Shoplifting Laws in Gilbert, Arizona
Shoplifting is a form of theft. Specifically, it describes an activity in which a person intentionally takes property from a store or other commercial property. While the core concept of committing theft by taking property from another still applies in these cases, the law is much broader when describing shoplifting.
In fact, a person does not need to take property from a store without paying to meet the state’s definition of shoplifting. According to Arizona Revised Statute § 13-1805, a person shoplifts if they:
- Remove goods from a display within the store without paying
- Charge the price of goods to another’s name without that person’s permission
- Pay less than the true price by altering, changing, or swapping price tags
- Transfer goods from one container to another
- Conceal goods on one’s person
In each of these examples, a prosecutor needs to prove that a defendant took these actions with the intent of stealing the items. Unfortunately, something as seemingly innocent as placing an item in a pocket or leaving it in a baby carriage could be evidence of apparent shoplifting. Our Gilbert theft defense lawyers could provide more information about the legal definition of shoplifting under state law.
Helping People to Avoid Shoplifting Convictions
Shoplifting convictions have the potential to change a person’s life. Under the statute, the severity of the penalty depends upon the dollar value of the items involved in the incident. At a minimum, a conviction is a class 1 misdemeanor. This means that a court may fine a guilty person up to $2,500, require them to spend up to six months in jail, or both. This is in addition to having a misdemeanor criminal record for life.
If the value of the items rises to more than $1,000 but less than $2,000, the offense is a class 6 felony. For items in excess of this amount, the charge is a class 5 felony. Here, convictions will label a person as a felon and may result in a prison sentence of up to two-and-a-half years. This in addition to having a lifetime felony conviction on your record, which could impact future employment opportunities.
Although there are never any guarantees as to outcomes or success, Hiring a Gilbert shoplifting attorney could potentially help people to avoid this outcome. A lawyer could help to dispute the idea that a defendant took a step towards committing theft while still in a store. They could examine security camera footage and talk with witnesses in an attempt to defeat an allegation of concealment or price altering. They could also cross-examine store workers to challenge their recollection of the incident and create reasonable doubt during a trial.
Contact a Phoenix Shoplifting Lawyer Today
It is illegal to take any action with the intent to steal items from a store. This could include behavior such as altering price tags, placing an item under a coat, or working with another to distract a store worker.
Because of this broad definition, it is vital to obtain all possible help when facing these charges. A Gilbert shoplifting lawyer could help from day one to protect your rights, explain the laws that pertain to your case, and promote effective defenses during every court session. Call us today to discuss how our team may be able to help you navigate your case.