Shoplifting is only one of many theft crimes under state law, but it is by far the most common. However, the state’s definition of this activity is confusing and broad. For instance, a prosecutor may pursue charges even if you did not remove an item from a store.
Shoplifting is a serious charge where a conviction will create a criminal record and may even label you as a felon. Even misdemeanor offenders can be penalized with jail time. A Scottsdale shoplifting lawyer is here to defend you against these charges and protect your rights in court. Let the experienced team at Grand Canyon Law Group fight for your way of life and protect you from serious consequences.
When most people imagine shoplifting, they think of cases where an individual removes an item from a store without first paying. While this certainly falls under this category, Arizona Revised Statute § 13-1805 also outlines other illegal actions. These include:
None of these allegations require a prosecutor to prove that a defendant removed an item from a store. Instead, they focus on the person’s intent to deprive the owner of possession. For example, a prosecutor may charge an individual with shoplifting for allegedly hiding an item under their coat or moving items around the store’s displays. A skilled attorney is prepared to investigate the circumstances that led to a shoplifting arrest in Scottsdale and fight back against any allegations of intent.
The same statute that describes the offense of shoplifting also defines the penalties that may apply upon conviction. The main factor determining the severity of a shoplifting case is the value of the items involved.
Shoplifting an item valued at $1,000 or less is a Class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction can bring a maximum jail sentence of six months and a fine of no more than $2,500. However, shoplifting items with a higher value can lead to felony charges, where a conviction is likely to result in a prison sentence. The most extreme examples are Class 4 felonies that apply when a defendant has prior convictions and uses a form of tool to commit the offense. Here, a person could face a jail sentence of one to 3.75 years. The local lawyers at our firm can provide more information about how state law punishes shoplifting offenses.
People facing shoplifting charges may wrongly assume that they cannot be charged with a crime if they did not take the item from the store. However, the state’s shoplifting laws are far broader than straight theft and include the concealment or altering of merchandise. In addition to these expansive definitions, Scottsdale courts can strictly punish all convicted shoplifters with stiff fines and long jail terms.
The Scottsdale shoplifting lawyers at Grand Canyon Law Group work to defend people accused of all forms of stealing. Regardless of the circumstances that led to your arrest, working with the right attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Contact us today to get started on your defense.