Retail Fraud Attorney Bloomfield 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 Bloomfield Hills and elsewhere in Michigan, but it is often just an isolated incident due to a momentary lapse in judgment. However, just because the offense is fairly common does not mean it is not serious or that it will not affect your life down the road. A theft conviction such as retail fraud can have many potential bad consequences, including: the loss of freedom; 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 Bloomfield 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 misrepresented or changed, or the merchandise is fraudulently exchanged for money or other store merchandise. There are both felony and misdemeanor retail fraud offenses in Michigan, including:
First Degree Retail Fraud is a 5 year maximum felony in Michigan (however, the maximum possible penalty can increase if habitual offender sentencing is applicable due to a prior felony conviction) 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 a 5 year maximum felony in Michigan (however, the maximum possible penalty can even increase if habitual offender sentencing is applicable due to a prior felony conviction), 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 in Michigan 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 93 day maximum misdemeanor charge in Michigan, 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 93 day maximum misdemeanor charge in Michigan under local ordinance, but a 1 year maximum misdemeanor under State law.
Hire a Lawyer that Specializes in the Defense of Retail Fraud Charges
Many Bloomfield Hills retail fraud cases involve national chains such as Costco, Tj Maxx, and Target. All major retailers have store procedures with the goal of reducing retail fraud losses, avoiding litigation, reducing insurance costs, and deterring theft. It is not uncommon for retail establishments to hire well trained asset protection personnel and use theft detection devices to combat the costs and liabilities associated with retail fraud. Even with sophisticated technology and comprehensive employee training, mistakes are still made and persons are still sometimes falsely arrested. The mistakes can be based upon errors in judgment (for example, false identification of a suspect), cultural issues, and procedural errors - all of which can potentially lead to an acquittal or the dismissal of the case.
Your shoplifting defense attorney is allowed to obtain all the evidence against you to fully and 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 before your assigned Judge at your pretrial conference your lawyer can request a trial date, or seek a resolution of the case on your behalf. The resolution of your retail fraud 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 any confinement). Your best course of action when it comes to your shoplifting case is to hire an experienced top rated lawyer to help you obtain the best possible result for your circumstances. Again, a retail fraud conviction can have a lifetime of 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 best possible decision and hire criminal defense attorney Daniel Hilf, who is an impassioned and trusted lawyer with over 20 years of experience inside and outside of courtrooms helping clients obtain great results for shoplifting accusations. You and your future are important and results definitely matter, so make an investment in yourself with your legal counsel!
If you have been accused of retail fraud, it's time to make the smart decision and contact us right away for outstanding legal representation.