Shoplifting is a form of theft. It involves a person going into a retail establishment and taking an item without buying it or intentionally altering the price tag of an item. . While this may make the crime seem very small, it is one that can be met with an arrest and fines. For multiple offenses, an individual may serve time in jail.
If you have been accused of shoplifting, you do not have to accept the charges. At Myles A. Schneider & Associates, LTD, you will work with a Phoenix criminal defense attorney who will evaluate witness statements and research every detail of your case in order to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
Fighting Shoplifting Accusations
There are a number of activities that are considered shoplifting. They include:
- Stealing items from a store
- Removing the price tag or altering the price so the item rings up for a lesser amount
- Attempting to conceal items within clothing or a purse
Even attempting to remove an item from a store can result in a shoplifting charge. However, it is the burden of the retail establishment to prove that the item was going to be taken out of the store. There are times when clothed security personnel will seize someone for shoplifting when they haven’t even left the store with the item. They seize the individual because they may be in a specific area of the store past the cash register with an item or the person may be acting suspiciously. If they cannot prove that a shoplifting act was going to occur, then a conviction cannot be secured. Even when someone conceals an item, it is not always an act of shoplifting or attempted shoplifting. This is something that an Arizona criminal defense lawyer can show.
If a person is convicted of shoplifting, the penalties can result in 6 months in jail if the item was valued at less than $1,000, 1 year in jail if the item was more than $1,000 but less than $2,000, 18 months in jail for items worth no less than $2,000, and one year in jail for shoplifting a gun of any value.
It is possible that the sentence will be stayed for a first time offender and probation be served instead. Probation can consist of community service, fines, restitution, classes, and anything else that the judge feels is appropriate.
If the shoplifter is a juvenile, the matter may be settled out of court, requiring restitution to be paid, as well as other consequences to be fulfilled.
Contact A Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer
Although shoplifting may not seem like a serious crime, it is one that results in penalties that can have a lasting effect on your life. You may find that shoplifting will keep you from getting a job where you may have to deal with money or another valuable asset. To learn more about how Myles A. Schneider & Associates, LTD. Can help you combat the charges, call 24/7 at 602-926-7373 for a free consultation.