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Arizona law defines shoplifting as stealing or removing an item from a retail store. Unfortunately, it is one of the most commonly prosecuted forms of theft in our state. At Suzuki Law Offices, our Phoenix criminal defense attorneys represent people facing shoplifting charges, taking aggressive action to protect their rights, freedom, and future.
Shoplifting is a serious offense. Penalties can include steep fines and a criminal record. For an adult over the age of 18 who has been found guilty of shoplifting, the penalties include being held responsible for the amount of the allegedly stolen items, plus a fine. Defendants may also be required to pay additional damages to the people affected by the theft crime.
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Overview of the Penalties for Shoplifting in Arizona
If you have been arrested for shoplifting in Arizona, the penalties you face will depend on the seriousness of the crime. The more valuable the property, the more serious the criminal charges – and the resulting penalties of a conviction.
They can be broken down as follows:
- Property valued at less than $1,000: Class 1 misdemeanor
- Property valued between $1,000 and $2,000: Class 6 felony
- Property valued at $2,000 or more: Class 5 felony
- When the item stolen is a firearm: Class 6 felony
- Using a device to facilitate shoplifting: Class 5 felony
For a Class 1 misdemeanor, you could face up to six months in jail and $2,500 in fines. For a Class 6 felony, you could face up to 18 months in prison and $150,000 in fines. For a Class 5 felony, you could face up to two years in prison and fines.
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You Can Also Face Civil Penalties for Shoplifting
In Arizona, merchants have the right to sue adult and emancipated minor shoplifters in civil court for damages. Damage awards can be sought for the value of the stolen items, as well as an additional penalty. If the convicted shoplifter is an adult or emancipated minor, they can face a $250 civil penalty plus the retail value of the stolen goods. If the convicted shoplifter is a minor, their parents or legal guardian can face a $100 civil penalty plus the retail value of the stolen goods.
Don’t Let a Petty Theft Conviction Impact Your Future
Whether you have been arrested or are currently under investigation, the actions you take now may have a significant impact on your future. It is in your best interests to hire legal representation to guide you through this situation and help you avoid the possibility of a conviction. This is especially true after a shoplifting arrest. Employers may be reluctant to hire someone who has been convicted of a theft crime, and those who have been convicted find that their careers are affected.
At Suzuki Law Offices, our Phoenix theft crime lawyers try to help our clients avoid this impact by having charges dropped or reduced or, if necessary, taking these cases to trial.
We may also be able to have defendants’ criminal records expunged. The attorneys at our firm provide experienced and aggressive criminal defense counsel to individuals throughout Phoenix and the surrounding areas in Arizona. We offer legal assistance to English and Spanish-speaking clients.
At Suzuki Law Offices, our Phoenix criminal defense attorneys do everything in our power to reduce the consequences of a theft crime arrest. Our team can work with you to help make sure that you get back home, spend time with your family and get the right treatment necessary so that you fully comply with court orders.