In Washington State, possession of stolen property is a crime that happens when you receive, have (possess), conceal, or destroy/discard stolen property. A variety of things will be considered when your case is reviewed by a lawyer or the courts, particularly the value of what you may have in your possession.Ultimately, the consequence for possession of stolen property in Washington State is tied to the value of the item in possession.
Degrees of possession of stolen property in Washington State
As is the case in many states, possession of stolen property (possession) in Washington State is separated into three different categories, called degrees. Each degree is determined by the value of the stolen item:
Each degree has an associated maximimum sentence and/or fine.
Maximum sentences for possession of stolen property in Washington State
Each degree of possession 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 possession depends on the type of crime it is considered. It's important to know that courts do not care if the person who actually stole the property has not been convicted, caught, or identified, and do not allow lawyers to use this reason as a defense for their clients who have been charged with possession.
Keep in mind 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.
If you are accused of possession of stolen property in Washington State
If you are accused of possession of stolen property in Washington State, it's advisable to contact an attorney in order to understand your options. Resolutions vary widely and include, but are not limited to, the following:
The last two options are often reserved for people with little or no criminal history.
Washington State Legislature: Classification and Designation of Crimes (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9A.20.010)
Washington Courts: Washington State Court Rules on Appeal (http://www.courts.wa.gov/court_rules/index.cfm)
Washington State Legislature: Compromise of Misdemeanors (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=10.22)
Related Legal Guides:
Washington State Theft (https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/Washington-State-theft)
Malicious Mischief in Washington State (https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/malicious-mischief-Washington-State)
Expungement in Washington State (https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/expungement-washington-state)