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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 102514
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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need thoughts on how to handle a simple assault charge in south

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need thoughts on how to handle a simple assault charge in south dakota that my 15 year old daughter has been givin. She did not actually do the simple assault and the other party has admitted to doing it, but she didn't stop it either so she has been charged. The cameras that caught this happening clearly showed she just sat their and did nothing to help, but did not do the act. Can we go without an attorney and have a possible chance of this being dropped?
Hello, my name is Ely. Welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest information and not necessarily to tell you what you wish to hear. Note: there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your daughter's situation. Can you please tell me if she has ever been in trouble before, or, is this the first such occurrence?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No she has not.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

no she has not been in any trouble ever.


Thank you for your reply. Can you please confirm for me that this matter is being handled in the Juvenile Justice System? Or, not sure?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

not sure but all of the kids involved where in the 15 year old range.

Thank you. Apologies in advance for the momentary wait while I am typing out the address...
I am going to assume that this is being handled by the Juvenile Justice System. All children under the age of eighteen are subject to the juvenile justice system.

If so, she like has a delinquency petition, which is used for an act that would be considered a crime had the juvenile been an adult.

If so, and if this is her first offense, then she is very likely going to be offered a program as a meaning of deterrence, which includes a few classes, some community hours, and staying out of trouble for a period of time, in exchange for no conviction. She will then receive an adjudication, which is NOT a conviction and would be sealed at 18. S.D. Codified Laws § 26-7A-105.

Can we go without an attorney...

You can, although an attorney is still recommended to ensure that she gets the best possible adjudication deal. May I recommend the SD Bar referral program:

South Dakota State Bar LRS
Pierre, SD

The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.

...and have a possible chance of this being dropped?

Dropped as in simply forgotten - unlikely. However, the adjudication deal is very likely, especially because this is her first offense.

I hope this helps and clarifies.

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