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Phoenix Shoplifting Lawyer

Theft of Merchandise for Sale

Shoplifting is the crime of knowingly taking goods or other merchandise for sale without paying for it. This crime can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on certain variables. This law can be found in Arizona Statutes § 13-805.

These four major factors can affect how this type of offense is charged:

  • Amount of items stolen
  • Method used to shoplift
  • Age of shoplifter
  • Type of items stolen

Stealing items for sale in a store that total less than $1,000 is considered a class 1 misdemeanor. According to § 13-707 of the Arizona Statutes, a class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months' imprisonment. Shoplifting an item that costs less than $2,000 but more than $1,000 will be charged as a class 6 felony.

The minimum imprisonment for a class 6 felony is six months in prison and the maximum sentence is 1.5 years. Theft of items that collectively cost more than $2,000 is considered a class 5 felony. A class 5 felony has a minimum imprisonment of .75 years and maximum two years.

Shoplifting that is accomplished by use of a deadly weapon is an aggravated theft offense that could also be considered assault. If threatening was used to accomplish the shoplifting, then the crime can be considered robbery or armed robbery. If the person committing the act of shoplifting was under the age of 18, then they may not be held criminally responsible.

In these cases, the shop owner may instead file a civil suit against the parent or legal guardian of the minor who committed the theft. When it comes to shoplifting, the type of the item typically does not matter. There is one major exception to this though and that is when the item stolen is a firearm. Shoplifting involving a firearm is automatically considered a class 6 felony, of which the punishment is listed above.

Shoplifting charges will be less severe for those who are considered first time felony offenders. Second and subsequent offenses will qualify an individual as a repetitive felony offender according to the Arizona Legislature. There is also something called a "continuing criminal episode" that is important to understand.

When it comes to shoplifting, it may be considered a single act of theft to steal from multiple different stores even on separate days. Subsection H of § 13-1805 defines this as theft of property equal to or above the amount of $1,500 during three separate instances or more within a period of 90 consecutive days. This is considered a class 5 felony.

Let Our Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorneys Fight for You

If you are facing shoplifting charges, please do not hesitate to contact an attorney from our firm. Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or a felony offense, you need aggressive representation on your side. Knowles Law Firm, PLC offers free consultations so that you can learn more about the charges you face as well as the possible defenses that our firm can use to fight for you. One possible defense is to contest the monetary value of the items stolen. Another possible defense is contesting the rightful ownership of the items allegedly stolen.

To learn more, please contact a Phoenix shoplifting attorney from the firm today.

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