In the State of Washington, theft is defined under RCW 9A.56.020 as:
(1) "Theft" means:
(a) To wrongfully obtain or exert unauthorized control over the property or services of another or the value thereof, with intent to deprive him or her of such property or services; or
(b) By color or aid of deception to obtain control over the property or services of another or the value thereof, with intent to deprive him or her of such property or services; or
(c) To appropriate lost or misdelivered property or services of another, or the value thereof, with intent to deprive him or her of such property or services.
(2) In any prosecution for theft, it shall be a sufficient defense that:
(a) The property or service was appropriated openly and avowedly under a claim of title made in good faith, even though the claim be untenable; or
(b) The property was merchandise pallets that were received by a pallet recycler or repairer in the ordinary course of its business.
Depending on the value of the property involved, the charge can either be a misdemeanor, or a felony.
Theft in the 3rd Degree applies when: The item or service is worth less than $750. And is a gross misdemeanor.
Theft in the 2nd Degree applies when: The item or service is worth more than $750 but less than $5,000. And is a class C Felony.
Theft in the 1st Degree applies when: The item or service is worth more than $5,000. And is a Class B Felony.
Being convicted, or even accused, of a theft can have devastating consequences. Heft is considered a “crime of dishonesty” and can directly affect one's reputation and integrity.
If a theft conviction is on your record, you will likely find it very difficult to pass any background checks for employment opportunities.
Many professional licenses, such as those required for medical personnel, doctors, lawyers and teachers, will not issue a license to those with a theft conviction. Even is if the theft was for something as small as shoplifting.
Attorney Cynthia Macklin has many years of experience defending those accused of theft. She is often able to get the charges reduced, amended to something with less devastating future consequences or even dismissed.
What action you take when you are facing charges of theft can impact your entire livelihood and future career aspirations.
Call attorney Cynthia Macklin now to understand your rights. 253-566-0808
The initial consultation is free. You have nothing to lose by making the call, but everything to lose if you don't take the necessary steps to competently and carefully defend against these charges.