Removing retail property from a store without paying for it can be punished harshly in Arizona. Even first-time offenders may face multiple years of imprisonment upon conviction, depending on the circumstances and the allegations made by the State. Also, it is not uncommon for store owners to hold shoplifters civilly liable for damages on top of any criminal repercussions.
Assistance from a skilled New River shoplifting lawyer is crucial to minimize the long-term impact on your life. If you have any history of past theft, shoplifting, or other felony offenses, retaining a knowledgeable defense attorney is even more essential to avoid enhanced penalties. Reach out to Grand Canyon Law Group today to discuss your case and get started on your defense.
Taking something from a store without paying and depriving the owner of that item’s value is not the only action that counts as “shoplifting” in Arizona. Other actions that could lead to charges under Arizona Revised Statutes §13-1805 include:
The severity of shoplifting offenses is based primarily on the value of items taken. For example, shoplifting less than $1,000 of merchandise in a single incident is a class 1 misdemeanor. Shoplifting between $1,000 and $2,000 of goods or any firearm is a class 6 felony, and any offense involving over $2,000 of goods is a class 5 felony.
In other situations, though, the severity of the shoplifting offense is based on whether the defendant committed the offense in a certain way or shows a particular pattern of behavior, as a local attorney can further explain. Most notably, shoplifting can be prosecuted as a class 4 felony if the defendant allegedly accomplishes the act using any specialized instrument or container, or if they have been convicted twice or more of any theft offense within the past five years.
In addition to criminal sanctions, someone convicted of shoplifting in Arizona may also be civilly liable to the impacted merchant for the total value of the goods taken, a mandatory $250 penalty, and up to the total value of the goods again in additional penalties. If the defendant is an emancipated minor, the mandatory penalty is $100, as per A.R.S. §12-691.
If the defendant is a minor who is not emancipated, their parent may be liable under A.R.S. §§12-661 and 12-692 for up to $10,000 in damages from the minor’s willful misconduct. They may also be liable for a penalty equal to the value of the goods, a $100 mandatory minimum penalty, and possibly up to the value of the goods again in added penalties. Our seasoned lawyers in New River can further explain civil and criminal liability for shoplifting offenses.
Shoplifting allegations can lead to severe consequences in criminal and civil courts. Even if you or your child have no criminal background, this first offense could have severe repercussions on your life and allow for even harsher sanctions if there is a repeat offense in the future.
Fortunately, guidance is available from an experienced New River shoplifting lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group. Call today for a consultation.