Experienced Defense for Theft Charges
Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyer
Theft is considered a crime of "moral turpitude," which can affect your chances for employment, your ability to get a professional license in some careers, and your immigration status. A resident alien could face removal proceedings for a theft conviction.
Theft is a criminal offense that can be charged either as a felony or as a misdemeanor. Offenses like this are known as "wobblers," because the prosecutor may ask the court to consider more or less severe penalties. The sentence you may be facing will depend upon your prior criminal record and the prosecutor's recommendation and how persuasive your defense attorney is in arguing for the lesser charge.
If you are facing a felony or misdemeanor charge for theft, contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi to schedule a free initial consultation. Work with a defense attorney with a proven track record and years of experience in the courtroom, like defense attorney Steve Karimi.
"Let My Extensive Experience as a Former Prosecutor Work For You."
All theft offenses involve taking property of another without their consent. Theft crimes include:
- Possession of stolen property
- Taking a motor vehicle without permission
- Unlawful issuance of bank checks (bad checks)
- Identity theft
- Auto theft
Shoplifting: Sometimes a person never had any intention to steal and yet find themselves under arrest for a theft crime. It may be as simple as having your hands full and putting something into your pocket, with every intention of paying at the register. Unfortunately, if you forget to pay, you'll be arrested and charged with shoplifting.
Accomplice: You could also face criminal charges for a theft offense without actually taking any property if you are accused under "accomplice liability." Prosecutors charge each person associated with a criminal act.
Possible Theft Crime Sentences
The seriousness of your sentence will depend upon the facts of your case and whether you are being charged with a felony or misdemeanor theft crime. The judge will consider:
- The value of the item taken (third degree theft is less than $250.00),
- The location of the crime (residential burglary, shoplifting),
- How the theft is accomplished (extortion or fraud),
- The proximity to the victim (robbery) or the accused person's relationship to the victim (embezzlement), and
- The type of item stolen (vehicular theft, identity theft for credit cards, etc.).
Diversion Programs: If a person has committed a crime and drugs or alcohol were involved, the judge may sentence the person to complete a drug awareness program and have the underlying criminal case dismissed after a period of time. However, if the defendant fails to successfully complete the program, the court can impose a jail sentence.
Civil Compromise: Defense attorney Steve Karimi has had success in helping clients avoid jail time by negotiating with store owners and other victims to reach a "civil compromise" in which the victim appears before the judge (in person or in writing) and states that he or she has received satisfaction for the injury.
Contact an Experienced Defense Lawyer
Contact our office for prompt response to your criminal charges. 206-660-6200, or email our Seattle law office.
Representing people charged with felonies and misdemeanors in King County, Washington state, including Seattle, Bellevue, Everett and Snohomish.
Non-citizen residents including H-1 visa holders, green card holders, and permanent residents, are all subject to deportation and inadmissible status if convicted of a crime of moral turpitude i.e., theft or an aggravated felony conviction. Even if a non-citizen is convicted of a crime of moral turpitude and sentenced to a deferred or suspended sentence of 180 days in jail, he/she may be determined to be inadmissible for entry into the U.S. and impacts lawful status and potential citizenship. Even crimes involving drug use/possession of marijuana can have disastrous immigration consequences. The federal government can and will deport a non-citizen for possession of marijuana of forty grams or less. It is critical that any resolution of a case is crafted in such a manner as to prevent the federal government from utilizing the "record of conviction" to support inadmissibility and deportation.
Steve Karimi is experienced at helping non-citizen clients avoid inadmissibility and deportation for any criminal case. He has helped many clients charged with theft or other criminal cases preserve their freedom to live and work in the United States.