Shoplifting Defense Lawyer in Arizona

Dedicated Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney Securing the Best Possible Result for Client’s Misdemeanor and Felony Theft Cases

Shoplifting is one of the most common crimes, and despite the consensus that shoplifting isn’t as serious as many other criminal offenses, Arizona prosecutors and judges take retail theft cases very seriously. In fact, in Arizona, many shoplifting offenses are considered felonies, which can carry severe consequences, up to and including a jail sentence. If you’ve been charged with shoplifting, it is imperative that you work with an experienced shoplifting defense lawyer in Arizona who will protect your interests at every step of the process.

At the Law Office of James E. Novak, our Phoenix criminal defense lawyer has extensive experience defending clients charged with shoplifting and other theft crimes. We understand the best shoplifting defenses, when they apply, and how to use them to reach the best possible result in your case. We also offer free consultations to all prospective clients, so there is no risk in calling to speak with a shoplifting defense lawyer in Arizona.

The Definition of Shoplifting in Arizona

In Arizona, shoplifting is defined as knowingly taking items from a store without paying for them. This can involve directly stealing merchandise, but it can also include things like switching price tags to pay less or putting items into different containers to avoid detection. Even if you don't actually leave the store but are found hiding items with the intent to steal as you try to leave, it counts as shoplifting.

Arizona’s shoplifting law also covers situations where someone uses a device or container designed to shield goods from detection, like special bags or clothes with hidden pockets. So, if you're caught with any of these items on you in a store, it can be assumed that you were planning to unlawfully remove merchandise without paying, which completes the crime of shoplifting.

Shoplifting Penalties

In Arizona, the penalties for shoplifting vary depending on the value of the stolen items and any previous criminal history you might have.

Items valued at less than $1,000 - This is considered a class 1 misdemeanor, which is the most serious level of misdemeanor in Arizona. If convicted of a class 1 misdemeanor, you could face up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

Items valued between $1,000 and $2,000 - Shoplifting property worth more than $1,000 but less than $2,000 is a class 6 felony. For a class 6 felony, the penalty can be between 4 months to 2 years in prison.

Items valued over $2,000 - Shoplifting items worth more than $2,000 is treated as a class 5 felony, which is punishable by a jail sentence of somewhere between 6 months and 2.5 years.

Use of an Instrument or Device - If you use any device, instrument, container, or other article to facilitate the shoplifting, regardless of the value of the item taken, you could be charged with a class 4 felony. This can lead to prison terms of 1 year to 3.75 years.

Repeat Offenders - If you have prior convictions for shoplifting or other theft-related offenses, the penalties can be more severe, potentially moving the charge to a higher felony class with longer prison terms.

When it comes to calculating the value of stolen goods, the prosecution is permitted to add up the value of goods taken from different parties, provided the offenses were a part of the same “continuing criminal episode.” Typically, this means that prosecutors will be able to add up the value of stolen goods if there were three or more victims within 90 days, with a total value of at least $1,500. In this case, any total shoplifting episode resulting in theft of $1,500 or more will be graded as a class 5 felony.

Have You Been Arrested for Shoplifting in Phoenix?

If you were recently arrested and charged with shoplifting in Phoenix or elsewhere in Maricopa County, reach out to the Law Office of James E. Novak for immediate assistance. Based on his track record of success and 5-star Google Review average, Attorney Novak is known as a top shoplifting defense lawyer in Arizona. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call the Law Office of James E. Novak at 480-413-1499. You can also reach us through our secure online contact form.

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