Penalty for Theft in Arizona
We may hear about shoplifting on the nightly local news from time to time. Or perhaps when a celebrity, for whatever reason, takes something that is not theirs. However, many people do not know the laws behind shoplifting charges.
Today, we want to discuss a recent story out of Phoenix and Scottsdale about three women accused of stealing high-dollar liquor from multiple stores. Then we want to discuss all of the state’s shoplifting laws as well as some legal defense tactics.
Arizona takes shoplifting seriously. If you or someone you know are facing shoplifting charges, please contact an Arizona defense attorney as soon as possible.
What Happened Here?
Police arrested three women after they were seen on surveillance video stealing multiple high-dollar liquors from a Safeway store in Scottsdale. In that incident, police say the women took $745 worth of merchandise. However, one of the women was recognized as a suspect in a previous, yet similar, incident. Police say there has been a string of similar thefts in stores across Phoenix and Scottsdale over the last few months.
At the Safeway locations in Scottsdale alone, they say over $21,000 in merchandise has been taken.
At the time of their arrest, the vehicle that was used in previous thefts was parked outside. They found $10,000 worth of liquor inside the vehicle.
All three were charged with organized theft and shoplifting.
Shoplifting Laws In Arizona
Certain criteria must be present for a shoplifting charge to be appropriate. Please note the language in Arizona Revised Statute 13-1805:
- A person commits shoplifting if, while in an establishment in which merchandise is displayed for sale, the person knowingly obtains such goods of another with the intent to deprive that person of such goods by:
- Removing any of the goods from the immediate display or from any other place within the establishment without paying the purchase price; or
- Charging the purchase price of the goods to a fictitious person or any person without that person’s authority; or
- Paying less than the purchase price of the goods by some trick or artifice such as altering, removing, substituting or otherwise disfiguring any label, price tag or marking; or
- Transferring the goods from one container to another; or
- A person is presumed to have the necessary culpable mental state pursuant to subsection A of this section if the person does either of the following:
- Knowingly conceals on himself or another person unpurchased merchandise of any mercantile establishment while within the mercantile establishment.
- Uses an artifice, instrument, container, device or other article to facilitate the shoplifting.
Penalties For Shoplifting
Penalties for shoplifting depend on the value of the merchandise that was taken.
- Less than $1,000 = Class 1 misdemeanor
- Up to six months in jail and fine of up to $2,500
- $1,000 – $2,000 (of a firearm) = Class 6 felony
- Six months to 1.5 years in jail and fines up to $150,000
- Over $2,000 = class 5 felony
- Nine months to 2 years in jail and fines up to $150,000
If a person shoplifts during a continual criminal episode or as a part of a street gang, this is also a class 5 felony. Anyone who uses an artifice, instrument, container, device, or other article with the intention of shoplifting OR has in the past five years been convicted of two or more theft-related offenses faces a class 4 felony.
What You Can Do Now
If you are facing shoplifting charges, please take them seriously and secure a skilled Arizona defense attorney who will have your back and work to get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
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