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When Can Shoplifting Charges be Defended?

Posted by Steve Karimi | Dec 08, 2017 | 0 Comments

Many people charged with shoplifting are seeking something more than the trinkets or clothing items they stole. Studies show that often a person suffering from depression, stress, or another personal issue steals for reasons other than illegal personal gain. Research results have shown that some people become addicted to stealing just as others become addicted to drugs or gambling. An experienced criminal defense attorney will delve deeply to determine any special circumstances around the person's life. There are some options available to reduce or eliminate the charges.

Misdemeanor Compromise Agreements

There are some circumstances where store owners or managers are empathetic to a shoplifter's story. These instances include crafting a defense for the suspect by defending the person's charges under arrangements with the store where the shoplifting occurred. Washington laws permit special arrangements that can be negotiated where the store suffering the crime may permit the charges to be dismissed. This agreement, also known as a civil compromise, provides for the case to be resolved by securing a continuance for one year. The attorney representing the suspect then can request the case be dismissed at the end of that year if the individual submits to counseling and remains out of trouble.

When is "Stealing" Shoplifting?

In Washington, those who are guilty of shoplifting are charged under the state's theft statutes. The charges levied will depend on the value of the items stolen. Shoplifting usually happens in broad daylight and in the public's eye. When the shoplifter does not calmly respond to security personnel and elicits a physical disturbance, a prosecutor can attempt to escalate the crime from shoplifting to robbery, a more serious crime that is more difficult to defend. Prosecutors may also attempt to charge the suspect with burglary if the individual has had past problems in that same business. Robbery and burglary are more serious crimes than shoplifting. Any scenario that includes these possibilities is serious. To help your case, you should consult with an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney to help guide you through the court process.

Have you been charged with a shoplifting crime? Karimi Law Office attorneys can help you sort out the details of your charges. We have helped Washington folks prepare their best defense against criminal charges. Having someone on your side who is experienced and knows the court system can help you gain the best results. Give our office a call to set up an appointment to discuss your case. You will begin to feel better just getting the sound advice you need. A momentary lapse of good judgment does not have to be the end of the world or your good reputation. Call our office today at 206-621-8777.

About the Author

Steve Karimi

Steve Karimi attended Pepperdine University School of Law. After graduation he worked as a prosecutor in Seattle where he gained valuable insight to the criminal justice system. Attorney Karimi uses his experiences as a prosecutor everyday only now he fights for the justice of those accused.


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If you were arrested or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Seattle or surrounding areas of Washington State, the Law Offices of Steve Karimi can help. Call 206-660-6200 24 hours a day for a free consultation.

Seattle Defense Lawyer

Named a "rising star" in criminal defense by Washington Law and Politics magazine, Mr. Karimi is a former prosecutor for King County who uses his insight into prosecution strategies to protect his clients' rights in criminal court.