Shoplifting & Theft

Theft is a broad legal term with a wide range of potential sentences. Under Arizona theft laws are shoplifting, bad checks, and other related offenses.

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If you made a dumb mistake and got caught shoplifting, you deserve fair treatment under the law, and a second chance. Anyone can make a bad decision. But, a conviction on a criminal charge can follow you for the rest of your life. That’s why I will work to find any option to keep that from happening. We can fight and challenge the facts of a theft/shoplifting charge, or simply negotiate a reasonable arrangement for restitution, or any option that can keep your record clean.

I understand what you are going though. Anytime you are facing criminal charges can be a frightening time. And the Arizona criminal courts are not on your side, and may not be sympathetic. When you are unsure of your next move, contacting our experienced Arizona theft & shoplifting defense attorneys for your best options in this unfortunate circumstance. We can help.

Theft – Laws and Penalties in Arizona

The general theft offense can be committed in a wide variety of ways. Certainly, if you take someone else’s property you may be charged with theft. But you can also be charged with theft if you:

  • obtain services without payment
  • find property and do not make an attempt to return it to its rightful owner
  • control or possess property you have reason to believe is stolen (aka receiving stolen property)

The potential punishments for theft are determined by the value of the property in question.

If the property is valued at:

  • $25,000 or more
  • $4,000- $25,000
  • $3,000- $4,000
  • $2,000- $3000
  • $1,000- $2,000
  • Less than $1,000
Then the potential sentence for a first conviction is:

  • 5 years in prison (Class 2 felony)
  • 3 ½ years in prison (Class 3 felony)
  • 2 ½ years in prison (Class 4 felony)
  • 1 ½ years in prison (Class 5 felony)
  • 1 year in prison (Class 6 felony)
  • 6 months in jail (Class 1 misdemeanor)

Note: Theft of any vehicle regardless of value is a Class 4 felony and punishable by up to 2 ½ years in prison.

Also see: Arizona Theft Laws – ARS 13-1802

Shoplifting – Laws & Penalties in Arizona

Shoplifting is another serious theft crime. Like theft, you can be charged under Arizona shoplifting laws for a variety of different reasons including:

  • removing merchandise from a store without paying
  • altering price tags to pay less than required
  • removing price tags
  • concealing items
  • moving items from their original container

Also like theft, the sentences for shoplifting depend on the value of the merchandise in question.

If the property is valued at:

  • $2,000 or more
  • $1,000- $2,000
  • Less than $1,000
Then the potential sentence for a first conviction is:

  • 1 ½ years in prison (Class 5 felony)
  • 1 year in prison (Class 6 felony)
  • 6 months in jail (Class 1 misdemeanor)

Shoplifting of a firearm, regardless of the value, is a Class 6 felony and carries a potential sentence of 1 year in prison.

See Arizona Shoplifting laws – ARS 13-1805

Issuing a Bad Check

Issuing, writing, or passing a bad check is also considered a form of theft. If you write a check knowing that the bank account it was drawn on does not have sufficient funds, you can be charged with this offense. It is also a crime to write a check on an inactive, closed or non-existent bank account.

Typically this offense is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries a potential sentence of 6 months in jail as well as fines and restitution. However, if the check was for more than $6,000, it is a Class 6 felony that carries a sentence of up to 1 year in prison.

Ref: Arizona Bad Checks Laws ARS 13-1807

Get Help With a Theft Charge in Arizona

Theft may be a common crime but that does not decrease the seriousness of it. Anytime you are facing a potential prison sentence, the charge needs to be taken very seriously. Even a seemingly minor charge will leave you with a permanent criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life, if you just plead guilty.

Contact us for a free consultation on your theft case. As experienced defense attorneys in Arizona who have defended many shoplifting/theft cases before, we know the best chances you may have to get the charges dropped or reduced, at the very least.

We will be sure that your best interests are always the most important factor in representing you during this stressful time.

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