Theft crimes in Washington can vary depending on the circumstances of the crime and the amount of money or property involved. Ranging from shoplifting to more serious crimes, such as armed robbery, they require a strong legal defense to protect you against potentially serious legal penalties.

Shoplifting and Other Types of Theft

Under Section 9A.56.020 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), theft is defined as exerting pressure or using deceit to unlawfully obtain money, property, or services. Shoplifting is generally interchangeable with theft under Washington laws, and the penalties involved generally are based on the value of the items stolen:

  • For property valued under $750: This is considered third-degree theft. A gross misdemeanor, penalties include fines up to $5,000 and up to one year in jail.
  • For property valued over $750 but less than $5,000: This is considered theft in the second degree. A felony crime, it carries penalties of up to $10,000 in fines and up to five years imprisonment.
  • For property valued at over $5,000: This is considered theft in the first degree. A class B felony, penalties include fines up to $20,000 and up to 10 years imprisonment.

In addition to taking money or property, stealing another’s credit card, access code, or other account information may be classified as theft in the second degree as well.

Penalties for Robbery

RCW 9A.56.190 defines robbery as taking the property of another, generally by the use or threat of force. This falls into two categories:

  • Robbery in the second degree, a class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment;
  • Robbery in the first degree, which involves a deadly weapon, the use of a firearm, or injuries to the person involved. This is a class A felony, the most serious type of robbery charge. Penalties include up to $50,000 in fines and potential jail time of 20 years or more, depending on the amount of harm done.

We Are Here To Help

Penalties for robbery and other theft crimes also vary according to the person or place that was targeted. If you are accused of robbing an older adult or targeting a financial institution, it could increase the punishment you face. In any of these situations, contact our Washington criminal defense attorneys to ensure your rights are protected. At the Nahajski Firm, we provide a free consultation for those in the Seattle and the Puget Sound areas, so call or contact us online to discuss how we can help you today.