Shoplifting in Arizona is charged under Arizona Revised Statutes section 13-1805. Depending on the nature of the charges and the value of the item(s) in question, shoplifting may either be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. Where charged as a misdemeanor, shoplifting will generally be charged in a municipal/city court or a County Justice Court in the jurisdiction where the offense is alleged to have occurred. The knowledgeable and experienced shoplifting defense attorneys at The Schill Law Group have experience defending shoplifting allegations and in most municipal and Justice Courts in Arizona.
Consequences and options for shoplifting offenses vary with the nature of the charge and the court in which the offense is charged. First-time offenders may be eligible for diversion and/or community service in exchange for a dismissal upon successful completion in some courts. These diversion programs are not guaranteed though, and a knowledgeable and experienced attorney such as the shoplifting defense attorneys at The Schill Law Group, can explain your options and your rights to you.
Unlike a number of misdemeanor charges, an individual accused of shoplifting is entitled to a trial by jury even if the charge is a misdemeanor. As a result, room for negotiating agreements regarding shoplifting charges can be enhanced, and it is sometimes advisable to proceed to trial, defend yourself, and force the State to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced and knowledgeable shoplifting defense attorney at The Schill Law Group can explain your rights and options to you.
In general, in order to convict an individual for shoplifting, the State must show beyond a reasonable doubt that a person knowingly obtains goods of another with intent to deprive. The burden can be satisfied by showing that an individual removed the goods without paying, charged the purchase price to someone else or a fictitious person, paid less than the purchase price by trick or artifice, transferring the goods from one container to another, or concealment.
The mental state showing required by the shoplifting statute can be presumed (but is rebuttable) if an individual knowingly conceals unpurchased merchandise or uses an instrument to facilitate the act. The State construes instrument broadly, and it can be a purse, a cart, a walker, a wheelchair, a bag, or any number of other items.
Depending on the value of the property in question, whether an instrument or container is used, intent, the involvement of co-conspirators or a gang purpose, the presence of a firearm, and prior shoplifting offenses, shoplifting can be charged as a class 1 misdemeanor, a class 6 felony, a class 5 felony, or a class 4 felony. If you or a loved one is accused of shoplifting, contact the experienced and knowledgeable shoplifting defense attorneys at The Schill Law Group to discuss your case.