DC Criminal Defense Lawyer

Shoplifting / Theft


Many people think of theft as a relatively minor offense. They don’t realize the seriousness until they are facing theft charges themselves and several years of incarceration are on the table. If you’re up against charges like this—contact my offices today for a free consultation.

Criminal Charge in D.C.? Call Now (202) 249-7644.
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Maybe there’s a perfectly logical explanation for the circumstances that led to your theft charge. Perhaps you really thought you had permission to take the goods you did or maybe there was an arrangement between you and the alleged victim that they later backed out on.

When you don’t feel like anyone is taking the time to hear your side of the story—I will. Please contact us for a legal consultation on any Washington DC shoplifting or theft charge.

Washington DC Theft  Laws

Theft is defined under the law as obtaining or using someone else’s property with the intent to:

1.       deprive the rightful owner of their possession or use, or

2.       convert the use to your own or a third party.

The seriousness of the charge is directly related to the value of the goods or services that are alleged to have been stolen.

If the value is $1,000 or more, you will face first degree theft charges. This is a felony charge which carries up to 10 years in prison and $5,000 in fines.

If the value is less than $1,000 you will face a misdemeanor second degree theft charge. This carries a potential 180 jail sentence and $1,000 in fines.

Ref: DC Code §22-3212

Taking Property without Right

This offense is a lesser theft charge. It is simply applied when you take something you don’t have a right to, though it may have little or no monetary value. This is a misdemeanor charge and carries 90 days in jail and a $300 fine as potential sentence.

Ref: DC Code §22-3216

DC Shoplifting Laws

Shoplifting is a fairly common criminal charge that is pretty self explanatory. If you take something from a retailer without paying for it or without paying for it in full, you can face this criminal charge. If the shoplifting doesn’t qualify as a more serious theft charge, it is a misdemeanor that carries up to 90 days in jail and $300 in fines.

Interestingly, attempting to shoplift is not a criminal offense according to D.C. criminal code.

Ref: DC Code §22-3213

Theft of a Motor Vehicle

Stealing a car is a very serious theft crime—perhaps the most serious. Depending on the circumstances, you could be facing several years behind bars for taking a car that wasn’t yours, borrowing and not returning a car, or even keeping a rental long past its due date.

When you’re accused of an offense like this, you need an advocate on your side.

Theft of a motor vehicle, under D.C. law, is considered a felony. In most cases you will face up to 5 years in prison, though that sentence can be extended to 10 under some circumstances. If you have 2 or more similar convictions on your record, this offense could get you 15 years in the prison system.

Ref: D.C. Code §22-3215

There are several considerations taken into account when determining what to charge you with and deciding your eventual sentence. Everything from the actual crime scene and the evidence to your criminal history can play a role.

To get a better idea of what you’re up against and the kind of outcome you may be able to expect—contact me today.

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