Legal Definitions

According to South Dakota Codified Laws:

Felony - a crime which is or may be punishable by imprisonment in the state penitentiary. 

Misdemeanor - any crime that requires a court appearance and is not a felony. 

Power Of Attorney (POA) - a written authorization to represent or act on another's behalf in private affairs, business, or some other legal matter, sometimes against the wishes of the other's.

Continuance - when an action or proceeding is called for trial or hearing, or at any time previous thereto, the court or judge may, upon good cause shown, direct the trial or hearing to be postponed to another day of the same or next term, or to such time as shall be just in view of all the circumstances.

Probable Cause Hearing - the preliminary hearing typically taking place before arraignment and before a serious crime goes to trial. The judge is presented with the basis of the prosecution's case, and the defendant is afforded full right of cross-examination and the right to be represented by legal counsel. If the prosecution cannot make a case of probable cause, the court must dismiss the case against the accused.

Arraignment - the formal reading of the state's charge(s) against the defendant and in the defendant's presence, and the defendant is expected to enter a plea.

Grand jury - a body of jurors that convene for the purpose of investigation of public offenses or misconduct in office, and shall consist of at least six but not more than ten legally qualified persons that are selected and summoned to meet the request. If summoned to a grand jury selection, attendance is mandatory. 

Court Appointed Attorney - in any criminal investigation or in any criminal action or action for revocation of suspended sentence or probation in the circuit or magistrate court or in a final proceeding to revoke a parole, if it is satisfactorily shown that the defendant or detained person does not have sufficient money, credit, or property to employ counsel and pay for the necessary expenses of his representation, the judge of the circuit court or the magistrate shall, upon the request of the defendant, assign, at any time following arrest or commencement of detention without formal charges, counsel for his representation, who shall appear for and defend the accused upon the charge against him, or take other proper legal action to protect the rights of the person detained without formal charge.

Plea Agreement - A prosecuting attorney and an attorney for a defendant or a defendant when acting pro se may engage in discussions, with a view toward reaching an agreement that, upon the entering of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a charged offense or to a lesser or related offense, the prosecuting attorney will do any one or more of the following:

(1) Move for dismissal of other charges or not file additional charges arising out of a different occurrence;
(2) Make a recommendation, or agree not to oppose the defendant's request, for a particular sentence, with the understanding that such recommendation or request shall not be binding upon the court;
(3) Agree that a specific sentence is the appropriate disposition of the case; or
(4) Perform other specified acts to be made a part of the agreement.

Suspended Imposition of Sentence - a sentencing option which places the defendant on probation but if that probation is violated the judge may order any sentence within the full range of punishment if there is a conviction, but this option is generally only available once

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