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Do I need a lawyer?

Everett, WA |

Found shoplifting $80 worth of merchandise at Walmart....police were nite called....

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Prosecutors in Washington have certain time lines for when they must file criminal charges. This is referred to as the Statute of Limitations. For gross misdemeanors (like Theft in the Third Degree), prosecutors have 2 years to decide whether or not they want to file charges against an individual.

    Additionally, whether or not police were called that night, retail stores can later provide information to police stations for investigation.

    Most criminal defense attorneys provide free consultations and would be able to advise you as to whether or not criminal charges are likely to occur in a given situation.

    Regardless, it is never wise to discuss the facts of a criminal case or a potential criminal case online.

    The information provided on this site is not legal advice, nor is it intended to be. Please consult an attorney to learn how the law applies to your specific situation. Providing legal information on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. No confidential information about your case should be shared on this site or any other.


  2. Depends. It is always advisable to obtain a lawyer.
    If the police were not called, this case likely not end up going to court (There are some exceptions). If the matter does not go to court you will probably not need an attorney. You can always hire one to advise you about all the possibilities and prepare you in case you do have to go to court later.

    If the case does end up in court, with such a minor offense you will likely be offered some type of program. If you complete the program your charge will likely be dismissed. Once in court, you can always request an appointed attorney if you qualify for one.


  3. Don't talk to anyone about this case unless it is a lawyer.

    You may face charges that are filed at a later time.

    If you have no criminal history you should talk to a lawyer who may be able to advise you on what you should do next,

    If you are not charged within 2 years the case will be too old to be filed.

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