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What happens to out-of-state riders arrested at the Sturgis rally?

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Motorcycle riders from all over the country come to Sturgis each year for one of the largest rallies in the nation. It is an exciting social event and often the center point of someone’s summer vacation plans if they intend to participate. People network, meet up with old friends and get to share one of their favorite pastimes with thousands of others with a similar passion.

However, for a small number of riders who come to Sturgis each year for the rally, the souvenir they bring home won’t be fond memories or some custom-made gear but instead pending criminal charges from another state. At the 2022 rally, there were numerous arrests for impaired driving and drug offenses, and there have historically been multiple arrests related to intensive enforcement efforts, like stings for underage trafficking offenses. People can and likely will get arrested in large numbers during the Sturgis rally this year as well.

Navigating the aftermath of an arrest

Those who are arrested at the rally or while visiting the state for the purpose of attending the rally will need the help of a local lawyer. If someone wants to mount a reasonable response to a pending criminal charge, they will need the guidance and insight of an attorney familiar with both state statutes and important precedents. An attorney licensed in someone’s home state may not be familiar with the laws in South Dakota, which means they will not be able to provide appropriate guidance.

More importantly, they won’t be able to legally serve as a licensed attorney in court. Retaining and in-state lawyer when facing charges as a resident from elsewhere can help someone respond more effectively and minimize how much they must travel back to South Dakota during their prosecution. An attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce someone’s charges or the chance of incarceration. They can also challenge evidence and prepare a robust criminal defense strategy that could help someone avoid a conviction altogether.

Riders who understand the risks of facing criminal charges in another state, like the possibility of losing their job and incurring major future travel expenses, may have more motivation to properly respond to their pending charges. Ultimately, seeking legal guidance from an attorney experienced in fighting motorcycle DUI charges will be of the utmost importance for those from other states who get arrested at the Sturgis motorcycle rally this summer.