Shoplifting Defense Attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona
Shoplifting is a serious crime in Arizona with lasting ramifications. Shoplifting is more than just taking something that does not belong to you. In the eyes of the Phoenix authority, shoplifting is classified as an act where an individual takes a good without paying for it, paying below the purchase price by changing price tags or tearing it off, or hiding merchandise so that the seller has a potential loss of profit. Often times, one can experience false allegations of shoplifting and face some real consequences.
Contact the experienced defense attorneys at MayesTelles PLLC today. We offer 24/7 consultations.
What is Shoplifting?
Stealing from a store under the guise of being a legitimate customer or otherwise, also known as shoplifting, is a serious drain on revenue for store owners across the world. As a result, those store owners and law enforcement take the offense very seriously. Arizona law, specifically ARS §13-1805, details the elements of the crime of shoplifting, the potential consequences, as well as the actions a store owner or employee may take if they suspect someone of shoplifting.
While in a store or any establishment where merchandise is displayed for sale, someone is considered to have shoplifted if they knowingly obtain, or attempt to obtain that merchandise without intending to compensate the store owner by:
- Removing any merchandise on display or in the store without paying for the item or items.
- Using a fake account, or using an account without the account’s owner authority, to pay for merchandise.
- Changing or disfiguring a label, marking, or price tag with the intent of paying less than the listed price for an item.
- Intentionally moving merchandise from one container to a different one.
- Concealing an item or items.
Consequences of Shoplifting
The legal repercussions for shoplifting vary depending on the value of the item, the manner in which the item or items were shoplifted, and the frequency of thefts. Shoplifters can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the product stolen and the market value of it. If the act is deemed a misdemeanor, the charge will usually take place in a municipal/city court or the Maricopa County Justice court in the city where the crime took place.
Class 1 Misdemeanor
- Shoplifting an item or items worth less than $1,000, unless it’s a firearm, is considered a class 1 misdemeanor.
Class 6 Felony
- Shoplifting an item or items worth $1,000 or more, but less than $2,000 is considered a class 6 felony.
- Shoplifting a firearm is considered a class 6 felony.
Class 5 Felony
- Shoplifting an item or items worth $2,000 or more is considered a class 5 felony.
- Shoplifting an item or items during a continuing criminal episode is considered a class 5 felony. A “continuing criminal episode” is defined as “theft of property with a value of one thousand five hundred dollars or more if committed during at least three separate incidences within a period of ninety consecutive days,” under ARS §13-1805.
- Shoplifting an item or items with the intention of promoting, continuing, or assisting criminal organizations is considered a class 5 felony.
Class 4 Felony
- Using any artifice, container, device, instrument, or any other item intended to assist in shoplifting is considered a class 4 felony.
- If you have been convicted of two or more shoplifting, robbery, burglary, organized retail theft, or theft offenses within the past five years and are caught shoplifting, it is considered a class 4 felony.
Consequences vary depending on what was shoplifted. The penalties can also change depending on what jurisdiction the crime falls under. Each county has their own way of dealing with theft. But first-time offenses can sometimes be repaid through community service. Other punishments can go all the way to including jail time and heavy fines, depending on the value of the goods.
Unlike other misdemeanors, charged citizens can request a trial by jury. This means that settlements can also be obtained outside of court. In order to convict an individual, the State must be able to prove that the defendant is guilty without a reasonable doubt and that they were of sound mind.
For Experienced Criminal Defense, Contact Us Today
Just because you’ve been charged with shoplifting doesn’t mean that you’re out of options. A qualified criminal defense attorney can provide you with valuable legal assistance, and you are entitled to a jury trial for a shoplifting offense. At MayesTelles PLLC, our Phoenix shoplifting and theft attorneys have the knowledge and experience necessary to mount a strong defense necessary to fight the charges against you. The sooner you reach out to us, the more we may be able to do for you. Contact us today at (602) 428-7104.