Facing criminal charges is embarrassing. And more than that, it has the potential to be life changing. You could go to jail, be ordered to pay costly fines, and experience untold damage to your personal and professional reputation. But being charged with shoplifting is just the beginning. You still have a chance to fight these charges and clear your name in the courts.

Charged with Shoplifting? Please call (800) 763-4065.

Maybe you are going through a rough time financially and felt like you didn’t have any choice but to shoplift. Even if this is true, you likely regret that decision now. We understand how you feel and know that a local defense lawyer would too.

Not everyone charged with shoplifting is actually guilty of shoplifting, however. It’s not unusual to see cases of mistaken identity in shoplifting situations. Maybe the whole situation arose from a simple misunderstanding. Whatever the case, your defense lawyer would work tirelessly to defend you against the accusations you now face.

Washington Shoplifting Laws & Penalties

It’s important to note that you don’t have to leave the store with stolen merchandise to face charges of shoplifting in Washington. The prosecution could try to prove that you intended to steal something because you had concealed it. Even switching price tags could result in charges like these.

As with most states, the charge you face depends on the value of the items you are accused of stealing. This table represents the value, charge, and potential sentence you could face for shoplifting.

Value Charge Maximum Penalty
Less than $250 Gross Misdemeanor 1 year in jail and fines reaching $5,000
$250 to $1,500 Level I Class C Felony 16 months in prison and $10,000 in fines
More than $1,500 Level II Class B Felony 43 months in prison and $20,000 in fines

Ref: RCW 9A.56

Being charged with shoplifting is scary. You might go to jail and you might even lose your job. Walking away from charges like this without major consequences would be ideal. A criminal defense lawyer is there to help you make that happen. Whether they can negotiate with the prosecution to avoid jail time or argue that the charges need to be dropped altogether, a shoplifting charge isn’t the end of the road for you, nor should it be.