Call For A Free Consultation - (425) 276-7390

DC Nguyen Law

Unpacking Burglary And Theft Charges In Washington State

Unpacking Burglary And Theft Charges In Washington State - Renton, WAIf you or someone you love face criminal charges, you must grasp the nuances that distinguish various offenses. Although commonly muddled, robbery, burglary, and theft charges in Washington State are distinct crimes, each with its own charges and potential consequences. Delve into these differences in this article and discover:

  • The varied and numerous facets of theft.
  • What is unique about burglary, and how these charges can vary.
  • How the involvement of weapons or injuries can exacerbate the severity of a robbery charge.

What Are The Differences Between Charges For Burglary, Robbery And Theft In King County, Washington?

If you are in a position where you have to interact with the legal system due to being criminally charged, understanding the distinctions between various offenses, such as burglary, robbery, and theft is vital. Each of these crimes carries unique characteristics and classifications that determine the level of the charge and the potential penalties.


Theft, in essence, involves unlawfully taking someone else’s property to deprive them of its use or value. The value of the items stolen typically influences the classification of theft charges. The offense remains a misdemeanor if the stolen property’s value falls between $0 to $750. The charge could be elevated to a higher misdemeanor if the value is between $750 and $1,000. The severity of the theft charge increases further when the stolen property’s value exceeds $1,000, potentially leading to felony charges.

Theft encompasses a range of scenarios, including shoplifting or stealing items from individuals. Identity theft, a more complex form of theft, often results in more severe charges. Cases involving identity theft frequently fall within the jurisdiction of Superior Court due to their complexity and potential impact on individuals’ financial and personal security.


Burglary involves unlawfully entering a structure, such as a home, and intending to commit a crime. What distinguishes burglary from other crimes is that it revolves around invading a building, usually a person’s dwelling. Burglary charges are classified differently based on whether anyone is present during the crime. The charge typically falls under burglary if no one is present when the building is entered. In contrast, the charge often escalates to robbery if someone is present during the unlawful entry.


Robbery is a more severe offense involving the use of force or intimidation to take property from another person directly and carries enhanced penalties compared to theft and burglary as a result. Robbery charges are often classified as felonies, and their severity can be amplified by factors such as the use of weapons or injury to the victim.

Regarding the level of charges, the amount stolen remains a crucial factor when determining it. Generally, theft charges can range from a misdemeanor to a felony based on the stolen property’s value. Felony classifications, including burglary and robbery in the first degree, typically apply when the value of the stolen property exceeds certain thresholds, such as $5,000. Additionally, the involvement of weapons or injuries may result in charge enhancements, leading to more severe penalties upon conviction.

What Are The Potential Sentencing Guidelines Or Punishment For Burglary And Robbery And Theft Conviction In Washington State?

Understanding the potential sentences for robbery, burglary, and theft charges in Washington State requires a closer look at several factors. The offender score is crucial. An offender score, determined by an individual’s criminal history and prior convictions, plays a pivotal role in shaping the severity of their penalty.

For those with an offender score of 0, the jail sentence can vary between 0 and 3 months. However, as the offender score increases, the potential length of incarceration also rises significantly. Offender scores in the higher range, such as eight or above, may result in jail terms of 20 months or more.

It’s important to note that enhancements can further influence the sentencing process. For instance, if a weapon was used during the commission of the crime, the sentence may be extended beyond the standard range. The presence of aggravating factors, such as violence or harm caused to victims, could also lead to harsher penalties.

While the offender score plays a substantial role, it’s not the sole determinant of sentencing. Prior convictions, the severity of the offense, and the presence of aggravating or mitigating circumstances can all impact the final judgment. Judges consider these factors to arrive at a fair and just sentence that aligns with the specifics of the case.

For more information on Burglary & Theft Charges In Washington State, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (425) 276-7390 today

DC Nguyen Law

Call For A Free Consultation
(425) 276-7390

Accessibility Accessibility
× Accessibility Menu CTRL+U