Lost Traffic Ticket in South Dakota

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If you have a lost SD traffic ticket, contact either the magistrate court (misdemeanor cases) or circuit court (felony cases) for lost traffic ticket information. Be ready to verify personal information, such as your name, birth date, driver's license number, and license plate number.

Your SD court can look up your lost traffic ticket information; you just have to figure out which court is handling your traffic citation.

Two types of traffic 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 to contact to find traffic ticket information.

First, determine whether your SD traffic ticket is for a misdemeanor or felony. Misdemeanors generally carry penalties 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 traffic 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.

Contact Your South Dakota Court

Contacting your Circuit Court in South Dakota is easy when you want to find traffic ticket information. 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 SD traffic court about your lost ticket, be sure to ask about:

  • The traffic ticket fine and court costs.
  • Payment options and methods. For example, if paying your traffic citation 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 lost ticket or enter a "not guilty" plea to your traffic violation.
  • Whether you're required to appear in court.

Decide How You'll Plead to Your SD Ticket

Once you get details about your traffic violation in South Dakota, you can plead:

  • "Guilty" or "no contest."
  • "Not guilty."

Generally, drivers who plead "guilty" or "no contest" to their traffic violation pay their traffic tickets and court costs and deal with penalties like increased driving record points.

Pleading "not guilty," to a moving violation, requires a court hearing. Drivers have no traffic ticket fines or penalties if they're found "not guilty." If you do plan on fighting your traffic ticket in court, you might want to look into hiring a traffic ticket attorney to help you win your case.

Learn more about each option at Paying Your SD Traffic Ticket and Fighting Your Traffic Ticket in South Dakota.

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