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Hello. I would be glad to assist you with this matter. The type of punishment your wife is given by the court, if you are convicted of theft, also will depend on how serious the theft is. It will matter how much of value the items were that she took. Basically, the value of the stolen item or service determines the consequence for theft.
Degrees of theft in Washington State
Theft in Washington State is separated into three different categories, called degrees. Each degree is determined by the value of the stolen item or service:
Each degree has an associated maximimum sentence and/or fine.
Maximum sentences for Washington State theft
Each degree of theft is also considered a particular type of crime, such as a misdemeanor or a felony, by the courts. The maximum sentence for each degree of theft depends on the type of crime.
Remember that these are the maximum sentences. If you are accused of any of these crimes but have little or no criminal history, it's unlikely that you will receive the maximum sentence.
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the value of the items was $140 dollars, she is 37 with no past criminal record, what are the chances that this will be dismissed or deferred in some way?
most likely she will be facing the first time offense which is known as third degree.
If you plead guilty and its your first offense than it is a $350.00 fine , a class on petty theft and one day of community service. In addition to a $50.00 a month fee paid to the corrections for case management. You pay that fee until you complete the other items
is this something she need to get an attorney for?
she could probably go with a public defender and be fine since it was a small amount
will the public defender giver her advice on whether to plead guilty or attempt to work to get it dismissed or deferred?
yes the public defender will :)
i would suggest entering a plea of not guilty and seeing what kind of offer they will give her and then decide at the second court hearing
do we try to contact the public defender before hand or wait for the first court date?
no you will be able to speak with someone at the first court date
there would be a public defender present? or do you have to ask for one?
you will have to ask for one
she is super scared that she could face jail time. is that pretty unlikely?
yes on a first offense
ok. Thank you.