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Degrees of Theft

Experienced Lynnwood Theft Crime Attorney

Theft may be categorized into different degrees depending on the value of property involved and other factors. There are three degrees of theft (First Degree, Second Degree and Third Degree) and each is charged differently.

What is Theft In The Third Degree?

Theft in the Third Degree is defined as taking the property or services of another of a value of less than $750. Shoplifting is most commonly charged as Theft 3. Theft 3 is a Gross Misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of a $5000 fine and 364 days in jail. 

Theft in the Third Degree convictions often make it difficult to gain employment or housing; an experienced theft crimes defense lawyer may be able to help you and your future. If you've been charged with a theft crime, the moments following your arrest are absolutely crucial - you should not hesitate to call our firm to begin building your defense. 

For over 25 years, we have helped numerous clients fight theft crime allegations. At The Law Offices of Lance Fryrear, we take personal interest and investment in your outcome. We care about what happens to you and will work tirelessly to ensure your rights are protected.

What Is Theft in the Second Degree (Theft 2) in Washington?

Theft in the second degree (theft 2) is a class C felony offense that may be punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

This offense involves the theft of:

  • Property, services or goods valued at more than $750 to $5,000, except a firearm or motor vehicle;
  • A public record or instrument filed or kept in the possession of any public office or public servant; or
  • An access device (debit card, personal identification number, password or other code that can be used to deposit, withdraw or transfer funds).

Fighting Second Degree Theft Charges

Challenging second degree theft charges can be difficult, but with the right approach you may be able to avoid a conviction or formal charges altogether. One of the most important pieces of advice we can give in this regard is to consult with an attorney as early in the process as possible – even if you are currently under investigation but formal charges have not yet been filed against you.

As a former prosecutor with thousands of cases handled, our lead attorney understands all of the best strategies employed by defense attorneys and prosecutors alike. This diverse knowledge helps us anticipate the prosecution’s next move. We know what we're doing and will fight tirelessly on your behalf to protect your legal rights.

Learn more about challenging your theft in the second degree charges by contacting a Lynnwood Theft Crime Attorney today!

What Is Theft in the First Degree (Theft 1)?

Theft in the first degree is the most serious categorization and may be charged as a class B felony offense in Washington. A defendant may be at risk of facing a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 if convicted of first degree theft.

There are specific circumstances that will lead to theft in the first degree charges, as opposed to those involving theft in the second or third degree, which are less serious.

Theft in the first degree is defined as committing theft of:

  • Property valued at $5,000 or more
  • Property of any value that is taken directly from the person of another
  • A search and rescue dog while the dog is on duty

Immediately involving a competent Lynnwood criminal defense attorney is one of the most important steps you can take if you have been accused of or arrested for theft in the first degree. 

Penalties for Theft in the First Degree in Lynnwood, WA

You may be at risk of facing:

  • Years in state prison
  • Fines and probation
  • As well as a ruined career
  • Limited employment opportunities
    And the burden of living with a criminal record long after you serve your sentence

It is important to avoid the serious criminal penalties and other consequences of a theft conviction, and you can accomplish this by involving an experienced lawyer to represent your interests.

Contact a Lynnwood Theft Crime Lawyer from The Law Offices of Lance Fryrear today to talk about your theft in the first degree / theft 1 charges.

How We May be able to Get your Theft Charge Dismissed

The good news is that there are many ways to keep a Theft in the Third Degree charge off of your record, even if you have committed the offense. We may be able to negotiate a favorable offer on your behalf, especially if you have a clean record. 

A favorable offer may involve attending a class and staying out of trouble in return for a dismissal of the charge. Often, it is possible to work things out with the victim store or property owner by paying a civil demand and getting a release in return.

While this release does not automatically make your charge go away, we can sometimes use the release to petition the court for something called a Compromise of Misdemeanor under RCW 10.22.020. If the Court grants our motion, your case may be dismissed without any penalty to you whatsoever.

Get a Former Prosecutor On Your Side

We spent several years handling theft crimes when we were prosecutors, and this knowledge and experience helps us tremendously when defending Theft In The Third Degree cases for our clients. We know what we are doing when it comes to theft cases. The vast majority of theft cases can result in favorable outcomes if they are handled appropriately.

Get experienced help and contact The Law Offices of Lance Fryrear if you have been charged with Theft In The Third Degree in Washington.


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