Shoplifting (Retail Theft) in Gig Harbor
Shoplifting is referred to as "retail theft," according to Washington law. This crime is common all over America, so prosecutors show little mercy to the accused. You may think that shoplifting is a relatively minor crime, but the value of the stolen merchandise is what determines its severity.
If the stolen property in question is valued at more than $750, a conviction could lead to prison time because it's considered a felony offense. Our Gig Harbor shoplifting attorneys urge you to retain professional legal counsel if you've been arrested for retail theft.
The experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Jason S. Newcombe have over thirty years of combined experience handling these sensitive cases, and understand that you want to minimize the punishments you face in whatever way possible. The following information about shoplifting charges with help you better understand the charges you or a loved one may be facing.Understanding Retail Theft In Washington State
First Degree Theft is a serious Class B felony. If the stolen merchandise was valued at more than $5,000, you can be charged with this crime. Punishments for this crime may include up to $20,000 in fines and a prison sentence of up to 10 years, and the owner of the merchandise may even be awarded additional civil damages.
Second Degree Theft is a Class C felony. If the stolen merchandise is valued between $750 and $5,000, you can be charged with second degree theft. A conviction carries mandatory penalties that may include up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Third Degree Theft is a gross misdemeanor, but still could lead to time behind bars. If the stolen merchandise is valued at less than $750, a conviction for third degree theft incurs penalties that may include up to a year in jail and fines totaling $5,000.
A conviction for a Gig Harbor theft crime also imposes a criminal record. This could have a far-reaching affect on your entire life, and could haunt you for many years to come. Our Gig Harbor shoplifting attorneys can help you take the next step, and will fight to protect your freedom. If you're facing any additional criminal charges, we will help you address those too.Let Our Gig Harbor Shoplifting Attorneys Help Protect Your Legal Rights
In most shoplifting cases, Gig Harbor prosecutors seek to penalize the accused to the fullest extent of the law. Innocent people sometimes put a small item in their pocket and unintentionally walk out of a retail store. But since this is the same excuse a guilty person would use, prosecutors will show little understanding. Our Gig Harbor shoplifting lawyers know how damaging a shoplifting conviction can be, so we urge you to remain calm and let thoroughly investigate your case.
Our familiarity with the local courts directly benefits you because we will patiently negotiate your case with the prosecutor. It's perfectly normal to feel embarrassed, and we understand that you're worried about the potential outcome of your case. However, do not let the emotionally draining nature of a Gig Harbor shoplifting accusation keep you from doing everything the law allows to protect your good name. Contact one of our Pierce County shoplifting attorneys today to discuss your situation and start getting answers.
Most of our clients have never been accused of a shoplifting crime and are eager to put the whole experience behind them as quickly as possible. If you're facing a retail theft criminal charge in Gig Harbor, we will earn your trust and provide you with the help you need to resolve your case. Contact our law office today.