Cheri Scharffenberg – Attorney 


Areas of Practice 

  • Automobile Accident Attorney 
  • Bankruptcy Attorney 
  • Criminal Law Defense Attorney
  • Family Law Attorney  
  • Felony Attorney 
  • Juvenile Law Attorney 
  • Medical Malpractice Attorney 
  • Personal Injury Attorney
  • Product Liability Attorney 


University of South Dakota – Bachelor of Science, Social Work

Law School 

University of South Dakota School of Law 

Professional Associations & Memberships


Cheri Scharffenberg is a trial attorney who believes that the practice of law should be used to help others and to do what is right. Whether defending those charged with crimes, a mother or father fighting for custody of their children, or an individual whose life has been changed because of an injury sustained in an accident, Cheri Scharffenberg is a capable and zealous advocate who serves her clients with strength and compassion.

Cheri, a lifelong resident of South Dakota, graduated from Freeman High School. After high school, Cheri moved to Boston, Massachusetts but eventually moved back to Vermillion, South Dakota and received her bachelor’s degree in Social Work, with a minor in Psychology. Cheri spent several years working as a social worker helping those who struggled in their day-to-day life. In 2001 Cheri continued her education and returned to law school. Cheri graduated from the University of South Dakota School of Law in 2005. She is currently a member in good standing with the South Dakota Bar.

While in law school her focus remained on helping others get through difficult situations. Following her passion for fairness and equality, Cheri was an integral part of establishing the Innocence Project of South Dakota. The Innocence Project is dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. Upon graduation from law school, Cheri accepted a position at the Minnehaha County Public Defender’s Office where she practiced law for six years. During her time with the Public Defender’s Office she defended all levels of criminal offenses, including DUI, Simple Assault, Aggravated Assault, Rape, and Murder. She has also handled several Abuse and Neglect Cases. 

Cheri’s passion toward justice and her belief in second chances provoked her to challenge the sex offender laws in South Dakota. In 2008, Cheri testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee asking the Legislature to reconfigure the South Dakota Sex Offender Laws to ensure fairness for all. That mission prompted her to urge her current law firm partner, Ryan Kolbeck, to help her establish the South Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. This grassroots organization now has close to 100 members, all of which practice criminal defense work. 

Since 2011, Cheri has been a partner at Waltner, Kolbeck & Scharffenberg where she has defended several individuals charged with crimes and has had the opportunity to represent clients in personal injury matters such as automobile accidents, work injuries, motorcycle accidents, animal bites and wrongful death claims. She also represents clients in family law matters such as divorce, custody/visitation disputes, child support matters and paternity cases.   

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