If you're looking for a Washington, D.C. online theft or shoplifting class, it's important to know your Washington, D.C. theft laws. This can help you understand more about your offense.

Please note that the Washington, D.C. theft and shoplifting laws shown on this page are to help you to understand your local Washington, D.C. theft, shoplifting and stealing laws. While we have tried to show the most up-to-date version of Washington, D.C. theft laws, we do not guarantee its accuracy. This page is not a substitute for legal advice from a lawyer. We suggest that you find an appropriate attorney for more information about Washington, D.C. theft laws.

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Washington, D.C. Theft Laws

22-3211. Theft

(a) For the purpose of this section, the term "wrongfully obtains or uses" means: (1) taking or exercising control over property; (2) making an unauthorized use, disposition, or transfer of an interest in or possession of property; or (3) obtaining property by trick, false pretense, false token, tampering, or deception. The term "wrongfully obtains or uses" includes conduct previously known as larceny, larceny by trick, larceny by trust, embezzlement, and false pretenses.

(b) A person commits the offense of theft if that person wrongfully obtains or uses the property of another with intent:

(1) To deprive the other of a right to the property or a benefit of the property; or

(2) To appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of a third person.

(c) In cases in which the theft of property is in the form of services, proof that a person obtained services that he or she knew or had reason to believe were available to him or her only for compensation and that he or she departed from the place where the services were obtained knowing or having reason to believe that no payment had been made for the services rendered in circumstances where payment is ordinarily made immediately upon the rendering of the services or prior to departure from the place where the services are obtained, shall be prima facie evidence that the person had committed the offense of theft.

ยง 22-3212. Penalties for theft

(a) Theft in the first degree. Any person convicted of theft in the first degree shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both, if the value of the property obtained or used is $1,000 or more.

(b) Theft in the second degree. Any person convicted of theft in the second degree shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 180 days, or both, if the property obtained or used has some value.

(c) A person convicted of theft in the first or second degree who has 2 or more prior convictions for theft, not committed on the same occasion, shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned for not more than 10 years and for a mandatory-minimum term of not less than one year, or both. A person sentenced under this subsection shall not be released from prison, granted probation, or granted suspension of sentence, prior to serving the mandatory-minimum.

(d) For the purposes of this section, a person shall be considered as having 2 or more prior convictions for theft if he or she has been convicted on at least 2 occasions of violations of:

(1) Section 22-3211;

(2) A statute in one or more jurisdictions prohibiting theft or larceny; or

(3) Conduct that would constitute a violation of section 22-3211 if committed in the District of Columbia.

22-3213. Shoplifting

(a) A person commits the offense of shoplifting if, with intent to appropriate without complete payment any personal property of another that is offered for sale or with intent to defraud the owner of the value of the property, that person:

(1) Knowingly conceals or takes possession of any such property;

(2) Knowingly removes or alters the price tag, serial number, or other identification mark that is imprinted on or attached to such property; or

(3) Knowingly transfers any such property from the container in which it is displayed or packaged to any other display container or sales package.

(b) Any person convicted of shoplifting shall be fined not more than $300 or imprisoned for not more than 90 days, or both.

(c) It is not an offense to attempt to commit the offense described in this section.

(d) A person who offers tangible personal property for sale to the public, or an employee or agent of such a person, who detains or causes the arrest of a person in a place where the property is offered for sale shall not be held liable for detention, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, defamation, or false arrest, in any proceeding arising out of such detention or arrest, if:

(1) The person detaining or causing the arrest had, at the time thereof, probable cause to believe that the person detained or arrested had committed in that person's presence, an offense described in this section;

(2) The manner of the detention or arrest was reasonable;

(3) Law enforcement authorities were notified within a reasonable time; and

(4) The person detained or arrested was released within a reasonable time of the detention or arrest, or was surrendered to law enforcement authorities within a reasonable time.

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