Retail Fraud Attorney Auburn Hills MI
Being accused of retail fraud (also known as shoplifting) does not make you a bad person. In fact, retail fraud is regularly prosecuted in Michigan, and it is often just an isolated incident due to a momentary lapse in judgment. However, just because the offense is common does not mean it is not serious or that it will not affect you down the road. A theft conviction such as retail fraud can have many potential consequences, including: incarceration; probation with conditions; loss of employment opportunities; employment licensing issues; loss of educational opportunities; steep fines; immigration complications (for persons that are not US citizens); embarrassment, etc. If you’ve been charged with a retail fraud near Auburn Hills, you need a criminal defense attorney who will fight to protect your interests.
Retail fraud can occur when store merchandise is stolen, an attempt to steal store merchandise is made, the price tag of the merchandise is changed or misrepresented, or the merchandise is fraudulently exchanged for money or other merchandise. There are both felony and misdemeanor criminal offenses in Michigan related to retail fraud, including:
First Degree Retail Fraud is a 5 year maximum felony (however, the maximum possible penalty can even increase if habitual offender sentencing is applicable) that is prosecuted when the merchandise involved is $1,000 or more, or if the merchandise involved is $200 or more and the person has a prior theft conviction.
Organized Retail Theft is a 5 year maximum felony (however, the maximum possible penalty can even increase if habitual offender sentencing is applicable), that is also subject to applicable habitual offender sentencing provisions. The offense occurs when the alleged intent of the Defendant is to commit a retail fraud and to resell the stolen merchandise to another person or business.
Second Degree Retail Fraud is a 1 year maximum misdemeanor charge that is prosecuted when the merchandise involved is at least $200 but less than $1000, or if the merchandise involved is under $200 and the person has a prior theft conviction.
Third Degree Retail Fraud is a 93 day maximum misdemeanor charged, that is prosecuted under either State law or local ordinance, when the merchandise involved in the offense is less than $200.
Removal of a Theft Detection Device is a 93 day maximum misdemeanor charge under local ordinance, or a 365 day maximum charge under State law.
Hire a Lawyer that Specializes in the Defense of Retail Fraud Charges
Many Auburn Hills retail fraud cases involve Great Lakes Crossing Mall and/or national chains such as Nordstrom Rack, Marshalls, and Kohls. Major retail franchises have developed procedures with the goal of reducing retail fraud losses, avoiding litigation, reducing insurance costs, and deterring theft. It is not uncommon for stores to employ well trained asset protection personnel and use theft detection devices to combat the costs and liabilities associated with retail fraud. Even with technology and training, mistakes are still made and persons are still sometimes falsely arrested. The mistakes can be based upon erroneous judgment (for example, false identification), cultural issues, and procedural errors - all of which can potentially lead to an acquittal or the dismissal of the case.
Your retail fraud defense lawyer is allowed to obtain all the evidence against you to properly defend the case, 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. When you go to court and attend your pretrial conference your lawyer can request a trial date, or seek a resolution of the case on your behalf. The resolution of your charge may involve a plea bargain (an agreement with the prosecution to dismiss, expunge, or reduce the charge(s) against you) or a sentence agreement (an agreement with the Judge to impose a specific sentence, such as avoiding or limiting jail or prison time). Your best bet when it comes to your shoplifting case is to hire an experienced lawyer to help you obtain the best possible result for your circumstances. Again, a retail fraud conviction can have a lifetime of negative and life changing consequences, including making it very difficult for you to find a job, because many employers do not want to risk hiring someone with any type of theft history. Make the right decision and hire attorney Daniel Hilf, who is an impassioned and trusted criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years of experience inside and outside of courtrooms helping clients obtain great results for shoplifting accusations. Your future is important and results matter, so make an investment in yourself with your legal counsel!
If you have been accused of retail fraud make the smart decision and contact us right away for outstanding legal representation.