Defense Against Charges of Robbery, Burglary and Shoplifting

Theft and shoplifting are often considered minor crimes. However, any criminal conviction can result in a lifelong criminal record. It is therefore extremely important to treat these cases seriously and protect your future. At the Spokane Law Offices of Christian J. Phelps, we protect the rights of those facing a variety of theft and robbery charges in the state and federal courts of Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

When Your Future and Freedom Are at Risk, Contact the Law Offices of Christian J. Phelps

A single theft charge can carry serious consequences on its own. However, as the property value of the stolen goods goes up and other aggravating factors are considered, the stakes can get much higher. Dedicated to criminal defense, our firm understands and appreciates the unique legal challenges you are facing.

Factors that could have a significant impact upon the charges against you include:

  • Property Value: If you are charged with theft of property valued at more than $250, you are facing a felony charge.
  • Use of Force: Any theft committed with the use of force is an automatic felony and a strike offense in Washington.
  • Three Strikes: If you are convicted of three strike offenses, you face a mandatory life sentence.
  • Abuse of Responsibility: If you are charged with abusing a position of trust or fiduciary responsibility, or if the victim is vulnerable, you could face a longer prison sentence.

The state can also charge you with multiple offenses for the same theft. For example, if you have the item you are accused of stealing in your possession, you could be charged with possession of stolen property. In addition, if you sell the item to someone else, you could also be charged with trafficking in stolen property. All of these charges can add up to a lengthy jail or prison sentence.


Burglary in Washington has nothing to do with stealing. Rather, it is unlawfully entering or remaining in a place with the intent to commit a crime while inside. Therefore, if you steal something after entering, it is considered both burglary and theft. Likewise, if you harm a person after entering, it is considered both first-degree burglary and assault.

Defense & Alternative Sentencing Programs

There are many defenses your lawyer can use to help you avoid a criminal conviction. There are also diversion programs for non-violent crimes if you have no prior criminal history and are able to make restitution. If you successfully complete a diversion program, you won't end up with a criminal record. I can help you determine what options work best for you and negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf.

Contact Us Today

It does not take much for one alleged theft to turn into multiple charges, so make sure you speak with an experienced defense lawyer before you talk to the police. We will do everything possible to protect your future and your freedom. For a free consultation to discuss your defense options, contact us via email or by phone at 509-323-2420.