South Dakota Speeding Ticket

When you receive a speeding ticket in South Dakota, you need to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest before the due date listed on your ticket.
Written by Holden Easterbrook
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
South Dakota requires all drivers ticketed at least $87.50 for speeding to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest before the due date listed on their ticket. If you want to challenge your ticket, you’ll likely need to appear in court on your arraignment date to enter a not guilty plea.
Speeding tickets are a Class 2 Misdemeanor in South Dakota. As such, they come with a hefty fine and demerit points that will increase the cost of insuring your vehicle. Accrue too many points, and you risk having your driver’s license suspended.
The first thing you need to do after receiving a speeding ticket in South Dakota is research the state’s process for entering a plea and how to go about paying or contesting the ticket. Every state is different in terms of how they handle speeding tickets, so understanding the steps and requirements is critical for preventing a single speeding ticket from becoming a much bigger problem.
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What happens if you get a speeding ticket in South Dakota? 

If you’re pulled over for speeding in South Dakota, be ready for the officer with your driver’s license and
vehicle registration
. If this is your first offense, you may be let off with a warning. Don’t count on this happening, however—it’s only a possibility, not a guarantee.
After the officer has taken your information and filled out your ticket, you’ll need to sign it. Don’t worry, signing your ticket is not the same as an admission of guilt. All you are doing is acknowledging that you’ve received the ticket and understand that you need to enter a plea before the due date listed on it.
Your ticket will also tell you whether you will need to appear in court. The officer will either mark ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in the section dedicated to court appearances. If the fine you’ve received isn’t listed on South Dakota’s bond schedule, you will need to appear in court—the officer will explain the process to you in greater detail.

What are the fines for a speeding ticket in South Dakota? 

In South Dakota, you have to pay both a fine and court fees if you get a speeding ticket. The exact cost of the ticket will depend on how fast you were driving when the officer pulled you over, but expect costs such as:
  • 1-5 mph over the speed limit—$87.50
  • 6-10 mph over—$107.50
  • 11-15 mph over—$127.50
  • 16-20 mph over—$147.50
  • 21-25 mph over—$167.50
  • 26+ mph over—minimum of $222.50
It’s important to note that fines for speeding in construction zones are doubled, so watch your speed!
Along with the fines and court fees, a speeding ticket will have a conviction and demerit points placed on your driving record. Accruing too many points can get your driver’s license suspended, and any number of points will increase your car insurance costs.

Options for dealing with a speeding ticket in South Dakota

The three plea options available for South Dakota Speeding tickets are:
  • Guilty—This means you admit to speeding. You must pay the fine and court fees before the due date listed on your ticket. A guilty plea will close your case, but at the expense of a conviction and demerit points going on your driving record.
  • No contest—This means you disagree with the citation but will not contest it in court. You must pay the fine and court fees before the due date on your ticket. Doing so will close your case and you'll have a conviction and demerits on your record.
  • Not guilty—This plea will require you to appear in court on the arraignment date specified on your ticket. Once there, you’ll be able to enter your not guilty plea and have a hearing date scheduled. 
Regardless of how you intend to handle your speeding ticket, be sure to do so before the due date listed on it. Check your ticket for instructions on how to proceed or contact the appropriate traffic court—it should be listed on the ticket. Failing to address your ticket promptly could result in additional fines, suspension of your license, or a bench warrant being issued for your arrest!

How to pay a speeding ticket in South Dakota

A guilty or no contest plea is the quickest way to handle a speeding ticket. Keep in mind that it will require paying your fine and court fees along with having a conviction and demerit points placed on your record.
Depending on the court handling your speeding ticket, you may be able to pay your fine and court costs:
The officer that issued your ticket should explain your available payment options, but you can always consult your ticket or contact the presiding traffic court for more information.
The form of your fine payment will also depend on the presiding court, but often include:
  • Personal and cashier’s checks
  • Money orders
  • Credit and debit cards

How to fight a speeding ticket in South Dakota

Pleading not guilty is the only way to prevent a conviction and demerit points from being placed on your driving record. However, you may be able to complete a defensive driving course to lower the cost of your car insurance.

Plead not guilty in court

The first step to fighting a South Dakota speeding ticket is entering a not guilty plea. To do so, you’ll often have to appear at your arraignment. Your ticket will have more information about how and where to plead not guilty.
When your plea has been accepted, the court will assign a date to return for a dispositional conference. At the conference, you or your attorney will meet with the South Dakota state prosecutor to attempt to reach a plea bargain. Plea bargains usually entail you changing your plea to guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence.
If a plea bargain can be reached, you will avoid going to trial. If you cannot come to an agreement, the court will assign you an additional date to return for your trial.
You should begin collecting evidence and witnesses as soon as you enter a not guilty plea. If you have to go to trial over your speeding ticket, you’ll need proof of your innocence. If you cannot convince the judge that you were not speeding, then you will still have to pay your fine and court costs along with receiving a conviction and demerit points

Defensive driving course

Unfortunately, South Dakota does not offer defensive driving courses as a way to remove convictions and demerit points from your driving record. However, you may be able to lower your car insurance costs after receiving a speeding ticket by completing one of these courses.
To find out more concerning defensive driving courses and your options for attending one, contact the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, your court, or your insurance provider.

What if you can’t afford to pay your speeding ticket?

Pleading not guilty and having the ticket dismissed is the only way to avoid paying a speeding ticket fine.
You should never ignore your ticket or avoid paying the fine. Missing your plea date or failing to pay the fine could lead to additional fines, suspension of your driver’s license, or the issuing of a bench warrant for your arrest!

Will a speeding ticket increase your insurance? 

The increase in South Dakota car insurance rates after a speeding ticket depends on many factors. However, you can expect to see your monthly payment increase by as much as 10-17%! These rate hikes remain in place so long as the conviction and demerit points are on your driving record.
If you don’t want to overpay for
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Normally, a single speeding ticket will not get your license suspended.
However, if you have a history of speeding, other traffic violations, or miss the due date to submit a plea, that may change.
Pleading guilty or no contest is the simplest way to handle a speeding ticket. You should only fight your ticket if you feel confident about being able to prove your innocence.
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