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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 17146
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My wife got a Notice of Trespass from Top Store in Bellevue.

Customer Question

My wife got a Notice of Trespass from Top Store in Bellevue. She forgot to pay for 60$ worth goods. I have alredy paid 606$ in fine to the store. My wife was never involved in such situation before. Need advise regarding the same
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  PhillipsEsq replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. I encourage you to ask me for clarification, if you are not clear with my Answer.

 

Is the store asking for more money?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, But a case is filed and she might have to go to court (Case 11-32000). Location Bellevue WA

Expert:  PhillipsEsq replied 3 years ago.

Thank you.

 

I will have to refer you to the Criminal Law Category.

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So should I start a different question?

 

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hi Jacustomer,

No need to start a different question.

Your Expert asked if I could look this over as she moved it to Criminal law.

When someone is believed to have shoplifted, a store can come after them both civilly (you've already paid that fine) and also criminally. They can do that even if they have gotten their money back because criminal cases have to do with punishment for the unlawful act.

In Washington theft of this amount would be Theft in the Third Degree, which is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail. However, realistically speaking if she hasn't been in trouble before she will not have to worry about incarceration. But an equal concern would be whether she could come out of this matter without a criminal record, since theft offenses, even on a misdemeanor level make job hunting very difficult.

Your wife should contact a criminal lawyer as soon as possible once she knows she has a court date and see if he can get her into a pretrial diversion program or some other type of deferral program by negotiating with the state. These are special forms of probation whereby a defendant essentially works off his or her conviction by successfully fulfilling the requirement set by the court such as fines, community service, anti-theft classes and staying out of trouble. At the end of the case the matter can be dismissed.

If, of course, your wife would rather fight the case and go to trial (maximum risk would be a year of jail) she will still need a lawyer since she would really not be likely to win this without one. If it is impossible for you to afford a lawyer for her, on her first court date she should plead not guilty at her arraignment to keep all of her rights open and then ask the court to appoint her a public defender.

Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 17146
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Zoey_ JD and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
How much money does the lawyer can charge in my case. Can recomend some lawyers in my area.
Thanks
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hi Jacustomer,

Lawyers set rates based on how much time they think they will have to spend to resolve the case. While they charge, on an average, a couple hundred dollars an hour, this should be fairly reasonable, as it's likely not going to be a trial case and should be something that won't require more than 2 or 3 appearances from the lawyer.

To find out what the going rate is for a shoplifting case in your part of the country, I would recommend calling the WA Bar Association's Lawyer referral Service. They can answer that and also guarantee to hook their customers up with an active member of the state criminal bar in good professional standing. They prescreen their lawyers and their referral fee -- around $50-- includes a free half hour consultation with the attorney. We experts here are not allowed to recommend a specific lawyer or law firm, but using the State Bar Association as a starting place to find a lawyer is a solution that I would recommend.

Happy 4th!

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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
Criminal Lawyer
17146 Satisfied Customers
Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.