FIGHTING CHARGES OF THEFT CRIMES
Theft offenses are those that involve the stealing or possession of property that belongs to someone else. Some common examples include shoplifting, burglary, possession of stolen property, and vehicle theft. The penalties for these crimes vary widely according to the value of the property stolen and other factors. The theft of property worth $750 or less, for example, is a gross misdemeanor under state law. It is punishable by up to one year in jail and up to $5,000 in fines. If the property is worth more than $5,000, or if it was taken directly from a person, the crime becomes a Class B felony. This means that the person charged may face as much as 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.
Moreover, additional civil monetary penalties may be awarded to victims in certain theft cases. For example, Washington law requires shoplifters to repay the store the value of the merchandise stolen, and a court may award other penalties as well.
It is important to remember that in all criminal cases, the police and prosecution bear the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you actually committed the crime. In theft cases, they usually need to prove that the defendant wrongfully took property with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it. A simple mistake like accidentally picking up the wrong bag is generally not enough. Neither is a misunderstanding, such as a situation in which you thought that you had permission to borrow or use something. Instead, the prosecution needs to establish that the defendant actually intended to steal the property.
PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS BY RETAINING A THEFT CRIME ATTORNEY IN SEATTLE AND SURROUNDING AREAS
At Black Law, we have a track record of successfully defending many people in theft and other criminal cases. We understand the legal issues that often develop in these cases, and we know how to build a robust defense for the people whom we represent. We also have significant experience working with immigrant communities to protect the status of a foreign national who is charged with a crime in Washington. Our Seattle theft crime lawyers also represent people in Tacoma, Everett, Kent, and Bellevue, as well as other areas of King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties. We can arrange translation services for clients who speak Amharic, Arabic, French, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Tigrinya, Somali, Vietnamese, and many other languages. Call (206) 623-1604 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We also are available to assist you if you need a drug crime lawyer or advocacy against another state or federal charge.