Clay County States Attorney


Adult Diversion (18-20 yrs) – MIC/MIP

The Clay County State’s Attorney’s office has elected to offer a diversion program for young adults charged with a Minor in Consumption or Minor in Possession offenses contrary to SDCL 35-9-2.  The diversion program is run through the State’s Attorney’s office, and determination about whether a person charged will be offered the opportunity for diversion remains entirely within the discretion of the State’s Attorney’s Office. 

Diversion Goals include: 

  • Assisting young adults in assuming responsibility for their choices and recognizing there are consequences that come with the decisions they make.   
  • Holding offenders accountable for their actions while guiding them to make better decisions in the future through the promotion of: 
    • alcohol education (identifying risks of binge drinking, effects of alcohol on decision-making and risky behavior, identifying unhealthy alcohol habits by one’s self or others, ways to mitigate risks of harm posed by alcohol use, etc.)
    • refraining from use while matter is pending
    • abstaining from further criminal offenses
  • Providing an opportunity for a young adult to secure a dismissal of a status-related criminal offense. 

When an individual over the age of 18 but under the age of 21 is cited for a Minor in Consumption or Minor in Possession offense, they will be provided a court date by the law enforcement officer on their citation.  At the time of the defendant’s initial court appearance the magistrate court prosecutor will have screened the individual for diversion eligibility and will advise at court whether the office is willing to offer the defendant diversion for the offense.  If an offender is interested in pursing diversion options, the court appearance will be continued to a later to date to allow follow-up with the magistrate prosecutor, enrollment in the program if the offender chooses, and time to complete the requirements of the program. 

General criteria used to screen eligibility for diversion includes: 

  1. First Time Offense.  Anyone previously charged with a criminal offense, other than minor traffic violations, is not be eligible for Clay County diversion. 
  2. Only Offense Committed.  If the underage alcohol offense is charged in connection with any other offenses including but not limited to:  falsely identifying oneself to officers, producing a fake ID, engaging in disorderly conduct, trespassing, or other drug or alcohol related offenses, then the matter is not diversion eligible. 
  3. Offender Must Admit Wrong-Doing.  If a person is not guilty of an offense, then the defendant should not enroll in diversion and should instead pursue formal resolution via the court system.  Diversion is an option for those willing to admit guilt and agree to the terms of the diversion program.  Upon successful completion of the program, the case will be dismissed by the State’s Attorney Office. 

An in-person meeting with the prosecutor is required for enrollment in the diversion program.  It is important for defendants to understand the terms of the agreement and ask any question they may have about the program.  The program is voluntary; and at the conclusion of the meeting or at any time before the following court appearance a participant may opt to forgo the diversion requirements and proceed with formal court proceedings instead.  Requirements of the program are strictly adhered to.  Non-compliance with any one term of the diversion contract will result in unsuccessful discharge and require the defendant proceed with the formal court process for the original offense cited. 

Failure to appear at court appearances will result in a bench warrant.  It is the defendant’s obligation to ensure follow-up documentation is provided to the State’s Attorney’s office and that their obligations for the diversion program have been adhered to.  Correspondence from parents, friends, significant others, or other individuals will not be deemed sufficient.