Receiving a ticket or being arrested for a retail fraud charge in Berkley Michigan does not make you a bad person. In fact, retail fraud is a regularly prosecuted offense by both the Berkley City Attorney and Oakland County prosecutors, but it is often based only upon an single incident due to a temporary lapse in judgment. However, just because retail fraud cases are commonly heard at the 44th District Court (in Royal Oak) or 6th Circuit Court (in Pontiac for felony cases that are bound over from District Court), it does not mean that there are not serious outcomes or that it will not affect your life in a very negative way, because any criminal record for shoplifting can have a life long impact. A retail fraud sentence may include any and all of the following: the loss of your freedom (incarceration); probation with strict conditions; loss of job opportunities; professional licensing issues (for lawyers, accountants, nurses, stock brokers, etc.); loss of educational opportunities; steep fines and costs; immigration complications (for persons that are not United States citizens); and damage to your reputation. If you are faced with a shoplifting charge due to a Berkley Michigan allegation, you need a respected, experienced, top level criminal defense attorney who will aggressively fight for the best result.
There are several different types of conduct in a store that all can result in a retail theft charge: when store merchandise is stolen or an attempt to steal store merchandise is made by one or more individuals; the price tag of the merchandise is intentionally changed to a lower price; or merchandise is fraudulently exchanged for money or other store merchandise. There are a few felony and misdemeanor retail theft offenses that are commonly prosecuted due to Berkley Michigan allegations and accusations throughout the State of Michigan, which include:
First Degree Retail Fraud is a felony charge that carries up to a 5 year maximum prison sentence (the Judge has the ability to not impose any jail or prison time and supervise the individual on probation) that is prosecuted when the merchandise involved is $1,000 (one thousand dollars) or more, or if the merchandise involved is $200 (two hundred dollars) or more and the person has a prior theft conviction.
Organized Retail Theft is felony charge that carries up to a 5 year maximum prison sentence (the Judge has the ability to not impose any jail or prison time and supervise the individual on probation), that is also subject to applicable habitual offender sentencing provisions. The offense occurs when the Defendant's alleged intent is to commit a retail fraud and to resell the stolen merchandise to another person or business.
Second Degree Retail Fraud is a misdemeanor charge that carries up to a 1 year maximum county jail sentence (the Judge has the ability to not impose any jail or prison time and supervise the individual on probation), that is prosecuted when the merchandise involved is at least $200 (two hundred dollars) but less than $1000 (one thousand dollars), or if the merchandise involved is under $200 (two hundred dollars) and the person has a prior theft conviction.
Third Degree Retail Fraud is a misdemeanor charge that carries up to a 93 day maximum county jail sentence (the Judge has the ability to not impose any jail or prison time and supervise the individual on probation), that is prosecuted under either State law or local ordinance, when the merchandise involved in the offense is less than $200 (two hundred dollars).
Removal of a Theft Detection Device is a misdemeanor charges that carries up to a 93 day maximum county jail sentence under local ordinance or a 1 year maximum county jail sentence under State law (the Judge has the ability to not impose any jail or prison time and supervise the individual on probation).
Hire a Top Rated Lawyer near Berkley Michigan that Specializes in the Defense of Shoplifting Charges
Many retail stores across America have implemented well thought out loss prevention related procedures with the goal of reducing retail fraud losses and insurance costs, avoiding contested litigation, and deterring overall store theft. It is not uncommon for stores to use asset protection personnel and employ sophisticated shoplifting prevention equipment (such as merchandise sensors and closed circuit television, etc) to combat the costs and liabilities associated with retail fraud. Even with the latest technology and rigorous asset protection training, mistakes are still made and persons are still sometimes falsely arrested due to errors in judgment (such as false identification and false interpretation of a situation), cultural related issues, and procedural errors.
If you hire attorney Daniel Hilf to work on your Berkley Michigan case, he will obtain all the available discovery materials to fully and properly defend you, which can include the following: police report(s), loss prevention report(s), witness statement(s), in store video(s), police video(s), photograph(s), statement(s) the police and/or loss prevention claims that you made, etc. It is your choice to fight through a trial in front of a Judge or jury, or accept a plea or plea bargain and attempt to persuade the Judge to be lenient. The process of resolving your retail fraud accusation may include requesting a plea bargain (an agreement with the prosecution to dismiss or reduce the charge(s) against you) or attempting to obtain a sentence agreement (an agreement with the Judge and/or prosecutor to impose a specific sentence, such as avoiding or limiting any term of confinement).
Your should immediately hire a zealous and aggressive retail fraud defense lawyer to help you obtain the best possible result for your circumstances, because a retail fraud conviction will likely cause you many difficult problems throughout your life, including making it extremely hard to find a job or career, because many employers do not want to risk hiring someone convicted of theft. Retain the leading defense lawyer for shoplifting cases in Berkley Michigan and throughout Oakland County - lawyer Daniel Hilf - to help you. He is an impassioned, criminal defense attorney with over twenty years of experience inside and outside of Oakland County courtrooms helping clients fight for great results.
If you have been accused of shoplifting merchandise from a store in Berkley Michigan or elsewhere, it's time to make an impactful decision to contact Hilf & Hilf, PLC right away.