Seattle Theft Lawyer – SHOPLIFTING CHARGES IN SEATTLE, WA – Sheed Law Offices, PLLC
Shoplifting is a form of theft in which someone is accused of depriving what is usually a retail store, grocery store, department store, or restaurant of property or services. If the total value of the alleged theft is $750 or less, that will likely be charged as Theft in the Third Degree. If it is above $750, then that shoplifting can be charged as a felony. While shoplifting is considered by many to be a victimless crime, shoplifting costs stores billions of dollars in lost revenue, often resulting in increases in prices for merchandise and services that end up getting passed on to paying consumers. As a result, prosecutors are cracking down on shoplifters to send a tough message.
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The Seattle criminal defense attorneys at Sheed Law Offices are here to tell you that even a misdemeanor charge of shoplifting can affect your life dramatically and should be taken seriously. If you have been charged with shoplifting in Seattle, including King, Snohomish, Pierce counties, or elsewhere in the State of Washington, you can greatly benefit from having an experienced defense lawyer who will represent you, protect your rights, and protect your interests. A theft conviction on your record may show up in background checks and can adversely affect your ability to get certain jobs and affect housing applications. Here at Sheed Law Offices, our Seattle theft crime lawyers will handle your charges effectively with the ultimate goal of getting your charges reduced, dismissed, minimizing jail time or helping to secure alternatives to confinement (community service, work release, electronic home monitoring, etc.).
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PENALTIES FOR SHOPLIFTING IN SEATTLE
Shoplifting is usually charged as Theft in the Third Degree (Theft 3 or Theft in the 3rd Degree) which is a gross misdemeanor, assuming that the value of the alleged stolen goods or services is $750 or less. If the value exceeds $750, then an incident of shoplifting could be charged as a felony. Theft in the Third Degree is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $5000 fine. There are no mandatory minimums for the charge of Theft in the Third Degree, so that means that even if you are ultimately found responsible for shoplifting, there is no guarantee that you have to spend any particular amount of time in jail or pay any minimum amount in fines. Theft in the Second Degree involves stealing items that are valued at more than $750 but less than $5,000. Second degree theft is a Class C felony in Washington (excluding vehicles and firearms as those have their own specific criminal charges). These crimes can result in a maximum 5 year jail sentence and/or a $10,000 fine. The most serious theft offense is Theft in the First Degree, which is a Class B felony that carries with it a maximum jail sentence of 10 years and/or a $20,000 fine.
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