In Arizona, shoplifting is one of the most common crimes committed. In 2013, there were nearly 50,000 instances of shoplifting reported in Arizona, which makes up nearly a third of all theft crimes committed.
But such a common charge shouldn’t be taken lightly – a shoplifting charge could result in a felony conviction. With the right legal team, you can get a better chance of receiving a more positive outcome to your shoplifting charge.
Shoplifting in Arizona
Shoplifting laws in Arizona are outlined in A.R.S. 13-1805, which states that a person commits shoplifting if they knowingly take goods from another “with the intent to deprive that person.”
There are five ways in which this can happen:
- Taking goods without paying for them
- Taking goods by charging someone without their permission
- Paying less than the purchase price by altering price tags or labels
- Transferring goods from “one container to another”
- Concealing goods
This statute also states that if the person knowingly conceals goods on himself/herself or another person, or if he or she uses an instrument for concealment, they are mentally aware enough of their actions to be subject to the statute’s terms.
Although there is some misinformation related to what stores can do when approaching suspected shoplifters, A.R.S. 13-1805 states that any employee can detain someone in a reasonable way in order to question them or wait for law enforcement officials to arrive.
The statutes also outline the civil actions that can be taken against alleged shoplifters – juveniles and adults – who injure employees during the shoplifting process.
Penalties for Shoplifting in Arizona
One of the most common questions asked about shoplifting is whether it’s a misdemeanor or felony offense. The answer is that it depends on several factors, as outlined in A.R.S. 13-1805.
As per A.R.S. 13-1805, shoplifting any property less than $1,000 is a class 1 misdemeanor. However, shoplifting firearms, even if they are valued at less than $1,000, is a class 6 felony.
Many shoplifting cases involve low-valued items taken from stores like Walmart and the like. In these cases, first-time offenders may be able to attend diversion programs or fulfill community service hours, though each case is different.
A class 1 misdemeanor, as outlined in A.R.S. 13-707, could include anywhere from zero to sixty days in jail, and fines up to $2,500 plus surcharges (A.R.S. 13-802).
Shoplifting any property that’s valued between $1,000 and $2,000 is a class 6 felony. Shoplifting property over $2,000 is class 5 felony.
Penalties for a class 6 felony conviction can include probation and up to one year in jail, or between 4 months and 2 years in prison. This prison length range increases to 1 and 3.75 years with one prior felony conviction, and between 3 and 7.5 years for those with two previous felony convictions.
Penalties for a class 5 felony conviction can include probation and up to one year in jail, or between 6 months and 2.5 years in prison. This prison time extends up to 3.75 years for those with one prior felony conviction, and between 3 and 7.5 years for those with two previous felony convictions.
Additionally, any shoplifting of property that’s done during a “continuing criminal episode” or any shoplifting done in promotion or assistance of a street gang or crime syndicate is a class 5 felony.
The statute defines “continuing criminal episode” as three or more instances of theft in a 90-day time period where the property taken was valued at $1,500 or more each time.
Finally, shoplifting with the use of an instrument or device is a class 4 felony. Shoplifting with two or more similar convictions (burglary, theft, robbery, shoplifting or retail theft) within the past five years will also result in a class 4 felony.
Penalties for a class 4 felony can include probation, up to one year in jail or between 1 and 3.75 years in prison. With one prior felony conviction, this prison range increases to 2.25 and 7.75 years; with two prior felony convictions, the range increases to 6 and 15 years.
Juvenile Shoplifting in Arizona
While the penalties above refer to adults who are charged with shoplifting, we also handle many juvenile shoplifting cases.
Juvenile shoplifting cases are unique because of the emphasis on rehabilitation over incarceration. At JacksonWhite, we provide the compassionate legal defense needed to give juveniles the best chance of success in court.
To learn more about our approach to juvenile crimes, call us at (480) 467-4370 or visit our juvenile crimes page.
How JacksonWhite Can Help You
Just because shoplifting is a common offense in Arizona doesn’t mean it’s one that easy to deal with. We’ve helped clients deal with all types of shoplifting charges, from simple low-value shoplifting to more complicated situations. We’ve also helped clients have shoplifting convictions expunged or set aside.
Our approach to shoplifting defense is to fully explore all legal angles and present options that make it more likely to receive a favorable outcome to your case. We’ve helped clients get cases dismissed or receive lessened penalties with our inclusive, exhaustive approach to defense.
Our defense attorneys are familiar with shoplifting charges for both adults and juveniles, and we can help you devise a legal plan that puts your best foot forward.
It all starts with your free case review, where you can get a better idea of the legal road ahead. Contact us today to schedule your no-obligation consultation with our superior legal team.
Get Your Free Shoplifting Case Review Today
At JacksonWhite Law, we understand the importance of a positive outcome for your shoplifting case. We offer compassionate, aggressive legal representation that’s focused on your future, and our services reflect that mission.
When you need a shoplifting defense attorney dedicated to your success, we’re here to help.
Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.