Shoplifting in Arizona: What You Need to Know About ARS 13-1805 

When most of us think about shoplifting, we think about young kids goofing around at the mall who then make a series of poor choices — like taking a necklace from a kiosk or grabbing a pair of sunglasses from a display without paying — hoping not to be noticed. And while this kind of shoplifting is still going on today, some might argue that other types of shoplifting are even more nefarious in nature. 

In one other type of theft, the alleged perpetrator goes on what appears to be a normal, everyday shopping trip, but when the time comes to check out, s/he uses either a fictitious credit card or one that s/he stole from someone else. Not only is this considered shoplifting, but it’s also identity theft, which is also a severe crime.

And, in still a third form of shoplifting, the alleged perpetrator grabs two items of a similar sort: for this argument, we’ll say they are dog beds. One dog bed is much nicer, plusher, and better made, and costs $109, while the other dog bed is smaller, cheaply manufactured, and only costs $19.99. The perpetrator swaps the tags of the items to pay far, far less for the much more valuable item. When this person cleverly chooses to go to the self-checkout lane, s/he simply scans the now far less expensive dog bed, and a lot of the time, they get away with it — but not always.

But, under ARS 13-1805 theft laws and US law, everyone is entitled to a fair trial, we all make honest mistakes, and in your case, perhaps the mix-up was an honest one or something not done by you but by someone you were shopping with. In order to get to the bottom of it, the Law Office of Daniel Hutto will work tirelessly with you to understand every nuance of your unique theft or shoplifting case. 

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Possible Penalties and Sentencing for Shoplifting in Arizona

When Item(s) Shoplifted Were Valued at $2,000 or More

  • In instances where the defendant shoplifted or otherwise stole an item or items with a value of $2,000 or more, or if the defendant was stealing as part of a larger criminal activity in progress, or criminal activities that are related to one another and take place over a period of 90 days or less, or if s/he was shoplifting or stealing the property of any kind for the purpose of financially enabling a criminal enterprise or gang of any kind (and in these cases, the item(s) must have a retail value of at least $1,500 or more), s/he will likely be charged with a class 5 felony.
    In this scenario, the defendant will face a broad range of sentencing that begins with probation, between 0 days and 1 year in jail on the lighter side, and a minimum of 6 months in prison up to a maximum of 2.5 years in prison. 
  • In the event the defendant already has a single other prior felony offense of any kind, sentencing changes and probation and jail are taken off the table, leaving either a minimum of 1 year in prison up to a maximum of 3.75 years in prison.
  • In instances where the property stolen was valued at $2,000 or more and where the defendant already has 2 other prior felony convictions on his or her record, sentencing again increases — this time from a minimum of 3 years to a maximum of 7.5 years. 

When Item(s) Shoplifted Were Valued at $1,000 but Less than $2,000

Stealing anything worth more than $1,000 but less than $2,000 in the state of Arizona is considered a class 6 felony. According to ARS 13-1805, penalties and sentencing guidelines for these crimes are as follows: 

  • First-time offenders will face a class 6 felony charge along with sentencing of anywhere between probation and anywhere between 0 days and 1 year in jail, or as much as between a minimum of 4 months in prison up to a maximum of 2 years in prison. 
  • If the defendant has previously been convicted of a felony crime, regardless of its nature, s/he will only be eligible for prison, and the term will range from a minimum of 9 months up to a maximum of 2.75 years in prison. 
  • If the person convicted of stealing or shoplifting in Arizona has 2 prior felony convictions that occurred before (and unrelated to this new one for theft), s/he will only be eligible for prison, and the range goes from a minimum of 2.25 up to a maximum of 5.75 years in prison. 

Charges for Shoplifting or Stealing Item(s) Valued at Less Than $1000 in Arizona 

If you have been charged with shoplifting an item or items with a value of less than $1,000, the charge will be a class 1 misdemeanor, for which the punishment is a class 1 misdemeanor, which carries sentencing of between a minimum of 0 days in jail up to 6 months in jail, along with a fine for as much as $2,500 and surcharges of 84%.

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Have You Been Charged with Shoplifting or Theft? Our Criminal Defense Team is On Your Side. 

When it comes to the charges of shoplifting in Arizona, under Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 13-1805, the defendant has to be proved by the prosecution to have taken the goods for the purpose of depriving the shopkeeper of the retail value of those goods. In short, what this essentially means is if the defendant did not have the intention of depriving the owner(s) of the good(s) themselves or the value(s) of the good(s), then s/he cannot, by law, cannot be convicted of shoplifting or stealing in the state of Arizona. 

Sometimes a person may leave a store with a bag of dog food under the shopping basket, having inadvertently not paid for it — but that doesn’t mean s/he meant to steal it or that s/he deserves to be charged with shoplifting! 

In other scenarios, criminal “shoppers” may have previously been visiting a store with the intention of shoplifting by way of changing price tags on items — then you come along, put the item with the changed tag in your cart, and the next thing you know you’re in the back office of the grocery store facing shoplifting charges. 

We’re Serious About Protecting You: a Shoplifting Lawyer Who Knows How to Represent Your Unique Case

At the Law Office of Daniel Hutto, we do our research and thoroughly investigate shoplifting and theft cases in Arizona. In an effort to get the big picture idea of precisely what happened in your case, we’ll go through the store, review the store’s surveillance tapes, and round up any potential witnesses who may have been there during the event or your potential arrest. 

The most important thing you can take away from this article about shoplifting and theft in Arizona is this: At the Law Firm of Daniel Hutto, we will engage in whatever legal tactics necessary to determine your innocence — and believe it or not, there are dozens upon dozens of defense options out there for this crime. Everything from proving the police or other authorities coerced you into “admitting guilt” to proving that you were not properly Mirandized are two extremely common defenses that work in these cases — and they can be incredibly successful. 

We understand these charges against you might have you feeling down or like you don’t know who to turn to. At the Law Office of Daniel Hutto, we care about you, and we care about your case — we will stop at nothing and aggressively represent you in court when the time comes. 

Get started with your free legal consultation today by dialing 602.536.7878 to chat with one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers in Arizona who understands shoplifting and theft charges better than any other attorney in the Valley!

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