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Law Pro
Law Pro, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23751
Experience:  20 years trial experience in defense of criminal cases
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I got caught stealing $208 worth of merchandise from Walmart.

Customer Question

I got caught stealing $208 worth of merchandise from Walmart. I have two citations already (one for driving without a license and another for an unsafe lane change). What penalties am I looking at? And does getting cited for shoplifting mean I've been convicted?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Pro replied 2 years ago.
You have no other convictions for another theft offense - correct?

Being "cited" does not mean you are convicted of the alleged offense.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No, I don't. And I wasn't sure. I'm just so scared because I have a daughter and may be pregnant and don't have a job.
Expert:  Law Pro replied 2 years ago.

Shoplifting is a potentially serious theft crime. You can be charged under Arizona shoplifting laws for a variety of different reasons including:

  • removing merchandise from a store without paying
  • altering price tags to pay less than required
  • removing price tags
  • concealing items
  • moving items from their original container

Also like theft, the sentences for shoplifting depend on the value of the merchandise in question.

If the property is valued at:
  • $2,000 or more
  • $1,000- $2,000
  • Less than $1,000
Then the potential sentence for a first conviction is:
  • 1 ½ years in prison (Class 5 felony)
  • 1 year in prison (Class 6 felony)
Expert:  Law Pro replied 2 years ago.
If your first theft offense - my guess your sentence would be:

Civil Demand around $300.00 (separate from court fines) from Walmart
Court fine less than $1000.00 probably less than $500.00
Community service
Ban from retailer
Summary probation - no jail time at all.


12-691. Civil liability for shoplifting; adult; emancipated minor
An adult or emancipated minor who commits shoplifting as defined by section 13-1805 is civilly liable to the owner of the obtained goods for all of the following:
1. A penalty in the amount of the retail value of the obtained goods.
2. For an adult, an additional penalty of at least two hundred fifty dollars but not more than two hundred fifty dollars plus the actual damages to the owner.
3. For an emancipated minor, an additional penalty of at least one hundred dollars but not more than one hundred dollars plus the actual damages to the owner.


13-802. Fines for misdemeanors
A. A sentence to pay a fine for a class 1 misdemeanor shall be a sentence to pay an amount, fixed by the court, not more than two thousand five hundred dollars.
B. A sentence to pay a fine for a class 2 misdemeanor shall be a sentence to pay an amount, fixed by the court, not more than seven hundred fifty dollars.
C. A sentence to pay a fine for a class 3 misdemeanor shall be a sentence to pay an amount, fixed by the court, not more than five hundred dollars.
D. A sentence to pay a fine for a petty offense shall be a sentence to pay an amount, fixed by the court, of not more than three hundred dollars.
E. A judgment that the defendant shall pay a fine, with or without the alternative of imprisonment, shall constitute a lien in like manner as a judgment for money rendered in a civil action.
F. This section does not apply to an enterprise.


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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Expert:  Law Pro replied 2 years ago.
What didn't you understand?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Will this show up on a background check? And if so, is there any way to get it to not appear if I pay all fines, restitution and complete any probation requirements/community service I'm sentenced to? I'm mostly worried about that because I've been out of work for four years and that's why I did this and I don't want it to be even more difficult for me to get a job because of one stupid mistake.
Expert:  Law Pro replied 2 years ago.
Yes, it would show up on a back ground check.

You could have it expunged eventually - but that would only be after you complied with all probation requirements, paid all fines and penalties, and performed whatever amount of mandatory community service.

I understand the anxiety of having this incident show up - but it would if convicted and will remain on your record till expunged.

The law in Arizona uses a different phrase to describe expungement, and it’s known as setting aside a judgment. The Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 13-907 provide the right to have convictions set aside, and the language basically states that any person who was convicted of a crime may petition the court to set aside the judgment after he or she has completed the sentence attached and/or the required probation. This right to pursue an expungement is to be explained to the convicted defendant at the time he or she is discharged from the sentence or probation that was originally required to be completed.

The law in Arizona also sets out several different requirements that must be met in order for a convicted defendant to successfully have a criminal conviction set aside. Before examining a convicted defendant’s potential eligibility for an expungement, it should be noted that there are certain crimes for which a conviction cannot result in the setting aside of the conviction. These crimes include:

  1. A crime involving the infliction of serious physical injury
  2. A crime involving the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon
  3. A crime that was motivated by sexual desires
  4. Any crime where the victim was younger than 15 years old
  5. A driving/moving violation while the defendant’s license was suspended or revoked

If a conviction deals with any of these sorts of crimes, an expungement/setting aside of the conviction will not be possible. However, for any others, expungement is achievable, provided that the following requirements are met:

1. The defendant must have met all the requirements set out in the original sentencing after the conviction, including:

  1. The jail or prison sentence
  2. Any probationary period
  3. Any alcohol or substance rehabilitation programs
  4. Any anger management course completion requirements

2. The defendant cannot have any additional criminal convictions from anywhere between three months and six years from the date of the completion of the original sentence and/or probation that was tied to the original conviction.





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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okay, thank you! One more question, about how long does it usually take to have it expunged or set aside after all requirements are met and does it cost anything? If so, how much? I understand if you can't give me exact times or amounts. Even an estimate is okay.
Expert:  Law Pro replied 2 years ago.
Yes, there is not a cost for the expungement if you file all the petitions yourself and attend all the hearings yourself (or it's nominal - $50.00 I think).

But if you retain an attorney it usually runs around $1,000.00.

Then, in your case because of the nominal crime involved - you could file 3 months after completing all the requirements of the court. It would take about a month to get the matter resolved and then about another 3 months for the issue to come off the criminal records background checks.






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Law Pro, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23751
Experience: 20 years trial experience in defense of criminal cases
Law Pro and 6 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okay so after about 7 months it won't show up on anything such as a background check done for a job or an apartment application correct? Or will it show up anywhere after that's done? I'm sorry for asking so many questions, I just want to make sure I"m 100% clear on what you're saying. :0)
Expert:  Law Pro replied 2 years ago.
I shouldn't after the expungement is ordered by the court.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
One final question..... is the expungement or dismissal going to have to be approved by a judge or is it non conditional once all the requirements (probation, fines, etc.) have been met?
Expert:  Law Pro replied 2 years ago.
It will have to be approved by the judge - it's not automatic.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okay. Hmm..... well either way if it's free doing it on my own or by paying $50, it's worth it if the request is approved. But, would the fact that it's my first offense make it more likely to be approved? And will the length of time I take completing the requirements have any effect, do you know? Or will the approval be dependent on the judge and his/her mood pretty much?
Expert:  Law Pro replied 2 years ago.
Yes, most certainly. Too, it's such a minimal offense that the judge would approve.

If you complete the requirements - then the judge really doesn't have any discretion but must approve the expungement.

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