Presumptive Probation is a type of sentence available in South Dakota for certain low-level felony offenses. This type of probation allows the defendant to serve a probationary period without being sentenced to serve actual time in the penitentiary. The defendant can be sentenced to serve up to 180 days in the county jail. Possession of a controlled substance charges are the type of charges that typically qualify for presumptive probation. This law prevents judges from sentencing someone to prison unless the court finds aggravating circumstances. The reason for law is to hopefully lower the population of the prison for non violent offenders and to try and help that person stay in the community and work and support his family. In addition, probation and available community services can be utilized to help the offender to overcome any addiction he may have while keeping him a productive member of society.
Presumptive probation is typically available for first-time offenders who have been charged with low-level crimes, such as possession of a controlled substance and other low level non-violent felonies. It is designed to provide an alternative prison for those who are unlikely to reoffend and are willing to complete the requirements of probation. This can include things like community service, restitution, drug and alcohol treatment, drug testing or other conditions set by the court.
However, there are certain factors that can increase the likelihood of a defendant being denied presumptive probation and be sentenced to a penitentiary sentence. The court must state these factors on the record. These factors are known as aggravating factors and can include things like prior criminal history, the severity of the current offense, violation of parole and the defendant’s behavior while on probation. If the court determines that some of these factors are present, they may find that presumptive probation does not apply in that case.
In conclusion, presumptive probation is a type of sentence that is available in South Dakota for certain low-level non violent felony offenses. While it provides an alternative to a penitentiary sentence, there are certain aggravating factors that can that can remove the presumption of probation. If you are facing a charge and believe that you are eligible for presumptive probation, it is important to seek the advice of a qualified defense attorney to understand your rights and options and to make a determination of whether or not it appears that your case qualifies for presumptive probation.