Victim FAQs

Is there someone in the State’s Attorney’s Office who can answer my questions?
If you have any questions about your rights, the court proceedings or the Victim’s Compensation Program, you may contact us at (605) 353-8430. One of our assistants can help you if you need information about your case, information about protection orders, or referrals to other community victim service providers.

What if I am threatened while my case is pending?
If anyone threatens you, or you feel that you are being harassed because of your contribution to the case, you should immediately notify local law enforcement and the State’s Attorney Office. It is illegal to threaten, intimidate, harass, or mislead a witness in a criminal case.

What if I want the charges dropped?
Only the State’s Attorney can drop charges against a defendant; however, you should let our office know if you no longer wish to proceed with the case. While we will take your wishes into consideration, we must also take into consideration the safety of the community and other factors when making a decision to drop charges or continue prosecution of the case.

Is it possible to be reimbursed for my financial losses?
Often, crime means a real financial loss for the victim. Perhaps you had cash or valuable property stolen (and not recovered), have property that was damaged, medical expenses, a loss of income because you could not work, or the nature of the crime may be that you have been defrauded of money belonging to you. If any of these things has happened to you, please check to see if you have insurance that will cover the loss. If you have no insurance, only partial coverage, or have insurance but deductible amounts, then there are three possible ways of trying to recover your losses:

The South Dakota Crime Victim’s Compensation Program provides financial assistance to victims and survivors of victims of violent crimes involving physical injury or the threat of immediate physical harm. Up to $15,000 may be paid for certain expenses incurred as a direct result of injury or death. Please visit their website at: www.state.sd.us/social/cvc for further details about this program. Applications are available online or in the State’s Attorney’s Office.

The judge must consider, by law, restitution as part of the offender’s sentence. You should start now to collect evidence of your loss; insurance records showing reimbursement, and any other pertinent documents you think will prove to the court your loss. The judge takes this information into consideration when he determines an appropriate sentence and the amount of restitution.

Civil Damages
If the victim is not satisfied with a plan of restitution, the remedy is a civil action against the defendant. Such a private lawsuit is completely separate from the criminal case. Small Claims Court – No Attorney – $10,000 rules of evidence relaxed, informal. (605) 367-5900.


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