are a number of reasons why you may not be able to access an arrest record. Although the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires federal agencies to release arrest records and other public records, records that fall under certain exemptions can be withheld from the public.

The FOIA includes nine exemptions that allow agencies to withhold documents, such as arrest records, and not release them to the public. They are:

  1. The information is classified to protect natural security. 
  2. The information focuses on the internal rules and practices of the agency.
  3. Another federal law prohibits the release of the information.
  4. The information includes confidential trade secrets and/or commercial and financial information. 
  5. The information includes privileged, confidential communicative exchanges between two agencies. 
  6. The information could pose a danger to another person’s privacy if released.
  7. The information is reserved for law enforcement purposes in a court case or an investigation or could reveal a confidential source. 
  8. The information includes confidential information about financial institution supervision. 
  9. The information includes geographical information about wells.

Additionally, some state laws limit the availability of arrest records due to the fact that they are perceived as one-sided documents that do not include the arrested person’s account of the incident. 

What is the difference between an arrest record and a criminal record?

Compared to an arrest record, a criminal record is a more thorough document that details an individual’s entire criminal history, including arrest warrants, arrests, third party complaints, convictions, and even dropped cases. 

What is the difference between an arrest record and an arrest warrant?

An arrest warrant is a document issued by a judge or magistrate that grants law enforcement the authority to arrest an individual suspected of a crime or to search and seize the individual’s property, whereas an arrest record is a document of an arrest that is only created after an arrest or apprehension has already occurred.  

In order for a judge or magistrate to issue an arrest warrant, they must conclude that there is probable cause for an arrest. Probable cause must be backed by sworn testimony or an affidavit that provides sufficient information supporting the need for an arrest. An arrest warrant must also specify one individual that should be arrested, rather than a group of individuals or a rough description of a suspect. 

How many Americans have been arrested?

While crime has steadily dropped in the United States over the past several decades, arrests have gone up, particularly for younger age groups. Typically, law enforcement makes around 10 million arrests each year. Here are some key statistics on arrests in the United States:

  • In 2018, around 10.3 million arrests were made nationwide.
  • 73% of arrested persons in 2018 were males.
  • The more recent an American was born, the greater the likelihood that the individual has been arrested at least once. The following is the percentage of Americans in various age groups that have been arrested: 
    • 6.4% of Americans born before 1949
    • 10.7% of Americans born between 1949 and 1958
    • 13.8% of Americans born between 1959 and 1968
    • 18.7% of Americans born between 1969 and 1978
    • 23% of Americans born between 1979-1988

Sources: Federal Bureau of Investigation, RAND Corporation

How to search for Arrest Records in South Dakota

South Dakota does not have an online criminal history information search available to the general public. However, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation does outline a process for obtaining a copy of your South Dakota criminal record, which will include arrest records. 

Follow these steps to obtain a copy of your South Dakota criminal record:

  1. Obtain a state applicant fingerprint card by calling the DCI Identification Section at 605-773-3331.
  2. Fill out your personal information on the fingerprint card.
  3. Fill out and sign an Authorization and Release form. 
  4. Have all ten of your fingerprints taken on the fingerprint card at a local law enforcement agency. This may require a fee. 
  5. Prepared a check or money order for $26.75 payable to “Division of Criminal Investigation”.
  6. Mail the fingerprint card, authorization form, and payment to the following address:

Office of the Attorney General

Division of Criminal Investigation

1302 E. Highway 14, Suite 5, Pierre, SD 57501

After the DCI processes your request, they will return a copy of your South Dakota criminal history. However, juvenile offenses, sealed records, traffic violations, and federal charges will not be included. 

How can I search for a South Dakota arrest record on the internet using a background check service?

Since tracking down physical copies of arrest records can prove challenging, searching for them online is a viable option. There is a wealth of online services that allow you to search and access South Dakota arrest records and other public records via numerous government agency databases in exchange for a fee. 

However, despite the fact that users must pay to obtain an arrest record from an online service, it’s nevertheless a convenient means of getting these documents. The offices of government agencies are often marred by inconsistent service and take a long time to process requests to view documents. 

Sometimes it’s worth it to pay a fee to use an online background check service, rather than endure the extended delays typical of government offices.  

What can I do if my arrest record has a mistake?

If a South Dakota arrest record in your name contains errors or incomplete information, call the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation Identification Department at (605) 773-3331 for instructions on how to submit an official challenge. 

South Dakota Courthouse and Sheriff Information by County

Aurora CountyAurora County Courthouse401 N Main St
Plankinton, SD 57368
Aurora County Sheriff401 Main St
Plankinton, SD 57368
Beadle CountyClerk of Courts450 3rd St SW #204
Huron, SD 57350
605-353-7165Beadle County Sheriff Department455 4th St SW
Huron, SD 57350
Bennett CountyBennett County Clerk of Courts205 State St
Martin, SD 57551
605-685-6969Bennett County Sheriff201 State St
Martin, SD 57551
Bon Homme CountyBon Homme County Circuit Judge300 W Cherry St
Tyndall, SD 57066
605-589-4211Bon Homme County Sheriff300 W Cherry St
Tyndall, SD 57066
Brookings CountyBrookings County Courthouse4th St
Brookings, SD 57006
605-688-4200Brookings County Sheriff315 7th Ave
Brookings, SD 57006
Brown CountyBrown County Courthouse (South Dakota)25 Market St
Aberdeen, SD 57401
(605) 626-7128County Sheriff22 Court St #1
Aberdeen, SD 57401
Brule CountyBrule County Clerk of Courts300 S Courtland St # 111
Chamberlain, SD 57325
605-734-4580Brule County Sheriff201 W Kellam Ave
Chamberlain, SD 57325
Buffalo CountyBuffalo County Sheriff112 Osman Ave
Gann Valley, SD 57341
Butte CountyButte County Clerk of Courts839 5th Ave #5
Belle Fourche, SD 57717
605-892-2516Butte County Sheriff839 5th Ave #5
Belle Fourche, SD 57717
Campbell CountyCampbell County CourthouseMound City, SD 57646605-955-3308County Sheriff111 2nd St
Mound City, SD 57646
Charles Mix CountyCharles Mix County Courthouse400 E Main St
Lake Andes, SD 57356
605-487-7511Charles Mix County Sheriff501 J St
Lake Andes, SD 57356
Clark CountyClark County Sheriff's Office200 N Commercial St
Clark, SD 57225
Clay CountyClay County Courthouse211 W Main St
Vermillion, SD 57069
605-677-6755Clay County Sheriff15 N Washington St
Vermillion, SD 57069
Codington CountyClerk of Court14 1st Ave SE
Watertown, SD 57201
605-882-5095Codington County Sheriff's Office14 1st Ave SE
Watertown, SD 57201
McIntosh, SD 57641
605-273-4229Corson County Sheriff111 2nd St E
McIntosh, SD 57641
Custer CountyCuster County Clerk of Courts420 Mt Rushmore Rd # 117
Custer, SD 57730
605-673-4816Custer County Sheriff's Department420 Mt Rushmore Rd
Custer, SD 57730
Davison CountyDavison County Courthouse200 E 4th Ave
Mitchell, SD 57301
Davison County Sheriff's Office1015 S Miller Ave
Mitchell, SD 57301
Day CountyDay County Courthouse711 West 1st St.
Webster, SD 57274
605-345-9500Day County Sheriff710 2nd St W
Webster, SD 57274
Deuel CountyDeuel County Court House408 4th St W
Clear Lake, SD 57226
605-874-2120Deuel County Sheriff400 4th St W
Clear Lake, SD 57226
Dewey CountyDewey County Court House710 C St.
Timber Lake, SD 57656
Dewey County Sheriff's Office702 C St
Timber Lake, SD 57656
Douglas CountyDouglas County Judge706 Braddock St
Armour, SD 57313
605-724-2145Douglas County Sheriff706 Braddock St
Armour, SD 57313
Edmunds CountyEdmunds County Courthouse210 2nd Ave
Ipswich, SD 57451
605-426-6671Edmunds County Sheriff's Office210 2nd St
Ipswich, SD 57451
Fall River CountyFall River County Clerk-Courts906 N River St # 206
Hot Springs, SD 57747
605-745-5131Fall River County Sheriff Office906 N River St
Hot Springs, SD 57747
Faulk CountyFaulk County Court HouseFaulkton, SD 57438605-598-6223Faulk County Sheriff924 Lafoon Ave
Faulkton, SD 57438
Grant CountyGrant County Clerk of Courts210 E 5th Ave
Milbank, SD 57252
605-432-5482Grant County Sheriff222 E 5th Ave
Milbank, SD 57252
Gregory CountyGregory County Clerk-Courts221 E 8th St
Burke, SD 57523
605-775-2665Gregory County Sheriff221 E 8th St
Burke, SD 57523
Haakon CountyHaakon County Sheriff Office140 Howard Ave # 3
Philip, SD 57567
Hamlin CountyClerk of CourtsPO Box 256
Hayti, South Dakota 57241
605 783-3751Hamlin County Sheriff300 4th St
Hayti, SD 57241
Hand CountyHand County Court415 W 1st Ave # 301
Miller, SD 57362
605-853-3337Hand County Sheriff415 1st Ave
Miller, SD 57362
Hanson CountyHanson County Clerk of Court720 5th St
Alexandria, SD 57311
605-239-4446Hanson County Sheriff720 5th St
Alexandria, SD 57311
Harding CountyHarding County Clerk of Courts410 Ramsland St
Buffalo, SD 57720
605-375-3351Harding County Sheriff410 Ramsland St
Buffalo, SD 57720
Hughes CountyHughes County Teen Court104 E Capitol Ave
Pierre, SD 57501
605-773-3713Hughes County Sheriff Office3200 SD-34 #9
Pierre, SD 57501
Hutchinson CountyHutchinson County Courthouse201 W Mentor St
Olivet, SD 57052
(605)-387-4215Hutchinson County Sheriff201 W Mentor St
Olivet, SD 57052
Hyde CountyHyde County Clerk of Courts412 Commercial Ave SE
Highmore, SD 57345
605-852-2512Hyde County Sheriff412 Commercial Ave SE
Highmore, SD 57345
Jackson CountyJackson County Clerk of Courts700 Main St
Kadoka, SD 57543
605-837-2122Jackson County Sheriff700 Main St
Kadoka, SD 57543
Jerauld CountyJerauld County Clerk of Courts205 Wallace Ave S
Wessington Springs, SD 57382
605-539-1202Jerauld County Sheriff205 Wallace Ave S
Wessington Springs, SD 57382
Jones CountyJones County Clerk of Courts310 Main St
Murdo, SD 57559
605-669-2361Jones County Sheriff104 4th St
Murdo, SD 57559
Kingsbury CountyKingsbury County Clerk-Circuit202 2nd St SW
De Smet, SD 57231
605-854-3811Kingsbury County Sheriff204 2nd St SE
De Smet, SD 57231
Lake CountyLake County Clerk of Courts200 Center St E # 1
Madison, SD 57042
605-256-5644Lake County Sheriff Office200 Center St E
Madison, SD 57042
Lawrence CountyClerk of Court of Lawrence County78 Sherman St
Deadwood, SD 57732
605-578-2040Lawrence County Jail80 Sherman St
Deadwood, SD 57732
Lincoln CountyLincoln County Courthouse104 N Main St
Canton, SD 57013
605-987-5891Lincoln County Sheriff128 N Main St
Canton, SD 57013
Lyman CountyLyman County Court House300 Main St
Kennebec, SD 57544
605-869-2277Lyman County Sheriff300 S. Main
Kennebec, SD 57544-0097
Marshall CountyMarshall County Courthouse911 Vander Horck St
Britton, SD 57430
(605) 448-5213Marshall County Sheriff911 Vander Horck St
Britton, SD 57430
McCook CountyMcCook County Courthouse130 West Essex Avenue
Salem, South Dakota 57058
(605) 425-2791Mc Cook County Sheriff130 W Essex Ave
Salem, SD 57058,
McPherson CountyMc Pherson County Circuit Clrk706 Main St
Leola, SD 57456
605-439-3361County Sheriff706 Main St
Leola, SD 57456
Meade CountyClerk of Court1425 Sherman St
Sturgis, SD 57785
605-347-4411Meade County Sheriff1400 Main St
Sturgis, SD 57785
Mellette CountyMellette County Clerk of Court1st St
White River, SD 57579
605-259-3230Mellette County Sheriff321 E 4th St
White River, SD 57579
Miner CountyMiner County Clerk of Courts401 N Main St
Howard, SD 57349
605-772-4612Miner County Sheriff400 N. Main St
Howard, SD 57349
Minnehaha CountyMinnehaha County Clerk-Courts425 N Dakota Ave
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
605-367-5900Minnehaha County Sheriff1900 Russell St
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Moody CountyMoody County Clerk of Courts101 E Pipestone Ave # G
Flandreau, SD 57028
605-997-3181Moody County Sheriff108 E Pipestone Ave # A
Flandreau, SD 57028
Oglala Lakota CountyClerk of Court906 N. River St.
Hot Springs, SD 57747
(605) 745-5131Oglala Lakota County Sheriff906 N. River St.
Hot Springs, SD 57747
(605) 441-6215
Pennington CountyPennington County Courthouse - Clerk of Courts315 St Joseph St
Rapid City, SD 57701
605-394-2575Pennington County Sheriff Office300 Kansas City St #100
Rapid City, SD 57701
Perkins CountyPerkins County Courthouse100 E Main St
Bison, SD 57620
605-244-5624Perkins County Sheriff100 E Main St
Bison, SD 57620
Potter CountyPotter County Clerk of Courts201 S Exene St
Gettysburg, SD 57442
605-765-9472Potter County Sheriff201 S Exene St
Gettysburg, SD 57442
Roberts CountyRoberts County Clerk of Court411 2nd Ave East
Sisseton, SD 57262-1403
605-698-3395Roberts County Sheriff11924 BIA Hwy 700
Sisseton, SD 57262
Sanborn CountySanborn County Clerk of Courts604 W 6th St
Woonsocket, SD 57385
605-796-4515Sanborn County Sheriff Office604 W 6th St
Woonsocket, SD 57385
Spink CountySpink County Clerk of Courts210 East 7th Avenue, Suite 12
Redfield, SD 57469-1299
(605) 472-4535Spink County Sheriff210 E 7th Ave STE 1
Redfield, SD 57469
Stanley CountyStanley County Circuit Judge8 E 2nd Ave
Fort Pierre, SD 57532
605-223-7735Stanley County Sheriff's Office8 E 2nd Ave
Fort Pierre, SD 57532
Sully CountySully County Courthouse700 Ash Ave
Onida, SD 57564
Sully County Sheriff's Office700 Ash Ave
Onida, SD 57564
Todd CountyTodd County Sheriff315 Lincoln St
Mission, SD 57555
Tripp CountyTripp County Courthouse200 E 3rd St
Winner, SD 57580
605-842-2266Tripp County Sheriff200 E 3rd St
Winner, SD 57580
Turner CountyTurner County Clerk of Courts400 S Main Ave
Parker, SD 57053
605-297-3115Turner County Sheriff's Office400 S Main St
Parker, SD 57053
Union CountyUnion County (South Dakota) Clerk of Courts209 E Main St
Elk Point, SD 57025
605-356-2132Union County Sheriff209 E Main St #250
Elk Point, SD 57025
Walworth CountyJuvenile Court4304 4th Ave
Selby, SD 57472
605-649-7311Walworth County Sheriff4308 4th Ave
Selby, SD 57472
Yankton CountyCircuit Court410 Walnut St # 201
Yankton, SD 57078
605-668-3095Yankton County Sheriff410 Walnut St # 104
Yankton, SD 57078
Ziebach CountyZiebach County Courthouse215 S D St
Dupree, SD 57623
605-365-5159Ziebach County Sheriff100 D St
Dupree, SD 57623


If you’re worried that someone you know or love has a criminal record and may be hiding it from you, run a quick background check online with Thanks to public records laws, almost all South Dakota arrests, criminal and civil records are available online, as well as comprehensive background checks and secret data. You can even find South Dakota marriage records, secret divorce records as well as birth and death records.