If you’ve been charged with shoplifting in Arizona, unfortunately you’re looking at a crime that has consequences both in court and out of court. Whether you’ve been charged with a felony or misdemeanor, a conviction can mean jail time and will wreak havoc by implicating professional licensing, your immigration status, background checks, job opportunities and security clearances. Having the facts of your case evaluated by a trained shoplifting lawyer will provide you the best opportunity to avoid a conviction and the future collateral consequences.
Pursuant to ARS 13 1805 shoplifting merchandise with a value of less than $1,000 is a class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona unless:
A violation of any of the provisions above is considered felony shoplifting in Arizona.
The penalty for shoplifting as a misdemeanor can range dramatically based on the facts of your case, the prosecuting agency, what store the items were stolen from and your judge. That said, a misdemeanor shoplifting first offense can normally be handled quite easily. For the best evaluation of the penalties you are likely to face, contact an experienced shoplifting lawyer in Arizona.
SIDE NOTE: Diversion or deferred prosecution agreements are common in many instances and allow for your case to be dismissed.
Pursuant to ARS 13 1805, shoplifting as a felony occurs when a shoplifting misdemeanor occurs AND:
The maximum and minimum punishment that you can expect after a conviction for felony shoplift in Arizona depends on the type or felony for which you are convicted. That said, the penalty for shoplifting can range drastically but speaking to an experienced shoplifting lawyer can provide you a better gauge of possible penalties under the facts of you specific case.
In addition to any penalties you may face from the courts, there are often other penalties that many people must confront. Arizona shoplifting charges have substantial collateral consequences because they are known as a “crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT).” This legal categorization means that the crime is generally considered depraved or immoral. A conviction for a CIMT offense can have consequences even greater than those some suffer through the criminal court system. Other penalties pursuant to a collateral theory include:
Developing a shoplifting defense strategy is paramount to getting your case dismissed or reduced. The defenses that you may want to raise will depend on the specific facts of your case. However, some of the more common defenses include:
Example. You are accused of stealing a pack of gum from a pharmacy. If the corporation agrees, you can simply pay money for the pack of gum in exchange for the criminal case being dismissed. It is important to note, however, when you have been accused of a crime, you are generally forbidden from making contact with the victim (store). As such, misdemeanor compromises must be handled by an experienced shoplifting lawyer, judges or the victim advocate. Simply contacting the victim and asking to buy our way out of a crime may constitute witness tampering.
At Feldman and Royle, we understand that every case is different. We are a team of defense attorneys with experience handling both felony and misdemeanor theft cases. Please contact us for a free initial consultation in order to further discuss the circumstances of your case and find out how we can help you.
When you receive a citation after an arrest, you are being cited into court to stand charges. Under the law, these are criminal charges and carry with them the possibility of fines, probation and jail.
The statute of limitations is (1) one year for a misdemeanor and (7) seven years for a felony.
The shoplifting definition is a theft of merchandise from a store during the hours of operation.
Shoplifting is a crime regardless of the offender’s age. That said, when someone is arrested and they are under 18, the charges will normally be handled by the juvenile courts. Commonly, however, when the offender is 17, law enforcement will wait to file charges against a juvenile offender until they turn 18 in which case, the charges will be handled by the adult criminal courts.
The punishment for a first time offense can range dramatically based on the facts of the case and whether the offense is a felony or misdemeanor. That said, an experienced shoplifting lawyer can often negotiate for reduced or dismissed charges when the offense is for a first time allegation.
Being caught at Walmart is no different than being caught at any other store as it relates to the charges you will face under the law. That said, Walmart notoriously prosecutes theft charges aggressively and will normally have store surveillance to provide to the police in an effort to strengthen their case against you.
Being caught on camera does not change the nature of the charges. However, having a theft recorded on video will normally strengthen the case against an offender and make defending the charges more difficult.
Unfortunately, criminal convictions stay on your record for life in Arizona. After a conviction the best thing that can be done is having the conviction set aside which is Arizona’s version of expungement.
In essence, shoplifting is a theft. The difference is that shoplifting is a theft from a store where merchandise is displayed for sale.