One often misunderstood portion of the state’s criminal code concerns allegations of shoplifting. Even if you never removed an item from a store, you could still face accusations of this crime. Being accused of criminal behavior can be a confusing and frightening experience.
A Tempe shoplifting lawyer is here to explain the laws in your case and work to protect your rights at every step of the proceedings. The dedicated attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group are prepared to fight for you and your way of life.
The concept of shoplifting as a crime is complex. Most people understand that taking an item from a store without paying is shoplifting. However, under Arizona Revised Statute § 13-1805, the state has broadened its definition of shoplifting to include the following behaviors:
A prosecutor may try to prove any of these actions. In many instances, a prosecutor may pursue a case even if a defendant never took an item from a store. Here, the concept of intent is vital in determining a person’s frame of mind when moving items around a store or placing them in a hidden location. Especially when shoplifting cases revolve around these complex legal concepts, help from a seasoned Tempe attorney can make all the difference.
Courts in Tempe take shoplifting seriously. Even for a small dollar amount, a conviction can result in jail time. The seriousness of the charge depends on the value of the items involved in the incident.
The basic form of the offense is a class 1 misdemeanor for items valued up to $1,000. This can bring a jail sentence of up to six months, a fine of up to $2,500, or both. However, shoplifting can become a felony for higher valued items. The harshest versions are class 4 felonies, where a first offense can bring a prison sentence of one to 3.75 years. When the stakes are this high, it is essential to mount a robust defense with a local shoplifting lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group.
Any conviction, even a minor shoplifting one, remains on a person’s criminal record. Even a misdemeanor offense can bring a jail sentence of up to six months. More serious allegations are felonies that carry a mandatory minimum sentence. It is crucial that you begin building your defense as soon as possible.
Contact a Tempe shoplifting lawyer at our firm now and let us get to work for you. Our legal team knows how to argue for fair bail terms, work to exclude any illegal evidence, and form a defense that aims to protect your rights and freedoms. Reach out to our office today to schedule your consultation.