South Dakota classifies shoplifting charges based on the value of the items stolen. Most lesser-value shoplifting cases lead to petty theft charges. Even if you were arrested with the items in your possession, you may still have a defense against the charges.
There are a few ways that you can fight a shoplifting charge.
You did not actually steal
Sometimes loss prevention officers get overzealous and will detain you before you even approach the cash register. In those situations, they can not prove that you actually committed a crime. If you did not leave the store, or at least attempt to leave the store, without paying for the item in question, you can simply claim that you intended to pay for it on the way out.
You did not intend to steal
There are some shoplifting cases that occur by mistake or as the result of an oversight. If you did not intend to steal the item or the theft was an accident, explain the situation to your attorney and the court. This may help you beat the charges.
There were extenuating circumstances
If you stole the item in question under duress, extenuating circumstances may apply. For this to be admissible, you should be forthcoming about the situation when you are initially detained. Stay consistent in your explanation for adequate documentation.
Even when you are detained with the item in your possession, sometimes all is not as it seems. Consider your options for a defense to protect yourself from a conviction and subsequent criminal record.