There are many crime rates that rise during the holiday season, particularly theft. A report released earlier this month revealed that the state of Washington has the most holiday thefts in the nation. A team at VivantSource.com analyzed four different types of theft: larceny, burglary, robbery, and auto theft. It was found that Washington sees nearly 78 thefts per 10,000 residents during the holiday season. The study also revealed that larceny, a type of property theft, is the most popular crime in the country during the winter months, with robbery being the theft crime that is least committed during that same period.
Theft in Washington
The crime of theft in Washington is a crime that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. It is considered a crime of “moral turpitude,” which means that it can follow you in your life and affect your ability to obtain employment, enroll in college, and even affect your ability to obtain a professional license necessary for some careers. If you have been arrested for a theft charge, whether or not you end up being charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the exact type of theft, your past criminal record, and the prosecutor's recommendation. Theft is a crime that prosecutors can ask the court to consider more or less severe penalties.
There are several different offenses that can be classified as theft, but the one thing they all have in common is the fact that all manners of theft involve the taking of the property of another without their consent. Examples or theft crimes include the following.
- Possession of stolen property
- Taking a motor vehicle without permission
- Unlawful issuance of bank checks (bad checks)
- Identity theft
- Auto theft
Sentencing Theft Crimes
Due to the fact that theft crimes may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, the seriousness of your sentencing will ultimately depend on the fact of your case. For that reason, there are several different factors that a 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.).”
Keep in mind, prosecutors charge anyone associated with a particular criminal act, so even as an accomplice, you may face misdemeanor or felony charges.
Contact A Seattle Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one have been arrested for any theft charges in the Seattle area, you need strong legal representation as soon as possible. Attorney Steve Karimi is a top-rated criminal defense attorney in the Seattle area. He has the dedication and experience necessary to provide a strong defense that ensures the best possible outcome. Do not hesitate to protect your rights. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today!