Shoplifting Laws in Arizona
Shoplifting, the act of knowingly taking items from a store without paying for them, is a crime that can have serious consequences for both retailers and individuals.
Defining Shoplifting per A.R.S. 13-1805
This statute, which can be found in full here, clearly defines shoplifting as the act of knowingly obtaining goods from a mercantile establishment with the intent to deprive the owner of those goods through various means, including:
- Removing goods from the store without paying for them.
- Charging the purchase price to a fictitious or unauthorized person.
- Using tricks or artifices to pay less than the purchase price.
- Transferring goods from one container to another.
- Concealment of unpurchased merchandise while within the store.
Presumption of Intent
An individual is presumed to have the intent to shoplift if they conceal unpurchased items on themself or another person while within the store or if they use any other means to facilitate their shoplifting, such as utilizing other devices, containers, or artifices.
Merchant’s Right to Detain
Per the statute, merchants, their agents, or employees have the authority to detain a person suspected of shoplifting on the store premises for questioning or to summon law enforcement officers. This provision is crucial in preventing shoplifters from leaving the store with stolen goods.
Civil Actions and Penalties
The statute also addresses civil actions and penalties related to shoplifting:
- Merchants injured by shoplifting minors may bring civil actions against the parents or legal guardians of the minor.
- Merchants injured by adult or emancipated minor shoplifters may initiate civil actions against the actual offenders.
- Shoplifting property valued at $2,000 or more is a class 5 felony.
- Shoplifting property valued between $1,000 and $2,000 is a class 6 felony.
- Shoplifting property valued at less than $1,000 is a class 1 misdemeanor, except for firearms, which elevate the offense to a class 6 felony.
- A person with prior shoplifting or theft convictions within the past five years may be charged with a class 4 felony for shoplifting.
In certain cases, the court may require individuals convicted of shoplifting to perform public services as part of their sentence, in addition to fines or other penalties.
Misdemeanor shoplifting charges could land you with fines totaling nearly $5000, prison of 180 days, and probation of up to three years.
Felony shoplifting charges can find you facing up to 15 years in prison depending on your prior record and fines up to $150,000.
Hiring an Attorney
Hiring an attorney for your shoplifting case can be beneficial to you in many ways. An attorney can examine your case for retailer errors, intent or motive, and correct item value. They can also work on your behalf to come up with plea agreements or compromises.
RIDEOUT LAW GROUP
With offices in Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale, our firm serves the entire state of Arizona, with a particular focus on criminal defense, family law, and juvenile cases.
Our goal is for the best outcome for your criminal case, which can include:
- charges that are reduced or dropped.
- top experts reviewing your case.
- aggressive negotiations with the prosecution for plea bargains.
- fines or probation in lieu of jail time.
At Rideout Law Group, our attorneys are able to expertly examine the evidence in your case to provide a strong strategy for argument that leads to an outcome that is most favorable to you. We have experience in all types of criminal cases for both adults and juveniles, with positive outcomes both in plea negotiations as well as jury trial settings.
Call us today for a free consultation at 480-584-3328.