Shoplifting / Theft in the 3rd Degree

What is Shoplifting or Theft in the 3rd degree?

Think before you consider shoplifting! Even small items can add up to big problems. Merchants of all kinds throughout Washington State put significant funding into loss prevention and do not hesitate to encourage prosecution of even the smallest offenses.

Theft offenses in Washington State are separated into three different categories. The category/degree is determined by the value of stolen item. Conviction of one of these crimes may result in a very detrimental outcome.

As a gross misdemeanor charge, Theft in the 3rd Degree is the lesser of the theft offenses. However, consequences may still be very significant and life-changing. Theft in the 1st and 2nd Degree are felony charges. Please see this linkfor more information Theft 1 and Theft 2.

Third-Degree Theft (RCW §9A.56.050)  is also known as “Shoplifting” or “Theft 3”.

  • This crime may be charged if the property or services stolen:
  • Do not exceed $750 in value, or
  • Includes 10 or more merchandise pallets, or 10 or more beverage crates, or a combination of 10 or more merchandise pallets and crates
  • Theft 3 is considered a gross misdemeanor
  • Theft 3 is punishable by up to one year in jail, a maximum fine of $5,000, or both.
  • Consequences of a conviction also involves the long-term impacts of a criminal record. This could potentially impact many key areas of one’s life (housing, employment, immigration, relationships, etc.).

Legal Representation:

If you or someone you care about has been charged with a criminal offense involving theft or shoplifting, contact a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.  The earlier you act the more options you may have! These are significant charges and you should not try to tackle them without experienced counsel to advise you appropriately and advocate on your behalf.