Glendale Shoplifting Charges Defense Attorney

Arizona Shoplifting Defense & Penalties

Shoplifting in Arizona is a crime often accompanied by serious penalties, including probable fines and even jail time. In addition to these criminal penalties, shoplifters can also face a lawsuit in a civil court to recover damages. However, shoplifting is one of the most common crimes committed, therefore, it would not be uncommon for one to experience false accusations.

Petty theft, or shoplifting, refers to the willful theft of goods from a business establishment with the intention of depriving the owner of the property and converting goods for one’s personal use. It includes acts such as (Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1805):

  • Removing goods from display or any other place within the establishment without paying for it
  • Concealing an item on their person and intentionally leaving the store without paying for it
  • Altering, removing, substituting, or disfiguring price tags with the intent of lessening the value of a good when purchased
  • Charging the purchase of merchandise to a fictitious account or person
  • Charging the purchase of merchandise to an existing account or person without authority
  • Transferring goods from one container to another in an attempt to lessen its value

Shoplifting Penalties

  • Class 1 Misdemeanor: If the property shoplifted is valued at less than $1,000 and is taken without the aid of a firearm, the convicted is to face a maximum of six months in jail, three years of probation and a $2,500 fine.
  • Class 6 Felony: There are two instances in which charges are elevated to class 6 felony. (1) Shoplifting property with a value between $1,000-$2,000 and; (2) Shoplifting with a firearm. In both cases, the conviction is maximized to one-and-a-half years of jail time, three years of probation, and fines up to $150,000.
  • Class 5 Felony: Three instances can be considered class 5 felony. (1) Shoplifting property with a value of $2,000 or more; (2) Shoplifting during any continuing criminal episode/s and; (3) Shoplifting to assist or promote criminal syndicates and/or gangs. These cases will involve a maximum of two years of jail time, a three-year probation, and fine of up to $150,000.
  • Class 4 Felony: There are two instances in which the charge reaches a class 4 felony. (1) Using devices or instruments to facilitate the shoplifting and; (2) Shoplifting after having committed two or more offenses involving burglary, robbery, shoplifting, or theft within the past five years. These cases involve a maximum of three years of jail time and probation and fines up to $150,000.

Store owners and their employees are allowed to detain shoplifters, or any individual that they reasonably suspect of shoplifting until the police arrive. However, if one is detained in an establishment without any probable reason of suspicion for a prolonged time, the establishment may be accused of false imprisonment and other claims.

Plea Bargaining or Prosecution Diversion Programs

Diversion programs may be allowed for first time offenders or individuals accused of low-level crimes. After the completion of a diversion program, the criminal charges against the individual will be dropped. If the accused is not eligible for a diversion program, they may negotiate a plea bargain to reduce criminal charges or sentences in exchange for a guilty plea.

Shoplifting charges are often proved with evidences from video cameras, staff which may be from loss prevention or security, and other witnesses such as other patrons. Individuals convicted of theft may be denied when applying for licenses, certifications, or employment, and it may create complications for immigrants seeking a green card, visa, or U.S. citizenship. Therefore, contacting a criminal defense attorney is crucial for an individual’s rights and future.

A qualified and experienced attorney from the Law offices of Gary L. Rohlwing can help assess possibilities of diversion programs, plea bargains, and criminal defenses to reduce shoplifting charges. Call the Law Offices of Gary L. Rohlwing for a free initial case consultation at (623) 937-1692.

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