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    Third degree theft, how serious?

    Asked Aug 13, 2007, 05:08 PM 30 Answers
    So I got caught putting some cookies and a twinkie into my purse and walking out of the grocery store. During the paperwork during my arrest at the store, I admitted to taking the items intentionly. I did not mention that I am bulimic and did it out of compulsion. I heard that the punishment is a year in jail and some thousand in fine. I have already paid back the $5.99 in items I took plus a $150 fine to the store. Now I'm just waiting what the court will decide. I have my arraignment in about a month. I was wondering what to do and what are the possible outcomes. Any help, advice, or comments will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    PS I live in Washington. King county to be specific. And yes, this is my first offense.

    I have another question. Should I get an attorney? I am guilty, I know that, but would an attorney help me get a lighter sentencing or would it not matter?

    Last edited by itookthecookie; Aug 13, 2007 at 10:31 PM.
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    Clough's Avatar
    Clough Posts: 26,681, Reputation: 1647
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    #2

    Aug 13, 2007, 05:42 PM
    If this is your first offense, then I would think that you would just be looking at some sort of fine.

    The penalties vary depending on where you live, so it would be good if you would at least let us know where you are located.
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    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 75,720, Reputation: 7217
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    #3

    Aug 13, 2007, 06:25 PM


    Yes the year in jail and 1000 fine is the max in some areas. With that normally on a first offense you will get probation and a mid range fine
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    college4u's Avatar
    college4u Posts: 28, Reputation: 2
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    #4

    Aug 13, 2007, 11:26 PM
    Chuck you don't know what your taking about, I never heard of anyone getting probation for petty theft under 20$ I don't know any undercover that would even prosecute that I never would but walking into a store with the intent to steal is burglary those are its elements of burglary by law .what you said to the LP is completely hersay which means by legal terms it comes from another persons word what you said. If anything exersice your rights plead not guilty there's is a very good chance these charges can be dropped, and don't steal
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    s_cianci's Avatar
    s_cianci Posts: 5,473, Reputation: 759
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    #5

    Aug 14, 2007, 04:22 PM
    This $150 "fine" you paid to the store ; was it court ordered? A fine is in fact a sentence. If it wasn't, how was it that you came to pay this money to the store? Assuming that you haven't yet been convicted and sentenced, given that this is your first offense and you've made restitution to the store, you'll probably end up with probation, maybe community service. This is a misdemeanor theft and a lawyer would probably end up costing you more than it'd be worth.
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    s_cianci's Avatar
    s_cianci Posts: 5,473, Reputation: 759
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    #6

    Aug 14, 2007, 04:29 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by college4u
    chuck you dont know what ur taking about, i never heard of anyone getting probation for petty theft under 20$ i dont know any undercover that would even prosecute that i never would but walking into a store with the intent to steal is burglary those are its elements of burglary by law .what u said to the LP is completely hersay which means by legal terms it comes from another persons word what u said. if anything exersice your rights plead not guilty theres is a very good chance these charges can be dropped, and dont steal
    Actually, Fr. Chuck's advice was close to the mark. She was arrested so obviously the store has an intention of prosecuting. This is a misdemeanor offense but can be prosecuted nevertheless. Now the OP does mention reimbursing the store the amount of the theft and also a $150 "fine." I'm a little confused about the semantics, because the word "fine" implies a conviction but the question is asked from the perspective that she has not yet been tried and convicted and is trying to get an idea as to what kind of sentence to anticipate. As Fr. Chuck and myself have both indicated, probation is a likely possibility, along with possible community service. That's how most first-time shoplifters are dealt with when convicted.
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    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 75,720, Reputation: 7217
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    #7

    Aug 14, 2007, 04:59 PM


    The DA will go forward if the store presses charges, and many storers are pressing charges on 1 or 2 dollar thefts. With that many judges, often give probation for several reasons, one on minor charges after probation often the charges are dropped. And a police officer can not just not charge a person if the store is wanting to press charges.
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    college4u's Avatar
    college4u Posts: 28, Reputation: 2
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    #8

    Aug 14, 2007, 07:40 PM
    Yes by rules of misdemeanor petty theft probation is possible so is it if you spit on the side walk you can be arrested but the da will take in account the Totality Of The Circumstance I have worked as a undercover LP for 2 years I'm telling you you won't get probation. You can charge anyone with a crime but the judge will see the totality of it all is it reasonable to give proabation to petty thefts proably not if she fought or stole more proably yes the only way if she gets probation is if they can convict her with the intent to steal which is burglary,
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    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,436, Reputation: 2985
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    #9

    Aug 15, 2007, 05:33 AM


    Hello college guy:

    Burglary is when you break into someone's house.

    excon
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    college4u's Avatar
    college4u Posts: 28, Reputation: 2
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    #10

    Aug 15, 2007, 12:07 PM
    Burglary is a crime related to theft or another crime,Burglary is a crime related to theft or another crime. It typically involves breaking into a house, outbuilding (such as a shed, stable, or garage), business, school, place of worship, boat, aircraft, rail car, or motor vehicle with an intent to commit a crime. Refrence-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burglary c Burglary is not solely defined to just a house there is many ways and elements it can be prosecuted just like robbery does not need to be established by force for example I can simply established by fear also. I have had burglary charges on people that stole from my store when I found no money in there self or admitted to the intent to steal. Check this defination ex con of burgalry
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