Is Switching Out a Price Tag Considered Shoplifting?

Switching out a price tag is shoplifting.

Is Switching Out a Price Tag Considered Shoplifting?

Shoplifting is the criminal act of illegally taking items from a retail establishment. While the most stereotypical example of this is taking goods without paying, it also encompasses other manners of unlawfully removing goods from a store, including switching out an item’s price tag with a tag of a lower price.

Altering an item’s price in any way through any trick or artifice is considered shoplifting according to A.R.S. 13-1805. This includes:

  • Altering a price tag.
  • Removing a price tag.
  • Substituting another price tag.
  • Disfiguring any label, price tag, or marketing.

In addition to removing items from a store without paying and altering a price tag in any way, shoplifting also includes:

  • Charging an item to a fictitious person.
  • Charging an item to another person without their authority.
  • Transferring goods from one item to another.

Shoplifting Penalties

The penalties associated with shoplifting charges vary depending on the value of the shoplifted goods, not on the manner in which the shoplifting occurred.

Class 5 Felony – Shoplifting property with a value of two thousand dollars or more, shoplifting property during any continuing criminal episode or shoplifting property if done to promote, further or assist any criminal street gang or criminal syndicate. First time offenders can face incarceration of up to 2.5 years.

Class 6 Felony – Shoplifting property with a value of one thousand dollars or more but less than two thousand dollars. Shoplifting a firearm. First time offenders can face incarceration of up to 2 years.

Class 1 Misdemeanor – Shoplifting property valued at less than one thousand dollars (unless the property is a firearm; see above). Offenders can face incarceration of up to 6 months.

Class 4 Felony – Any person who, in the course of shoplifting uses an artifice, instrument, container, device or other article with the intent to facilitate shoplifting, or who commits shoplifting and who has previously committed or been convicted within the past five years of two or more offenses involving burglary, shoplifting, robbery, organized retail theft or theft. First-time class 4 felonies can result in incarceration of up to 3.75 years.



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