Shoplifting Charges in South Dakota

Learn about the laws, penalties and civil consequences of a shoplifting charge in South Dakota. Find out if you can avoid a conviction and criminal record.

Shoplifters in South Dakota face criminal penalties such as jail time and fines, with penalties increasing with the value of the stolen goods. In addition, shoplifters can be sued in civil court by victimized merchants to recover damages.

South Dakota Shoplifting Laws

South Dakota punishes shoplifting as theft. Actions that constitute theft include taking or exercising unauthorized control over another person’s property, with the intent to deprive that person of the property, or obtaining another’s property by deception. The definition of the theft could include taking merchandise from a store without paying or altering price tags to pay less than the retail value.

Merchants can detain shoplifters for a reasonable period to determine their identity, to determine whether they have stolen merchandise, and to contact law enforcement or a parent. Shoplifters face the criminal and civil penalties described below.

South Dakota Shoplifting Criminal Penalties




Petty theft in the second degree: theft of property valued at $400 or less

Class 2 misdemeanor

Up to 30 days of county jail time and/or a $500 fine, plus restitution

Petty theft in the first degree: Theft of property valued at more than $400, up to $1,000

Class 1 misdemeanor

Up to one year of county jail time and/or a $2,000 fine, plus restitution

Grand theft felony: Theft of a firearm or theft of property valued at more than $1,000, up to $100,000

Class 4 felony

Up to 10 years of jail time and/or a $20,000.00 fine

Aggravated grand theft felony: Theft of property valued at more than $100,000

Class 3 felony

Up to 15 years of jail time and/or a $30,000.00 fine

Civil Penalties

Adult and emancipated minor shoplifters, and the parents or guardians of unemancipated minor shoplifters, may be sued in civil court by a victimized merchant.  Merchants are entitled to the retail value of the stolen merchandise, as well as a penalty equal to the greater of $100 or four times the retail value. Merchants are entitled to these monetary awards even if the stolen goods are recovered.

Probation without Judgment and Plea Bargains

South Dakota allows for courts to suspend the sentence of those accused of first-time offenses and to place them on probation without entering a judgment of guilt (S.D. Codified Laws § 23A-27-13). The accused will be required to complete specific requirements mandated by the program, such as community service, and restitution. If the requirements are completed successfully, the criminal charges will be dismissed.

If first offender programs are not an option, the accused may be able arrange a plea bargain with the prosecutor assigned to their case. Plea bargains typically involve receiving a lesser charge or lighter sentencing in exchange for a guilty plea.

Learn more about diversion and pretrial options.

Getting Legal Help

If you have been accused of shoplifting in South Dakota, you should strongly consider contacting an experienced criminal lawyer. A qualified attorney can help you explore your options, such as pursuing first offender programs, raising defenses, negotiating a plea bargain, and other possibilities in order to minimize the consequences of a shoplifting charge.

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