Arizona Felony Defense Attorneys

Arizona Shoplifter Attorney | Lerner and Rowe

If you’ve been charged with shoplifting in Arizona, it’s important to have a skilled criminal lawyer on your side to help you defend against the charges. A shoplifting charge in Arizona can range from a low-level misdemeanor all the way up to a Class 4 felony, depending on the value of the stolen goods and whether you have any prior theft-related convictions.

If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with shoplifting in Arizona, contact a criminal attorney with the Lerner and Rowe Law Group immediately to discuss your case. Our criminal defense lawyers have represented a number of clients charged with shoplifting and related crimes.Arizona’s shoplifting laws are codified in ARS §13-1805. The statute lists the elements the prosecutor has to prove to convict someone of shoplifting. In all shoplifting cases, the government must prove that you went to a place that offered goods for sale; and you knowingly obtained those goods with the intent to deprive the person of those goods by:

  • Removing the goods without paying;
  • Charging the price of the goods to a fake person or a real person without permission;
  • Paying less than the purchase price by changing, removing or substituting the price tag;
  • Transferring the goods from one container to another; or
  • Concealing the goods.

Arizona law presumes that a person who knowingly conceals unpurchased merchandise within the store or uses an artifice, container, instrument or other article to facilitate the shoplifting has the necessary culpable mental state to commit the crime.

PENALTIES FOR SHOPLIFTING

Misdemeanor Shoplifting

Shoplifting merchandise with a value of less than $1,000.00 is a class one misdemeanor; unless the merchandise is a firearm in which case the shoplifting charge is a class six felony. The range of punishment for a class one misdemeanor is anywhere from zero days in jail up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500.00 plus an 84% surcharge; and probation up to three years.

Felony Shoplifting

Shoplifting InstrumentsShoplifting is a class 4 felony if:

  • You used an artifice, instrument, container, device or other article with intent to facilitate the shoplift
  • You have two prior shoplifting, robbery, theft, or burglary priors within the last 5 years

For a first offense, a class 4 felony carries the following possible penalties:

  • A minimum prison sentence of 1 year and a maximum of 3.75 years
  • Probation is available

Shoplifting is a class 5 felony if:

  • You shoplifted over $2,000 worth of merchandise
  • You shoplifted in furtherance of gang activity
  • You shoplifted 3 times in 90 days and the total value of the merchandise was $1,500 or more

For a first offense, a class 5 felony carries the following possible penalties

  • A minimum prison sentence of 6 months and a maximum of 2.5 years
  • Probation is available

Shoplifting is a class 6 felony if:

  • You shoplifted over $1,000 worth of merchandise but it was less than $2,000
  • You shoplifted a firearm, regardless of value

For a first offense, a class 6 felony carries the following possible penalties:

  • A minimum prison sentence of .33 years and a maximum of 2 years
  • Probation is available

If you have prior felony convictions the possible penalties for a felony shoplifting conviction may be increased.

In some cases, Maricopa County has charged individuals with “organized retail theft” in situations where it is alleged that shoplifting occurred on more than one occasion or was part of a pattern of conduct. This is a separate crime.

POSSIBLE DEFENSES FOR SHOPLIFTING

There are several defenses that an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can raise on your behalf if you have been charged with shoplifting. The primary defense is that you had no intent to shoplift. Sometimes items get removed from a store by accident or because of a distraction, like children. In these instances, a good criminal lawyer will be able to argue you did not have the required mental state to commit shoplifting.

In most cases, the shoplifting investigation is handled by a loss prevention officer, who generally has limited experience and training in handling criminal investigations. Consequently, a criminal defense attorney may be able to discredit the loss prevention officer and/or the investigation. Moreover, a shoplifting suspect has all of the constitutional rights afforded to any other suspect accused of committing a crime.

Phoenix Shoplifting Attorney

If you have been charged with shoplifting, it is imperative you contact an experienced shoplifting lawyer as soon as possible. Give us a call today at (602) 667-7777 to schedule your free consultation.