The Grant County State's Attorney is an elected official with a "Juris Doctor" degree and licensed to practice law in the State of South Dakota. The duties of the Grant County State's Attorney are as follows:
The State's Attorney is the legal advisor for the County Board of Commissioners, and all county departments and agencies. As the legal advisor for the county, the State's Attorney serves in a role that is similar to that of an in-house corporate counsel. The State's Attorney provides legal advice to the county board and county departments to assist the county in providing many public services, such as child protection and protection of vulnerable adults, defending challenges to property tax values, evaluating medical assistance claims; and collecting county aid liens. The State's Attorney drafts ordinances for the county, and is responsible for enforcing all county ordinances, as well as forfeiting property used in connection with criminal activity. In addition, the State's Attorney's office assists the county in buying property; negotiating leases and contracts; and assists in defending against personal injury, workers' compensation, employment claims, and other civil lawsuits brought against the county.
The State's Attorney is the chief prosecutor for crimes which occur within a county. Prosecution involves bringing charges against a party, trying the case in court, and making sentencing recommendations. The State's Attorney prosecutes felony offenses (crimes which carry a penalty of more than one year in prison). Examples of these crimes include murder, sexual assault, drug offenses and child abuse. Misdemeanors and petty offenses, which are less serious crimes, are also prosecuted by the State's Attorney.
The State's Attorney is the prosecutor in all cases involving juvenile offenders. These range from curfew violations to the most serious felony criminal behavior. The State's Attorney oversees the diversion programs which allow minor offenders to receive consequences without going to court. These programs are intended to reduce repeat offenses. While a goal of juvenile court is the rehabilitation of offenders, due to public safety concerns, the State's Attorney may ask the court to certify the juvenile to stand trial as an adult. Upon conviction, the juvenile could then receive all potential adult sanctions, including a prison sentence.
The State's Attorney initiates CHINS (Child in Need of Supervision) petitions to protect children whose behavior or condition endangers the child's own welfare or the welfare of others. The State's Attorney initiates Abuse and Neglect petitions to protect abused or neglected children in the county. The State's Attorney starts legal proceedings to protect the health and safety of vulnerable adults within the county when they are in need of assistance. The State's Attorney also files involuntary commitment actions to access necessary treatment for individuals who are mentally ill, or mentally challenged.