Property Crimes in Washington State can have a number of classifications. Charges of theft, shoplifting, burglary, possession of stolen property, motor vehicle theft (auto theft), check fraud, embezzlement, extortion, Identity theft (ID theft), trafficking of stolen property and credit card fraud.
A common theft crime, shoplifting is the act of taking merchandise from a store without paying for it. In the City of Kirkland there are many major retailers like the Kirkland Costco and Safeway. Shoplifting costs businesses billions of dollars every year, as a result retailers in Kirkland and the Kirkland Municipal Court aggressively prosecute shoplifters. Often times the prosecution and store security guards and LP (loss prevention) Officers know each other well and have worked together for years. The prosecution will not attempt to get your side of the story or your version of events. Generally the security guards story may be the only version of events that the prosecutor hears. It is essential to obtain an experienced shoplifting attorney that is interested in your story.
Theft crimes are classified as felonies when the value of the item exceeds $250, or if there are additional circumstances. Felony theft offenses are very serious matters and can involve heavy fines and prison.
- Gross Misdemeanor: Goods valued at less than $750, the offense is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.
- Felony: Goods value exceeds $750. You can also be charged with this crime if you take is a credit card or public record.
Taking a vehicle that belongs to another. There are first and second degree offenses. The penalties you may face for a conviction of auto theft can be very serious. Even if your intention was just a “joy-ride,” and you intended to return the car, it is essential to retain an experienced auto theft attorney.
Burglary is legally defined as the unlawful entering of another person's house or property with the intent to commit a felony therein. Prosecutors are generally not interested in your version of events. There may be a legitimate reason you entered the house or store, including recovering property that was rightfully yours. It is essential to retain an experienced Burglary attorney to protect your rights.
Robbery is legally defined as the taking or attempt to take something by force or threat or force. Robbery is different from simple theft because it involves the use of violence and intimidation. Robbery is a particularly serious allegation because of its aspect of violence.
If you are facing charges of a property crime it is essential to retain an experienced Theft attorney. Property crimes have serious consequences, particularly surrounding employment. Today, virtually every employer performs a criminal background check before hiring. Employers are particularly concerned with crimes of theft and shoplifting. A conviction of theft or shoplifting can result in you having tremendous difficulty obtaining employment. If a potential employer discovers a conviction for theft or shoplifting they are unlikely to ask you for your version of events, they will generally move on to the next candidate.