Shoplifting is considered a serious crime in Phoenix, Arizona, and can be classified as a class five (5) felony which can have a jail sentence of up to 6 months along with probation and fines. The possible punishment for shoplifting in Phoenix depends on the value of items stolen and the kind of theft. For example, a person can commit shoplifting if he or she knowingly obtains goods or items with the intent of taking them and depriving the shop owner of them. There are various forms of committing shoplifting such as:
- Removing the goods or items from display or from the rack within the store and going out without paying for them intentionally
- Using some trick to alter, substitute, disfigure or remove the price tag to pay less at the cash counter
- Using a stolen credit card to charge for the purchased goods without actually paying for them, or using someone else’s card to make the purchase without that person’s approval
- Concealing items or transferring them from one container to another to avoid paying for them
All these methods are a form of stealing and qualify as “Shoplifting” under the Statute.
Shoplifting Charges in Arizona
A shoplifting charge is a serious offense and has significant penalties if the defendant is convicted. According to Phoenix shoplifting laws, if the stolen property has a value less than $1000, the charge is filed as a class one (1) misdemeanor. The person can face up to six (6) months of jail time with up to $2500 in fines.
If the value of the stolen items is over $1000 but less than $2000, it will be considered a class six (6) felony. Jail term for this charge is between 6 months to 18 months for a first offense, 1 year to 27 months for a second offense and 3 years to 54 months for a third offense.
For stolen items with a value of more than $2500, the charge is filed as a class five (5) felony and has a jail term of 9 months up to 2 years for a first offense. A second offense has a jail term of 18 months to 3 years and a third offense has a sentence of 4 years up to 6 years.
Remember, that you could be mistakenly charged with shoplifting due to someone else’s deliberate actions, but once you are charged, you may have to face serious consequences which can destroy your future. Shoplifting charges are unwarranted and may arise out of a lapse in someone else’s judgment. Once charged and convicted, you will have to live with it for the rest of your life. A shoplifting charge puts a permanent mark on your criminal record, which will pose problems in you getting a good job, applying for further studies and so on. Therefore, it is necessary that you get in touch with an attorney to protect your rights. Your lawyer will be able to work with the prosecutors to get the charges reduced or dismissed completely.