Lost Traffic Ticket in South DakotaPage Overview
Your court can look up your lost traffic ticket information. You just have to figure out which court is handling your ticket.
Two types of courts handle South Dakota traffic tickets: Magistrate Courts and Circuit Courts. Magistrate Courts handle misdemeanor cases, and Circuit Courts handle felony cases.
There are a couple of ways you can determine which court has your ticket.
First, determine whether your ticket is for a misdemeanor or felony. Misdemeanors carry penalties of less than one year in a county jail (no state penitentiaries), and felonies are punishable by imprisonment in a penitentiary.
Second, determine where you were when you received the ticket. For example, if you know you have a misdemeanor charge and were in Brookings, most likely you’ll appear in the Brookings County Magistrate Court. However, if you have a felony charge, you’ll go before the Brookings County Circuit Court.
Contacting your Circuit Court is easy. Just visit the state’s Circuit Court page, choose your judicial circuit, and search the circuit’s website for contact information.
Finding your Magistrate Court’s information might be a little trickier. Currently, South Dakota’s Unified Judicial System website doesn’t include Magistrate Court websites or contact information. You can find this information in your local listings, or have the appropriate county’s clerk of court direct you.
Once you contact your court, be sure to ask about:
- The traffic ticket fine and court costs.
- Payment options and methods. For example, if paying by mail is an option, what’s the mailing address? Does the court accept personal checks?
- The hearing date. Find out by when you must pay the ticket or enter a not guilty plea.
- Whether you’re required to appear in court.
You can plead:
- Guilty or no contest.
- Not guilty.
Generally, drivers who plead guilty or no contest pay their traffic tickets and court costs and deal with penalties like increased driving record points.
Pleading not guilty, however, requires a hearing. Drivers have no ticket fines or penalties if they’re found not guilty.
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
- Pay the fine, possibly without going to court.
- Possibly accumulate driving record points.
- Risk suspended license or revocation.
- Face increased auto insurance rates.
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