Caught Shoplifting at Walmart in Arizona?
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Walmart’s annual global revenue for 2018 was upwards of 500 billion dollars. You would expect a number like that from the biggest retailer in the world. But in reality, their net earnings amount to barely a sliver of that total. Last year (2018) Walmart’s net income was under 10 billion dollars! While that’s still a ton of cash, it’s a paltry amount compared to what they used to net 5 to 10 years ago. With that in mind, let’s add another staggering number into the mix. Every year Walmart loses an estimated 3 billion dollars from theft and shoplifting; that’s about a third of their net income! It’s not a surprise then, that there would be some serious penalties for getting caught shoplifting at Walmart in Arizona.
What are the shoplifting laws in Arizona?
Pursuant to ARS 13-1805, a person commits the crime of shoplifting in Arizona in one of the following ways:
- Removing any of the goods from the immediate display or from any other place within the establishment without paying the purchase price.
- Charging the purchase price of the goods to a fictitious person or any person without that person’s authority.
- Paying less than the purchase price of the goods by some trick or artifice such as altering, removing, substituting or otherwise disfiguring any label, price tag or marking.
- Transferring the goods from one container to another.
What are the penalties for shoplifting in Arizona?
Depending on the amount stolen, shoplifting might not seem like a big deal. However, Arizona takes shoplifting seriously. Potential criminal charges for shoplifting can range from a simple misdemeanor to a class 4 felony!
Any stolen property under $1000 will get you a class 1 misdemeanor that carries up to 60 days in jail and $2,500 in fines. If it’s just a pair of socks, or anything under $25, however, Walmart’s policy is to not press charges—as long as you leave the item with them.
Shoplifting property between $1,000-$2,000 is a class 6 felony, and over $2,000 is considered a class 5 felony. These charges will come with additional jail time and larger fines, as well as carrying the many other consequences of a felony record.
What will happen if you get caught shoplifting at Walmart in Arizona?
In addition to criminal charges that can be leveled against you if you’ve been caught shoplifting in Walmart, you may face civil charges as well. If you are approached with probable cause for shoplifting, Walmart has a protocol that might involve you signing a document, having your picture taken, and lastly, receiving a civil demand letter from their lawyers that requests financial compensation in the form of a fine plus the value of the item stolen. Technically speaking, you do not have to respond to their request for compensation, but you will leave yourself open to a criminal investigation.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Phoenix
No matter the value of property stolen, if you’ve been caught shoplifting at Walmart in Arizona, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. For first time offenders, there’s the possibility of avoiding more serious penalties and doing community service instead. With over 25 years of experience in criminal law, Todd Coolidge can help you. Call for your free case review today!