Citrus Park Shoplifting Lawyer
Shoplifting is a charge that involves removing an item for sale from a store without paying for it, paying less than its ticketed value by trick, or charging it to someone else’s account without permission. Shoplifting is a form of theft.
If you face shoplifting charges, contact a seasoned attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group to discuss your situation. A conviction could significantly impact your future opportunities, so it is critical to work with a Citrus Park shoplifting lawyer on a solid defense strategy.
Shoplifting Charges Explained
Arizona Statutes §13-1805 defines the crime of shoplifting as knowingly taking something for sale from a store without paying for it. The law criminalizes several methods of obtaining goods, as a knowledgeable shoplifting attorney could explain. According to the statute, any of the following actions could be shoplifting:
- Purchasing merchandise using an invalid account or someone else’s account without permission
- Paying less than the ticketed value by trick, such as making a fraudulent return, switching tags, or claiming a credit the buyer was not entitled to receive
- Moving merchandise from one container to another
- Concealing merchandise and leaving the premises without paying
The law requires the knowing removal of the items, but it allows a jury to infer the necessary knowledge under several circumstances. A jury could assume knowledge if the defendant conceals items on their person or someone else or if they possess an article or instrument that could aid in shoplifting.
Determining the Severity of a Shoplifting Charge in Citrus Park
Accused shoplifters are entitled to jury trials, and a skilled local attorney might opt to take a case to trial. A prosecutor might drop or reduce a charge to avoid a shoplifting trial in a specific case.
The sentence a convicted shoplifter might receive depends on numerous factors. All crimes carry presumptive sentences set out in the law. If a judge finds mitigating circumstances, they could be lenient within the statutory guidelines. A judge could impose a harsher punishment if there are aggravating factors, such as an accomplice or prior criminal history.
A Citrus Park attorney at our firm will present the defendant as sympathetically as possible and introduce all available evidence that might mitigate a shoplifting sentence.
Class 1 Misdemeanor
Shoplifting could be a Class 1 misdemeanor if the value of the items removed from the store is less than $1000 (unless the item is a firearm). Conviction on a Class 1 misdemeanor could result in a fine of $4575, 180 days in jail, and three years of probation.
First offenders typically do not receive jail sentences for shoplifting. A seasoned shoplifting lawyer might arrange a pre-trial diversion program for a first offender in Citrus Park. These programs require the defendant to engage in rehabilitation and probation. If they complete the program, the prosecutor dismisses the charges and clears their record.
Class 6 Felony
Shoplifting a firearm is a Class 6 felony. It is also a Class 6 felony to steal items valued over $1000 but less than $2000.
One year in prison is the presumptive sentence for a first offender. Mitigating factors may allow for probation instead of a prison sentence while aggravating factors make a longer prison sentence more likely.
Class 5 Felony
Shoplifting is a Class 5 felony if the value of the items exceeds $2000 or if the purpose of the theft is to promote or support a street gang or criminal syndicate. Shoplifting items with a total value exceeding $1500 in at least three separate incidents over 90 days is also a Class 5 felony. The law considers this type of serial shoplifting a continuing criminal episode.
The presumptive sentence for a first-time Class 5 felony is two years. The sentence could be increased up to two and a half years if the judge finds aggravating factors.
Class 4 Felony
Prior convictions could lead to harsher charges. If a person has two previous convictions for burglary, robbery, shoplifting, or theft within the past five years, they could face Class 4 felony charges if they are arrested for shoplifting.
The presumptive prison term for someone convicted of a Class 4 felony is two years and six months. If the judge finds aggravating factors, the sentence could be up to three years and nine months. To prevent severe penalties, a person accused of shoplifting should work with a Citrus Park lawyer at our firm.
Contact a Citrus Park Shoplifting Attorney Today
Many people think shoplifting is a petty crime. However, it carries significant penalties in this state and could affect your future prospects. You need a seasoned defense attorney to help reach a favorable resolution in your case.
A Citrus Park shoplifting lawyer could provide a vigorous defense to the charges against you. Call Grand Canyon Law Group today to get an aggressive advocate working for you.