If I was charged for shoplifting of $75 and this is my first offense, what should I expect and what do I do?

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If I was charged for shoplifting of $75 and this is my first offense, what should I expect and what do I do?

I was charged with another girl I had one item on me. Do I get a lawyer appointed to me for advice on what to do? I can’t afford a lawyer at all and I’m very much lost on how to handle this. I can’t seem to find anywhere to get free advice from a lawyer.

Asked on December 15, 2014 under Criminal Law, South Dakota

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Shoplifting, or petty theft, under $400 is a Class 2 misdemeanor in South Dakota chargeable with up to 30 days of county jail time and/or $500 fine plus restitution.  The worst part is that you will have to answer "yes' to any conviction question on a job application or college application and it could haunt you the rest of your life.  HIRE an attorney and see if your area offers diversion programs which are generally offered to first time offenders and will leave you with out a record.  But get the arrest expunged.  Good luck.


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