Retail Fraud Attorney Detroit MI
An accusation and prosecution for retail fraud (also known as shoplifting) does not make you a bad person. In fact, retail fraud is commonly prosecuted in Detroit 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 in or near Detroit, you need a criminal defense lawyer who will fight to protect your way of life and interests.
Retail fraud can occur under a few scenarios: when merchandise is stolen from a store; 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 regularly prosecuted in Detroit, including:
First Degree Retail Fraud is a felony offense with a 5 year maximum (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 felony offense with a 5 year maximum (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 misdemeanor offense with a 1 year maximum, which 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 offense with a 93 day maximum 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 offense with a 1 year maximum under State law or a 93 day maximum under local Detroit ordinance.
Hire a Respected Criminal Defense Lawyer that Specializes in the Defense of Retail Fraud Charges
All major retail franchises have established store procedures with the goal of reducing retail fraud losses and insurance costs, avoiding litigation, and deterring theft. It is not uncommon for a store to hire and train lost prevention personnel and use sophisticated theft detection devices (sensor devices, closed circuit television, etc.) to combat the costs and liabilities associated with retail theft. Even with state of the art theft detection technology and comprehensive employee training, mistakes are still made and persons are still sometimes falsely arrested. The mistakes can be based upon many different factors - 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.
If you retain a criminal defense lawyer, he or she 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 criminal defense lawyer can request a bench or jury trial date, or seek a resolution of the case on your behalf. The resolution of your retail theft 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 decision when it comes to your retail fraud allegation is to hire an experienced top rated lawyer to help you obtain the best possible result for your particular circumstances. Again, a retail fraud conviction can have a lifetime of bad consequences, including making it very hard to find a good job or career, because many employers do not want to risk hiring someone with any type of theft history. Make the best possible decision for yourself and your family, 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 are important and the results you obtain 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 Detroit, it's time to make a wise decision and contact us right away for outstanding legal representation.