What To Do If You Have Been Charged with Shoplifting in AZ

charged with shoplifting in az

What To Do If You Have Been Charged with Shoplifting in AZ

If you are charged with shoplifting in AZ, you need to be aware that some very harsh penalties can be faced with a conviction. There are various laws that come into play when someone is facing Arizona shoplifting charges. As an example, shoplifting charges can vary from a misdemeanor to a Class 4 felony. The severity of the crime is dependent on the value of the goods that are stolen and whether or not you have a criminal history with prior convictions. You need an Arizona shoplifting defense attorney representing you for such serious charges. In the state, there are very specific laws regarding the definition of shoplifting. Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) 13-1805 indicates that an individual is guilty of shoplifting if he or she:

Knowingly obtains merchandise from an establishment where he or she is shopping with the intentions of depriving that business or establishment by either:

  • Removing the merchandise without paying the purchase price OR
  • Charging the purchase price for the merchandise to a fictitious person or to someone without authority or permission to do so OR
  • By paying less than the actual purchase price by either altering, substituting or disfiguring the price tag, marking, or label OR
  • By concealing the merchandise OR
  • By transferring the merchandise from one container to another.

charged with shoplifting in azAlso, according to the statute a person is believed to have mental culpability if he or she either:

Conceals any unpurchased merchandise on himself or another person while in an establishment OR

Uses a container, artifice, device or any kind of article to perform the shoplifting act.

What Are The Penalties For A Shoplifting Conviction In Arizona?

If you are convicted of shoplifting merchandise that has a value of less than $1,000, it is a class one misdemeanor unless the item in question is a firearm, which makes it a class six felony. For a class one misdemeanor, you can face no jail time to six months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500 plus an 84% surcharge, and up to three years probation.

Shoplifting merchandise that is worth $1,000 or more but less than $2,000 is a class six felony. A first offense can receive no jail time to a year in jail, probation, or prison ranging from four months to two years.

In some jurisdictions, if you are convicted of a first offense you might be eligible for a diversion program, which will allow you to go to class and have the charges dismissed if you complete the program successfully. Since shoplifting is a crime involving moral turpitude, it can impact professional licenses and immigration status. Some law agencies have special programs that may cause problems with such documents, so you must consult with an experienced shoplifting attorney to ensure you proceed in the best way possible for your situation.

If you are convicted of shoplifting any merchandise worth more than $2,000, you are facing a class five felony. If it is considered a continuing criminal episode, it means you have stolen property valued at $1,500 or more in three different acts within 90 consecutive days. Anyone who uses an instrument, artifice, device or some other item with the intent to shoplift or who has in the last five years been convicted of or who has committed two or more offenses that involve robbery, burglary, shoplifting, or some kind of organized retail theft will face a class four felony. A first offense class four felony can result in anywhere from no jail time to a year in jail or prison time ranging from one year to three-and-three-fourths years.

If you are charged with shoplifting in AZ, you need to enlist the help of an Arizona criminal defense attorney. An attorney can investigate your case, gather documentation and evidence, and help build a defense for your case. There are several legitimate defenses for shoplifting charges. As an example, it could have been an innocent situation where the individual leaves the shopping establishment after accidentally taking an item along without intent of stealing. There are also situations where the shopper might accidentally pass the point of purchase in the establishment without knowing he or she did so and is charged with shoplifting in AZ. You should consult with an Arizona shoplifting and theft attorney today.