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What offense could be charged against my friend and I that did not steal? What will happen to the ones that did steal?

Spokane, WA |

My 3 friends, my friends mom and I were at a mall out of state. We were all hanging out and we bought some items at buckle and went into ZUMIEZ and what not. We all went back into the car we came in at one point and then we got out to go check out this store across from ZUMIEZ. While we were in there two of our friends decided to steal two northface coats. And my other friend and I didn't help out in anyway, but thy ran out and ran to a mcdonalds down the street. My friend and I got in the car with his mom and picked them up without knowing what they did. This happened 7months ago, we just got contacted about it.

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Attorney answers 2


Without knowing any details except the ones that you provided, it is not likely that you would be charged with a crime; however, that does not mean that you will not be charged for something that the police or prosecutor feel you may have done. If you planned, assisted, encouraged, or covered the theft in any way, you could be charged with a crime. Again, because I only know the facts that you have presented and not the facts that the police or prosecuting attorney have, I cannot say anything for certain. Remember, what is important here is that you are not convicted of these crimes. You could be charged, and while that is bad, you will have a defense to those charges. I would also tell you that from this point on, do not talk with anyone about the crimes, except your attorney. That includes police officers. You have the right to remain silent about crimes that you are being investigated for, and you do not have to provide any information to the police about what happened. Talk to your attorney before talking with anyone else. Please!

This answer contains general legal information only and should not be construed as official legal advice nor as a basis for the creation of a lawyer/client relationship. Do NOT rely on this answer as legal advice. It is NOT a substitute for legal advice which requires a consultation with a lawyer. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship.


The law in the state where the incident occurred is the law that would be applied, as opposed to the law where you live. However, the question would be whether you were part of a conspiracy or assisted them in some way. If it was clear you were not involved, but just knew them, you would be in the clear. They may just be contacting you to learn who these other people are, since they got into the same vehicle. You may want an attorney to speak with regarding this to determine how to handle it.

This is not intended as individual legal advice and there is no attorney client relationship established by this answer. It is advisable that you seek individualized legal assistance. This is not a substitute for hiring an attorney.