Retail Fraud Attorney Clinton Township MI
Being accused and prosecuted for retail fraud (also known as shoplifting) does not make you a bad person. In fact, retail fraud is commonly prosecuted in Clinton Township and elsewhere in Michigan, but it is often just an isolated incident due to a momentary lapse in judgment. However, just because retail fraud is regularly prosecuted does not mean it is not serious or that it will not affect your life down the road. Any theft related conviction such as retail fraud can have many potential damaging 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 Clinton Township, you need a criminal defense lawyer who will fight to protect your interests and way of life.
Retail fraud can occur under several different scenarios: 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 several felony and misdemeanor retail fraud offenses prosecuted in Clinton Township Michigan, including:
First Degree Retail Fraud throughout Michigan is a 5 year maximum felony (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 throughout Michigan is a 5 year maximum felony (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 throughout Michigan is a 1 year maximum misdemeanor charge 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 throughout Michigan is a 93 day maximum misdemeanor charge 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 in Michigan is a 1 year maximum misdemeanor charge, that also can be prosecuted as a 93 day misdemeanor under local ordinance.
Hire a Respected Criminal Defense Lawyer that Specializes in the Defense of Retail Fraud Charges
Many Clinton Township retail fraud cases involve Partridge Creek Mall or national chains stores such as TJ Maxx, Walmart and Kohls. All major retail franchises have established store procedures with the goal of reducing retail fraud losses, avoiding litigation, reducing insurance costs, and deterring theft. It is not uncommon for a store to hire well trained lost prevention personnel and use theft detection devices (sensor devices, closed circuit television, etc.) to combat the costs and liabilities associated with retail theft. Even with sophisticated state of the art 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 obtaining an acquittal, dismissal, or negotiating a great result.
Your attorney will 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 your lawyer can request a trial date, or seek a resolution of the case on your behalf. The resolution of your shoplifting accusation 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 plan of attack when it comes to your retail fraud 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 hard 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 top rated and respected criminal defense attorney Daniel Hilf, who is an impassioned, intelligent 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 very important and results are what count, so make an investment in yourself with your choice of legal counsel!
If you have been accused of retail fraud in or near Clinton Township, it's time to make the smart decision and contact us right away for outstanding legal representation.