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):
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.
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.