A theft charge can be especially devastating to someone's future, because it has the potential to severely limit a person's chances for employment. Many companies will refuse to hire a person with conviction on their record, but a theft charge is about the toughest thing to have on your record. Often times people with this charge will end up having to work in minimum wage jobs, in industries where others choose not to. Many professional licenses are unavailable to those convicted of theft, meaning becoming a doctor, lawyer, accountant, or similar professional may be out of reach with a theft conviction.
There are defenses to a theft charge, and many times the attorneys at Newton & Hall are able to beat these charges, get them amended to a non-theft charge, or remove a previous theft charge from a person's criminal record. This can be the difference from having a job, and having a good paying career.
In many cases we have also been able to broker out-of-court settlements with victims of theft, thereby getting charges dismissed or keeping them from being filed to begin with. In order to have the best possible result in your case, you should contact our office immediately, even before charges have been filed.
There are three levels of Theft in Washington state.
(1) Theft in the first degree (RCW 9A.56.030)
(1) A person is guilty of theft in the first degree if he or she commits theft of:
(a) Property or services which exceed(s) five thousand dollars in value other than a firearm as defined in RCW 9.41.010;
(b) Property of any value, other than a firearm as defined in RCW 9.41.010 or a motor vehicle, taken from the person of another;
(c) A search and rescue dog, as defined in RCW 9.91.175, while the search and rescue dog is on duty; or
(d) Commercial metal property, nonferrous metal property, or private metal property, as those terms are defined in RCW 19.290.010, and the costs of the damage to the owner's property exceed five thousand dollars in value.
(2) Theft in the first degree is a class B felony.
(2) Theft in the second degree (RCW 9A.56.040)
(1) A person is guilty of theft in the second degree if he or she commits theft of:
(a) Property or services which exceed(s) seven hundred fifty dollars in value but does not exceed five thousand dollars in value, other than a firearm as defined in RCW 9.41.010 or a motor vehicle;
(b) A public record, writing, or instrument kept, filed, or deposited according to law with or in the keeping of any public office or public servant;
(c) Commercial metal property, nonferrous metal property, or private metal property, as those terms are defined in RCW 19.290.010, and the costs of the damage to the owner's property exceed seven hundred fifty dollars but does not exceed five thousand dollars in value; or
(d) An access device.
(2) Theft in the second degree is a class C felony.
(3) Theft in the third degree (RCW 9A.56.050)
(1) A person is guilty of theft in the third degree if he or she commits theft of property or services which (a) does not exceed seven hundred fifty dollars in value, or (b) includes ten or more merchandise pallets, or ten or more beverage crates, or a combination of ten or more merchandise pallets and beverage crates.
(2) Theft in the third degree is a gross misdemeanor.
Our criminal defense experience with Theft Charge Defense is your advantage
As dedicated criminal defense attorneys, our job is to see that our clients get the best criminal defense possible. We tell you exactly where you stand and recommend a practical solution. When we step into the courtroom, we expect to win. And we are respected by prosecutors and judges in criminal courts throughout Washington State for our skill and determination. When you are facing serious criminal charges we can help. Call us at (253) 867-2675 to schedule a free initial consultation. Our criminal defense attorneys are standing by.