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If you think shoplifting is a minor criminal charge, think again. Even a misdemeanor conviction could lead to jail time, probation, fines and may end up on your criminal record. Don’t let a shoplifting conviction strip you of your freedom. Call the Shah Law Firm.
Arja Shah is dedicated to protecting the rights of those charged with a crime in Phoenix and the surrounding area. She focuses exclusively on criminal defense and has earned a great reputation for helping her clients achieve successful outcomes.
What is Considered Shoplifting in Arizona?
Shoplifting charges can come in varying levels of severity. For instance, a first time misdemeanor offense could result in a conviction on your criminal record, with no jail time or other penalties. However, a Class 1 misdemeanor could result in up to six months in jail and more than $2,000 in fines. Most first-time offenders receive a fine and counseling with no jail time.
The stakes are higher for repeat offenses or shoplifting that rises to the level of a felony. While the minimum sentence for a felony is probation, the maximum could carry up to one year in prison. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly stole goods from a place of business without paying. This includes:
- Removing products without paying
- Removing or substituting price tags to pay less than the actual purchase price
- Concealing goods or transferring products to another container
There are certain circumstances that will result in a felony charge when it comes to shoplifting. This includes:
- Prior shoplifting, robbery, burglary or theft conviction (last 5 years).
- Shoplifting goods with a value higher than $2,000
- Shoplifting more than 3 times in a 90 day period
What to Do When You Are Charged with Shoplifting
If you are arrested and charged with shoplifting, hiring a capable and accomplished attorney should be your top priority. Don’t accept a plea deal until you’ve spoken with your attorney about whether the agreement is in your best interests. Keep all communication about your case between yourself and your attorney.
If this is your first offense, you may be able to avoid jail time completely and attend a diversion program that will keep the conviction off of your permanent criminal record. However, if you are charged with a felony or have a criminal conviction for any crime in your past, prosecutors will try to seek a more severe penalty.
It’s vitally important to have a skilled criminal defense lawyer at your side who will not only help you navigate the complexities of the criminal justice system, but will also defend you inside the courtroom and out.
Tell Arja Shah About Your Case
Don’t hesitate to contact the Shah Law Firm today to discuss your case. Your initial consultation is free and if you decide to work with Arja, she can get started on your case right away. Don’t try to take on the full strength of Arizona’s criminal justice system without the support of a professional and accomplished shoplifting defense lawyer.