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If you are seeking a South Dakota expungement please review the expungement overview below. Check back often or Sign Up for an email alert when the South Dakota Expungement Kit is ready.

Requirement(s) to qualify for an expungement in the state:

  1. Any person, who is found not guilty of an offense by a jury or a court or who is the defendant named in a dismissed complaint, indictment, or information, may apply to the court for an order to seal the official records in the case. The application may be filed at any time after the finding of not guilty or the dismissal of the complaint, indictment, or information is entered.
  2. Any person, against whom a no bill is entered by a grand jury, may apply to the court for an order to seal the official records in the case. The application may be filed at any time after the expiration of two years after the date on which the grand jury reports to the court that the grand jury has reported a no bill.
  3. Any person who has been arrested for any misdemeanor offense and who has effected a bail forfeiture may apply to the court in which the misdemeanor criminal case was pending when bail was forfeited for the sealing of the record of the case.
  4. Has it been 5 years from sentencing and have fully completed the sentence, including probation and payment of all fines, you are eligible.
  5. Deferred adjudication procedure available for first offenders, which results in no conviction qualify for expungement.. Court may suspend imposition of sentence and place on probation person with no prior felony convictions. Upon successful completion of sentence person is discharged without adjudication of guilt, and court records are sealed . Non-violent first offenders are eligible for deferred adjudication.
  6. Recipients of an executive pardon are entitled to have the court record expunged or sealed. This happens automatically upon the governor's action.
  7. Juvenile delinquency adjudications may be expunged one year after the child's release from the court's jurisdiction or discharge from the Department of Corrections' supervision, whichever is later, if the court finds no subsequent (or pending) delinquency. .

Additional restrictions on who can qualify for an expungement

If you received a delayed adjudication then your records should have been automatically sealed at the successful conclusion of your probation. If not, it appears that you need to seek a pardon which, if successfully obtained, will cause your criminal record to be sealed.

A pardon, if successfully obtained, will cause your criminal record to be sealed.

Any person who has been granted a pardon under the provisions shall be released from all disabilities consequent on such person's conviction. Upon the granting of a pardon, the Governor shall order that all official records relating to the pardoned person's arrest, indictment or information, trial, finding of guilt and receipt of a pardon be expunged.


Does the law provide for sealing? What are the requirements?

Judicial sealing or expungement is applicable to adult felony convictions.

If the court determines that the applicant is a first offender or the subject of a bail forfeiture, that no criminal proceeding is pending against the applicant, and that the interests of the applicant in having the records pertaining to the applicant's conviction or bail forfeiture sealed are not outweighed by any legitimate governmental needs to maintain such records, and that the rehabilitation of an applicant who is a first offender applying under the provisions has been attained to the satisfaction of the court, the court shall order all official records pertaining to the case sealed.

Deferred adjudication for first offenders, results in no conviction, no predicate effect, records sealed.

Pardon seals record automatically.

Records sealed where no adjudication of guilt, including deferred adjudication



What does it mean if you have a record expunged or sealed?

Sealing a criminal record means to remove a specific record from public view. The effect of such order is to restore such person, in the contemplation of the law, to the status the person occupied before arrest, indictment or information. When a guilty plea is set aside or vacated by a court before conviction becomes final, and if the police and court records are then sealed or expunged, a person can truthfully claim to have never been convicted and to have no criminal record. Even if a conviction becomes final before it is set aside, a person can still attest that he or she has no record of conviction.

Inspection of the sealed records included in the order may be made only by the following persons or for the following purposes:

  1. By a law enforcement officer or prosecutor to determine whether the nature and character of the offense with which a person is to be charged would be affected by virtue of the person's previously having been convicted of a crime;
  2. By the parole or probation officer of the person who is the subject of the records, for the exclusive use of the officer in supervising the person while on parole or probation.

If the court orders the sealing of the juvenile records and files and copies of the sealing order shall be sent to each agency or official named in the order. Subsequent inspection of the sealed records may thereafter be permitted by the court only on petition by the child who is the subject of the record, the state's attorney, or court services officers. The court may permit inspection of the sealed records and files for use by the court in other actions or proceedings and for subsequent criminal proceedings for sentencing purposes. Nothing prohibits the custodian of records or files from inspecting or accessing the custodian's records or files as may be necessary for the discharge of the custodian's official duties in the absence of an order from the court.

Are you eligible for a South Dakota Expungement? Most crimes can be expunged. For a description of the crimes that cannot be expunged, click here .

Be sure to check the site often as we are in the process of adding the Expungement Kit for the State of South Dakota soon.

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