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Tacoma Theft Attorney

If you’ve been accused of theft in the state of Washington, your future freedom, reputation, and employment opportunities are all at stake. Theft can include an impulsive instance of shoplifting, a white-collar crime of fraud or embezzlement, and even an armed robbery. Whether the matter is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the amount of the theft and the nature of the act. Regardless, you will need a skilled Tacoma theft attorney on your side. If you are being charged with a theft crime, contact the Law Offices of Mark Treyz today.

If you’re facing any of these serious charges, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed, with high levels of stress and anxiety. You may fear for your future, your job, and worry about how the charge will affect your family. Your concern is understandable. A theft conviction can follow you for the rest of your life, making it difficult to find good jobs, attend school, and create a cloud of suspicion that follows you wherever you go.

Sometimes when a theft has occurred, it’s hard to determine who’s actually at fault, leading to the possibility of false accusations, wrongful arrests, and even an inappropriate conviction of an innocent person–a travesty of justice that should never happen.

Why You Should Hire Mark Treyz For Your Tacoma Theft Charge

It makes sense to get the best Tacoma criminal attorney you can, from the first hint that you will be accused. Mark Treyz is a good choice if you live in the Tacoma or Pierce County area and are involved in a criminal case. Mark has been practicing criminal law in Tacoma, Washington for 30 years. He was a former prosecutor and pro tem judge. From this, he knows how the system works and how to best maneuver his clients through it, to avoid jail time and a conviction. He is determined to help preserve your future success and defend your legal rights.

What is the Difference Between Burglary and Robbery in Washington?

In Washington State, burglary is defined by two elements of the crime: unlawful entry and criminal intent. Burglary charges can vary and include burglary in the first degree, residential burglary, and burglary in the second degree.

  • First-degree burglary. This is a class A felony which occurs when a person unlawfully enters a building with the intent to commit a crime and is armed with a deadly weapon or assaults a person.
  •  Residential burglary. This is a class B felony and means a burglary that took place in a residence.
  • Second-degree burglary. This is also a class B felony and means the defendant entered the building unlawfully with the intent to commit a crime.

Robbery is slightly different in that it includes an element of violence. To be charged with a second-degree robbery, a person must unlawfully take personal property from another person in his or her presence. They must use violence, threaten the use of force, and cause fear of injury to that person, their property or to any person or property. Robbery in the second degree is a Class B Felony in Washington State and usually leads to up to 10 years in prison in addition to stiff fines.

A first-degree robbery is a robbery offense that occurs when the defendant was armed with a deadly weapon, displayed a deadly weapon, inflicted bodily injury, or robbed a financial institution. If you or a loved one is charged with first-degree robbery, it is a Class A Felony and could mean a sentence of life in prison. Mark Treyz is a trusted Tacoma theft lawyer with the skills needed for a strong legal defense.

2016 Tacoma Theft Crime Statistics

There are a number of crimes that are considered “theft crimes” including robbery, burglary, auto theft, and theft. The most recent data available from 2016 shows that theft, including first, second, and third degree theft, is the most common theft crime. This is followed by burglary, auto theft, and robbery. A deeper look at Tacoma theft cases shows us that theft occurs at a rate of almost double that of burglary.

Source: City Data Crime Statistics

Tacoma Robberies & Burglaries 2006-2016

wdt_ID Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
1 Robberies (per 100,000) 341.30 328.60 316.00 328.00 268.00 221.30 239.80 257.80 249.10 234.40 257.20
2 Burglaries (per 100,000) 1,644.10 1,334.60 1,468.10 1,470.50 1,449.40 1,344.40 1,463.10 1,518.50 1,527.40 1,233.50 1,152.90

Source: City-Data Crime Statistics

What are the Penalties for Burglary in Washington?

Burglary is a very serious crime in Washington state, and the penalties associated with each degree of burglary helps cement this fact. If prosecutors successfully charge you with burglary, you can face significantly more severe consequences than you would with a theft charge.

Washington recognizes the following types of burglary charges.

  • First-degree burglary is the most serious burglary charge you can receive, and Washington classifies it as a Class A felony. If the court alleges that you unlawfully enter and remain in a building with the intent to commit a crime and you have a deadly weapon or you assault someone, it will charge you with this crime. Penalties for first-degree burglary include a maximum life sentence and fines that can go up to $50,000.
  • A second-degree burglary is a Class B felony, and involves unlawfully entering and remaining in a building, other than a home or vehicle, with the intent to commit a crime. If the court convicts you of this crime, you could face up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
  • Residential burglary is another type of burglary charge, and is a Class B felony under Washington law. If the court alleges that you unlawfully entered and remained in a dwelling other than a vehicle with the intent to commit a crime, you could receive this charge. Punishment can include up to $20,000 in fines and up to 10 years in prison.

Crimes involving burglary can also involve other charges as well. Since the law does not specify what the intended crimes involved with burglary are, you could face additional charges for theft, assault, kidnapping, and other crimes based on the circumstances of your case.

Contact a Tacoma theft attorney from the Law Offices of Mark S. Treyz can help you understand the charges you are facing, the potential penalties associated with each one, and the strategies you can take to create a compelling defense.

What Are the Three Degrees of Theft in Washington State?

Not all instances of theft amount to burglary or robbery in Washington. According to state law, theft occurs when a person takes another’s property without the other person’s permission and with the intent to deprive him or her of that property. While burglary and robbery can involve theft, these crimes can also include breaking and entering, the use of a weapon, and other acts of  violence.

Prosecutors typically define burglary and robbery charges based on the level of violence that occurs in each case. Theft charges, on the other hand, depend on the value of the alleged stolen property. There are three degrees of theft charges in Washington.

  • First-degree theft is a Class B felony, and is the most serious theft charge you can receive. If the stolen property is worth more than $5,000 or court alleges that you stole the property from the victim directly, the prosecution will charge this crime as a first-degree theft. Penalties for this crime can include a fine up to $20,000, a prison sentence up to 10 years, or both.
  • Second-degree theft is a Class C felony, and involves stolen property between $750 and $5,000 in value. In addition, if you allegedly steal a credit card, PIN number, account number, or another code that can give you access to funds or goods, that crime falls under the second-degree theft category as well. If the court finds you guilty of this crime, you can face up to a $10,000 fine and/or up to 5 years in prison.
  • Third-degree theft, also known as petty theft, is a gross misdemeanor and the lowest theft charge you can receive. If the stolen property is under $750 in value and the court convicts you of this crime, you can face a $5,000 fine, up to one year in jail, or both.

Get a Highly Experienced Tacoma Theft Crimes Lawyer on Board from the Start

If you’ve been arrested, questioned, or told that you may be in the future, call the Mark Treyz law office immediately. Every theft case is different, and we can’t promise a specific outcome in yours; but in general, the sooner Mark gets involved, the better the odds are that:

  • Charges will not be filed
  • You’ll be released on your own recognizance
  • Charges that have been filed will be dropped
  • Charges will be reduced
  • You will be allowed to participate in a diversionary program for first-time offenders
  • You won’t do jail time

If your case does go to trial, Mark will use every means at his disposal to show the jury where there are holes in the prosecutor’s case, to cast doubt on the evidence against you, and build a reasonable theory of how the loss occurred, or make the jury aware of extenuating circumstances, creating a “reasonable doubt” that can prevent a conviction. His investigative skills and analytic ability, together with his years of experience working within the legal system and defending the accused, give our Tacoma theft attorney a distinct edge in getting the resolution you need.

Contact the Law Offices of Mark Treyz Now

You may qualify for the services of a public defender if your income is low. Public defenders are dedicated professionals who truly want to help their clients but putting your case, and your future, in the hands of an overworked public employee with too large a caseload to devote his or her full attention to investigating your case is seldom a good idea. The stakes are just too high to take a risk with a criminal defense lawyer who is spread too thin. Don’t gamble with your future. Call the Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington law office of Mark Treyz without delay, before you speak with the police or answer any questions.

Your initial consultation with crime defense attorney Mark Treyz is free, and we will be happy to work out a flexible payment plan, tailored especially for you, even if you can’t afford to pay a large retainer fee.