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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    3

    Unhappy Charged with Petty Theft in South Dakota

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: South Dakota

    I was recently caught taking a $17 item from a store in South Dakota. I've never done anything like this before and I still don't know why I did it or what I was thinking. It was stupid and impulsive. But I did it and now I need some advice. I already paid the company the Civil Penalty I owed them and called to apologize to the management. I still have to appear in court though and I don't want this to be on my record. I have a clean record til now...the only other run-ins I've had with the law was one seatbelt ticket a few months ago. Other than that I've never been in trouble. I can't afford to hire a private attorney and I just want to make this go away and get it over with, but I don't want a conviction of petty theft on my record. What should I say when I go to court as my plea and that sort of thing. This is all new to me so I have no clue. Please help!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    75,423

    Default Re: Charged with Petty Theft in South Dakota

    I suggest that you start by taking a look at the court's website, the prosecutor's website, and if you can't find anything there trying to find out from a local lawyer if your county offers a diversion program or deferrals for first offenders and, further, if you qualify. Such programs aren't offered everywhere. Where they are available, many are limited to offenders below a speficied age, but the terms will vary by county.

    You can also check with the court to see if you qualify for a court-appointed lawyer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Charged with Petty Theft in South Dakota

    Did the store call the police and you were arrested?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Charged with Petty Theft in South Dakota

    Yes they filed a citizens arrest, the police were called and i was officially arrested but just given a court summons. the officer didnt actually take me down to the jail. i requested a dispositional conference with the prosecutor the other day. What kind of plea deals do you think I could negotiate?? Because I really dont want to plead guilty to this and have it on my record but i dont think i want to burn my suspended imposition because you only get one in your lifetime you know??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Charged with Petty Theft in South Dakota

    What ever became of your situation? When the police came was the Miranda read to you even though you only got a court summons and didn't go to jail? Have you been to court yet? And what was the fine/punishment? Were you able to schedule a dispositional conference with the prosecutor?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Charged with Petty Theft in South Dakota

    I wasnt read my Miranda rights because they didnt actually take me into jail although I was officially arrested. I went to court and requested the Dispositional Conference. Then at the conference I was able to talk to a rep from the prosecutor and I bargained the charge down to Disorderly Conduct with a larger fine. It ended up working out better than I thought but this whole ordeal left me pretty short on cash. Still feeling the effects of it It was a really stupid thing to do and I've definitely learned my lesson.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,085

    Default Re: Charged with Petty Theft in South Dakota

    If the OP was caught in the act and signed what amounts to a written confession, Miranda was not necessary.

    The witnesses to the crime will testify.

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