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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: 26,679, Reputation: 1648
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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: 80,482, Reputation: 7606
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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: 760
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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: 760
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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: 80,482, Reputation: 7606
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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: 21,474, Reputation: 2990
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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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    college4u's Avatar
    college4u Posts: 28, Reputation: 2
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    #11

    Aug 15, 2007, 12:17 PM
    Burglary would also include, but not be limited to, theft of a motor vehicle, high way robbery, petty theft, and pickpockets. But prosecutors often prefer charges of theft to avoid having to deal with issues of whether the entry is sufficient or as to beliefs of consent. I would only press burglary charges to higher theft amounts more elements to establish intent.
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    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,474, Reputation: 2990
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    #12

    Aug 15, 2007, 01:41 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by college4u
    Burglary would also include, but not be limited to, theft of a motor vehicle, high way robbery, petty theft, and pickpockets.
    Hello again, college:

    You don't have a clue about the things you are speaking about. This isn't even worth arguing about. It's stupid.

    excon
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    mountain_man's Avatar
    mountain_man Posts: 269, Reputation: 45
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    #13

    Aug 15, 2007, 01:45 PM
    College4U... take the advice of excon and just zip it... you are full of irrational babble and it isn't helping anything
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    college4u's Avatar
    college4u Posts: 28, Reputation: 2
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    #14

    Aug 15, 2007, 02:57 PM
    Fist off I am from California so I don't know how your law works for burglary but look up what burglary is both of you guys. Its obvious you never learned anything in school. Maybe you are a jail house lawyer but you need to learn more. As for you moutain man like I said I worked Loss Prevention for 2 years I know exactly what she is asking . That is a question any LP will ask you when you write a report. Both of you guys no nothing about this issue obviously.
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    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 80,482, Reputation: 7606
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    #15

    Aug 15, 2007, 04:35 PM


    Sorry no but in any state I have worked as a police officer burglary has to include a breaking and entering, it is not robbery or pick pocketing at all. Those are separate charges. Now I can't say about your state, but I will agree, your answers are not based on sound legal principles I have worked with. And as noted I am a grad of the Federal Law Enforcement Academy at GLYNCO GA, the GA State Academy in both corrections and law enforcement with almost 2000 hours of POST training. And by everything I have learned you are incorrect on your answers.
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    college4u's Avatar
    college4u Posts: 28, Reputation: 2
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    #16

    Aug 15, 2007, 07:19 PM
    I don't no about your state to a standard. In California I think we have a different look then Intent To Commit Theft or Felony.
    Burglary
    (a) [§127] Intent of Perpetrator at Time of Entry.

    (b) [§128] Intent of Aider and Abettor During Burglary.

    (c) [§129] Intent To Commit Theft.

    (d) [§130] Intent To Commit Felony.

    (e) Circumstantial Evidence To Prove Intent
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    xx pretty girl xx's Avatar
    xx pretty girl xx Posts: 39, Reputation: -1
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    #17

    Aug 16, 2007, 11:40 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by itookthecookie
    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?
    U can't go to jail for a year for taking a twinkie especially if its first offense they can't even send you for a day the most you can get is community service. I'm not from Washington so I'm not exactly sure about their law but I know what I'm talking about but if you want you can get an attorney just in case
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    college4u's Avatar
    college4u Posts: 28, Reputation: 2
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    #18

    Aug 17, 2007, 12:01 PM
    Exactly my point also to the padre. Never in my life have I personaly seen probation for that. That's why the LP who caught her wanted her to admit more so he could forward the info to the officer to charge a intent charge
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    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,474, Reputation: 2990
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    #19

    Aug 17, 2007, 01:05 PM
    Hello again, college:

    You have the concurrence of a teenager. You think that means something?? It doesn't. You're still WRONG!

    Shoplifting is a misdemeanor. In every state, the maximum amount of jail time one can be sentenced to is one year.

    That doesn't mean everybody who is charged with a misdemeanor is going to get a year in jail. But, it certainly doesn't mean that NOBODY will. In the absence of jail time, probation is a very good possibility - VERY GOOD.

    You're still hung up on this intent thing... I don’t know why. If she walked out of a store without paying, that's shoplifting. Intent is NOT an element of that crime. Do you know what elements of a crime are??

    No, you don't. You don't know the first thing about law. You shouldn't ever give a legal opinion on this site again - EVER!! These are people's LIVES we're dealing with here. It's no place for amateurs!

    excon
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    college4u's Avatar
    college4u Posts: 28, Reputation: 2
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    #20

    Aug 17, 2007, 02:44 PM
    Correct shoplifting is a Misdemeanor. It is maximum by one year no contempalting that. You said burgluary is limited to a home which is your argument that is very incorrect. Which under law she had consrtructive enrty or her mens Rea which is burlary hello Ex Con ! That's what I'm saying that you are wrong! What she admitted to coming to the store to steal. Will the Da press charges for burgluary proably not but its possible. Yes its petty theft what she did correct what I was saying is the LP associate asked her if she came to steal she said yes that could be another charge something for her to watch but proably not but burlary is not solely committed to a personal home. You need to think outside of the box and this is a great issue of that Letter of the Law vs The Spirit Of the Law but I personaly don't see her getting proabation. Community service yes
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