The Volokh Conspiracy
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[Pennington County State's Attorney Mark] Vargo spoke generally about a suspended imposition of a sentence for a misdemeanor charge, saying that a person who successfully completes a diversion program can have the case dismissed a year following the completion of the dismissal, then have the case sealed and expunged from their criminal record.
A court case may be sealed if the court is concerned that case records may lead to excessive pretrial publicity and jeopardize fairness for both the defendant and prosecution. Vargo said case files are frequently sealed in cases involving child victims or victims of a sexual offense.
According to the 1993 South Dakota Supreme Court decision, State v. Schempp, the purpose of suspended imposition of sentence is "to allow a first-time offender to rehabilitate himself without the trauma of imprisonment or the stigma of conviction record."
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