Shoplifting / Theft

Being accused of stealing, shoplifting or theft in Washington is a difficult and embarrassing experience, with potentially very serious consequences. You are accused of you could be facing jail time, and a permanent mark on your criminal record that will follow you for life. When facing consequences like these it is important to have an attorney experienced in fighting theft charges in Washington on your side.

Charged with a crime in Washington? Call now. (888) 246-5778.
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We all make mistakes, and occasionally make bad decisions. You may have inadvertently left the store without paying for the items you selected. Or the entire incidence may have been misinterpreted by security or theĀ  police.

Or you may be completely innocent. Maybe you were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, or someone you were with took something, and you were caught up as a supposed accomplish. This happens all the time. Police typically arrest anyone in a group, and let the courts try to sort out who might be guilty.

That’s where we come in. Our attorneys will argue every possible reasonable doubt, and make it clear that the evidence against you is purely circumstantial. In cases like these, we want theft charges dismissed.

But if you did make a mistake, I know you feel embarrassed and terrible about it. We see this all the time. But don’t beat yourself up! You still deserve fair treatment, and a fair deal in court. And without an experienced defense lawyer, you might get a tougher penalty than you truly deserve. We are there to represent you and only you.

When you feel as if no one is on your side, we can be the defense lawyers looking out for your interests and helping to make sure your rights are protected at every stage of the criminal justice process.

Washington Theft Laws

In Washington you can be charged with theft it the prosecutor believes you did any of the following in an effort to deprive another person of property, services, or money:

  1. Wrongfully obtained or exerted unauthorized control over the property or services of another,
  2. By deception, obtained control over the property or services of another, or
  3. Took control over lost or mis-delivered property or services of another.

A theft could be anything from a stolen car to embezzlement.

Ref: RCW: 9A.56.020

Theft Penalties in Washington

How severe your theft charge is depends on the value of the goods or services you are accused of taking.

Value of the property or services: Theft Offense category Potential Sentence
Over $1,500 Class B Felony, Level II Up to 43 months in prison and fines up to $20,000.
From $250- $1,500 Class C Felony, Level I Up to 16 months in prison and fines up to $10,000.
Less than $250 Gross Misdemeanor Up to 1 year in jail and fines up to $5,000.

*This law does not apply to theft of firearms or motor vehicles (see below).

The potential sentences listed are the maximum allowed. If you have a clean record and good ties to the community, we can help you get a much shorter sentence.

Ref: RCW 9A.56

Theft of a Motor Vehicle – Penalties

If you are caught stealing an automobile, no matter the value you can be charged with this offense. Theft of a motor vehicle is a Class B felony carrying a potential sentence of up to one year in prison, fines, community service, and/or a potential term of community supervision (probation).

Ref: RCW 9A.56.065

Possession of a Stolen Vehicle – Penalties

You can be charged with a crime for being in possession of a stolen vehicle, even if you didn’t steal it and perhaps even if you weren’t aware it was stolen.

This offense is another Class B felony that carries a potential sentence of up to one year in prison, fines, community service, and/or a potential term of community supervision (probation).

Ref: RCW 9A.56.068

Possession of Stolen Property – Penalties

Sometimes called receiving stolen property, Washington law defines “possessing stolen property” as knowingly receiving, retaining, possessing, concealing, or disposing of stolen property with the knowledge that it was stolen.

Similar to theft, possession of stolen property is classified by the value of the property in question:

Value of the property or services: Offense category Potential Sentence
Over $1,500 Class B Felony, Level II Up to 43 months in prison and fines up to $20,000.
From $250- $1,500 Class C Felony, Level I Up to 16 months in prison and fines up to $10,000.
Less than $250 Gross Misdemeanor Up to 1 year in jail and fines up to $5,000.

*This law does not apply to theft of firearms or motor vehicles.

The potential sentences listed are the maximum allowed. If you have a clean record and good ties to the community, we can help you get a much shorter sentence.

Ref: RCW 9A.56

Facing a Charge of Theft or Shoplifting in Washington State? Get Legal Help!

If you are facing any sort of theft charge in the state of Washington, we want to help. And at a time like this, you need someone to advice you on your next move. We know how Washington judges and prosecutors think, and can help you weight your options, and protect your rights in court.

Our attorneys’ experience and expertise will work with you to get you the best possible results on your day in court. Contact us for yourself to find out how we can help. There’s no obligation for the advice.

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