Shoplifting is one of the most common charges in Apache Junction. On the surface, shoplifting seems like a relatively minor offense that may result in a slap on the wrist, but in reality, it can be a serious criminal charge depending on the circumstances of the incident. Those who are charged with shoplifting in Apache Junction will want to partner with a qualified attorney who can advocate for them and get them the results that they need.

What is considered shoplifting by Apache Junction police and prosecutors?

In Arizona, the definition of shoplifting is broad. Shoplifting can be considered anything from altering price tags to pay less than the price dictated by the retailer or removing products from a place of business without paying for them with the intent of selling them for a profit. It is a broad legal definition because the specifics of each shoplifting incident will heavily influence the actual shoplifting charge that the individual receives.

Types of shoplifting charges you may be charged with

In Apache Junction, there are several shoplifting charges to be aware of:

  • Shoplifting Property Worth Less Than $1,000 — This is one of the most common shoplifting charges in Arizona. It is the only shoplifting charge that is considered to be a misdemeanor.
  • Shoplifting Property Worth More Than $1,000 But Less Than $2,000 — This shoplifting charge is considered a Class 6 Felony charge, and it can lead to jail time, probation and significant fines.
  • Shoplifting a Firearm — Even if the firearm is valued at less than $1,000, this shoplifting charge is considered to be a Class 6 Felony charge as well.
  • Shoplifting Property Worth More Than $2,000 — When the item that has been stolen is worth more than $2,000, the charge is upgraded to a Class 5 Felony charge.
  • Shoplifting Property During A Criminal Act — In the event that the shoplifting incident took place during a coordinated criminal episode, the charge will be upgraded to a Class 5 Felony charge.
  • Utilizing An Item With The Intent To Shoplift — In some cases, the individual does not have the opportunity to complete the shoplifting crime before they are arrested by police. However, if they are using an item or instrument with the intent to shoplift, they may face a Class 4 Felony charge.
  • Shoplifting After Prior Criminal Convictions — An individual who has been convicted of two or more crimes in the last four years will face a more significant charge, regardless of the value of the products that were stolen. This charge is considered to be a Class 4 Felony.

Penalities for shoplifting in Apache Junction

The penalties for shoplifting charges will vary significantly based on the circumstances of the incident in question, the prior criminal history of the person who has been charged and the specific shoplifting charge that they received.

For example, a person who is charged with shoplifting of a product worth less than $1,000 will not face penalties that are as serious as an individual who is charged with utilizing an item with the intent to shoplift.

These are some of the penalties that an individual in Apache Junction may face if they are convicting of a shoplifting charge:

  • Jail time, lasting between six months and three years.
  • Fines that can reach upwards of $150,000.
  • Probation that can last for up to three years.

In addition to facing legal consequences of the charge, there also may civil penalties imposed on an individual who is convicted of shoplifting. The merchant who was stolen from in the shoplifting incident can pursue additional penalties, which can include requiring the convicted individual to pay for the damages associated with the incident. The cost of the damages are calculated based on the value of the items stolen from the business and additional fees that may be imposed to cover additional damages associated with the shoplifting incident.

If you have been charged with shoplifting in Apache Junction, then you likely have a lot of questions about what will happen next. The most important thing that you can do is contact a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will begin collecting evidence and creating a legal plan of action that will allow you to move forward.