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Seeking A Second Chance Through Suspended Imposition

Even if you were convicted of a crime, it is still possible to avoid the sentencing that comes with it. You can pursue a special judgment from a court to suspend the sentence from your conviction and use the extra time to prove your rehabilitation to the court.

I am D. Sonny Walter, and I have been helping the people of South Dakota with their criminal defense needs for more than 30 years. While I often fight to beat criminal charges and avoid a conviction, I can also help you even if you have already been convicted.

The Benefits Of A Suspended Imposition

A suspended imposition of sentence (SIS) in South Dakota criminal law offers several advantages for both the defendant and the justice system. First, the defendant is given a second chance to prove their rehabilitation and become a productive member of society. This can be beneficial for first-time offenders who have made a mistake but are unlikely to re-offend. If the defendant successfully completes the probationary period, then the case is sealed and they will not have a criminal record, which can improve their chances of obtaining employment or housing in the future.

A person may receive only one SIS on one felony and one misdemeanor in their lifetime. The judge ultimately makes the decision on whether to grant the SIS depending on the facts of each case, the defendant’s prior record and the reason for the request. In some cases, like a DWI offense, you may have to get a chemical dependency evaluation and follow the recommendations of that evaluation before the judge will even consider granting the request.

The Risks Of A Suspended Imposition

However, there are also several disadvantages to an SIS. One of the main drawbacks is that it can provide a false sense of security for the defendant, as they may not fully understand the consequences of violating the terms of probation. If the defendant violates probation, then the judge can impose the original sentence, which could result in a longer jail term or higher fines. Judges who used their power of clemency to grant an SIS are generally not happy when someone returns on a violation of probation, and they may take the SIS away and impose a much harsher sentence.

Another drawback of an SIS is that the offense may be used for enhancement purposes if you should receive another similar offense in the future. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and simple assault cases are examples of situations in which the sealed record can be used to count or enhance the sentence or level of the charge on any DWI you receive within the next 10 years. The third DWI or simple assault conviction in a 10-year period is a Class 6 felony. The sealed offense can be used in counting the number of prior offenses.

Let Me Take A Stand For You

If you have questions about whether you should request an SIS in your case, then seek the advice of a qualified and experienced criminal defense lawyer to explain your rights and options and to give you advice on the best options for you in your case. Call my firm, D. Sonny Walter, Attorney At Law, at 605-450-6182 or email me here to schedule your initial consultation today.