What is the Punishment for Shoplifting in Arizona?
Most people look at shoplifting as a petty crime. They don’t envision somebody going to jail for lifting a few items of clothing from a retail store. For the most part, this is true. Most shoplifting defendants don’t end up in jail. However, depending on the value of the items a person steals, they can be charged with a felony. If this happens to you, then it’s a good idea to call a criminal defense lawyer in Arizona.
Is Shoplifting a Misdemeanor or a Penalty in Arizona?
For the most part, shoplifting will be considered a misdemeanor. In order to be charged with a felony, the value of the items you’ve stolen must be more than $1,000. This can be one item that is worth $1,000 or a collection of items that are worth more than $1,000 together. Most of the time, people who are caught shoplifting are found with small items that are worth much less than $1,000. If that’s the case, you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor instead. However, even a misdemeanor can carry significant penalties. It can also put a permanent blemish on your criminal record.
Shoplifting Requires that You Intended to Deprive the Owner of Their Property
You can’t be charged with shoplifting unless you had the intent to steal the item. For example, if you get distracted talking to the clerk and walk out with an item by mistake, that isn’t shoplifting. The same is true if somebody else switched tags on items of clothing. You can’t be charged for shoplifting if you weren’t the one who switched the labels. The State prosecutor will make sure they have ample proof that you were shoplifting before they file charges.
Common Examples of Shoplifting in Arizona
When most of us think about shoplifting, we imagine a young girl stuffing clothes into her purse and running out of a store. In reality, shoplifting can take many forms. As long as you go into a store with the intent of stealing something, you can be charged with shoplifting in Arizona. Here are some of the common examples of shoplifting:
- Switching tags in order to pay less than the full price
- Pretending an item was damaged to get store credit
- Attempting to charge your items to an account that isn’t yours
- Damaging an item so you can pay a lower price for it
- Putting store items in a container so as to avoid paying for them
Store clerks have seen just about everything you can imagine when it comes to shoplifting. They know what to look for. If they suspect you’re stolen items from their store, they’re going to call the police.
A Criminal Defense Lawyer in Arizona Can Help
Depending on the value of the goods you’ve stolen, you could be facing some serious penalties. If the good are worth more than a thousand dollars, you may be charged with a felony. Your criminal defense lawyer in Arizona can help get the charges reduced or dismissed. It all depends on the facts of your case. Criminal defense lawyers in Arizona have a lot of experience dealing with the State prosecutors. They may be able to negotiate a plea deal, so you don’t have to face the maximum penalties.
All you have to do is call and talk to one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers in Arizona. They’ll review the facts of your case and see if there’s a way to poke holes in the state’s case. They’ll also meet with the prosecutor to try to get the charges dismissed. Call today and set up a date and time to meet with one our experienced attorneys.