Navigating Shoplifting Accusations In Arizona: Legal Defense & Evidence Management

Shoplifting in Arizona has serious consequences in court as well as outside of court. Conviction can lead to jail time as well as other consequences like implicating professional licensing, background checks, immigration status, and job opportunities.

If you are charged with shoplifting, it is a wise idea to contact an Arizona criminal defense lawyer who can help you avoid or reduce the conviction and even potential consequences. This is especially important to help you protect your rights during the entire process.

An attorney discussing legal strategies to defend against accusations in Arizona at Dove Law Firm

Breaking Down Shoplifting Laws In Arizona: ARS 13-1805 Explained

Shoplifting in Arizona typically involves the unauthorized taking or concealing of merchandise from retail establishments. The person must knowingly complete the act. Some specific actions that may be considered shoplifting include:

  • Taking merchandise without paying for it.
  • Concealing merchandise with the intent to steal it.
  • Altering or switching price tags to pay less than the actual price.
  • Transferring merchandise from one container to another with the intent to steal.

Shoplifting in Arizona can lead to misdemeanors or felonies with varying penalties. It’s important to consult with a criminal defense attorney who can provide guidance based on your individual circumstances and the most up-to-date legal information.

Shoplifting Misdemeanors In Arizona: Categories & Penalties

For a shoplifting offense to be classified as a misdemeanor in Arizona, the value of the stolen property is generally set to an amount of less than $1,000. However, misdemeanors are categorized into Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3, with Class 1 being the most serious.

  • Class 1: To be convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor, the offense typically involves shoplifting cases where the value of the stolen property is less than $1,000. It is considered the most serious level of misdemeanor offense and includes fines, probation, community service, and other consequences.
  • Class 2: Class 2 misdemeanors are an intermediate level of offense where the value of the stolen property is less than $1,000 but more than $250. Penalties include fines, probation, community service, and other consequences.
  • Class 3: Considered the least serious of misdemeanor offenses, class 3 includes cases where the value of the stolen property is $250 or less. Class 3 misdemeanor charges face fines, probation, and community service.

Felony Shoplifting Charges In Arizona: Thresholds & Consequences

The threshold for a shoplifting felony in Arizona can vary, but generally, if the stolen property is valued at $1,000 or more, the offense may be considered a felony. Like misdemeanors, felonies are divided into different degrees, Classes 1-6, with Class 1 being the most serious. 

The penalties for felony shoplifting can include more severe consequences than misdemeanors, such as longer prison sentences, higher fines, and additional penalties, depending on the class of felony committed. If you or someone you know is facing a shoplifting felony, it is important to seek legal advice from a professional criminal defense attorney.

  • Class 1: Stolen property valued at $25,000 or more
  • Class 2: Stolen property valued less than $25,000 but more than $4,000
  • Class 3: Stolen property valued at $4,000 or more but less than $25,000
  • Class 4: Stolen property valued at $3,000 or more but less than $4,000
  • Class 5: Stolen property valued at $2,000 or more but less than $3,000
  • Class 6: Stolen property valued at $1,000 or more but less than $2,000

Beyond The Courtroom: The Broad Impact Of a Shoplifting Conviction

While you will face penalties assigned to you in court for shoplifting, you may also face penalties in your daily life for shoplifting. Shoplifting is considered a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). This means that the crime is viewed as immoral and can bring consequences that may be even more serious than what the court assigns. These consequences include:

  • Loss Of Professional License: If you are a doctor, lawyer, accountant, or have a professional license of some kind, when shoplifting goes on your record, even if it is later dismissed, you may be required to report to licensing boards who may revoke your license. 
  • Immigration: If you are an immigrant, the CIMT distinction could affect your immigration status. Shoplifting is a deportable offense depending on the situation.
  • Background Checks For Employment: If you have been convicted of a crime and employers see that on your background check, you often will instantaneously be rejected for a job or potentially have strict restrictions as to what you can and cannot do in your job.
  • Housing & Loans: If you are looking to apply for a loan, you may find it difficult if you have a theft crime on your record. Shoplifting felonies are typically reported to lenders which can result in a denial.

Strategies To Challenge Shoplifting Charges In Arizona

Defending against shoplifting charges involves examining the specific facts of the case and developing a strategy tailored to the circumstances with a criminal defense attorney. While potential defenses may vary depending on the details of the situation, here are some common defenses:

  • Mistaken Identity: If there is evidence suggesting you were not the person involved.
  • Lack Of Intent: Evidence suggesting that you did not have the intent to commit theft.
  • No Concealment Or Carrying Away: If there is no evidence of you concealing merchandise or carrying it away without paying.
  • False Accusation: If you believe you were falsely accused of shoplifting due to a misunderstanding.
  • Valid Purchase Or Ownership: If you can prove that you lawfully purchased or already owned the items in question.
  • Involuntary Actions: If you can demonstrate that your actions were unintentional. 
  • Illegal Search & Seizure: If evidence was obtained through an illegal search or seizure. 
  • Lack Of Evidence: If the prosecution lacks sufficient evidence to prove the elements of the shoplifting charge.

Experience a Defense For Your Shoplifting Charge With Our Criminal Defense Attorneys

Our skilled criminal defense attorneys at Dove Law Firm have a proven track record of successfully defending individuals against shoplifting charges. We leverage our expertise to examine the unique circumstances of your case, exploring defenses such as mistaken identity, lack of intent, and insufficient evidence to secure the best possible outcome.

Contact us today to ensure your rights are protected!

This blog is purely for marketing purposes and should not be construed as legal advice.

Dove Law Firm, PLLC

Arizona Injury Lawyer
2650 E Southern Ave Suite 201
Mesa, AZ 85204

Office: 480-213-4489

Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer
2650 E Southern Ave #125
Mesa, AZ 85204

Office: 877-368-3529

Arizona DUI Lawyer
2650 E Southern Ave #311
Mesa, AZ 85204

Office: 602-755-6512

By Published On: February 27th, 2024Categories: Expungement Attorneys

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