Retail Fraud Attorney Farmington MI
Being prosecuted for retail fraud (also known as shoplifting) does not make you a bad person. In fact, retail fraud is commonly prosecuted in Farmington Michigan, but it is often just an isolated incident due to a momentary lapse in judgment. However, just because retail fraud is commonly charged and prosecuted does not mean it is not serious or that it will not affect your life in some type of manner. Any criminal record for retail fraud or theft 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 Farmington Michigan, you need a top notch criminal defense lawyer who will fight to protect your interests and way of life.
Retail fraud is prosecuted in several different fashions: 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 for alleged criminal conduct in Farmington, including:
First Degree Retail Fraud is a felony that carries a 5 year maximum prison sentence (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 felony that carries a 5 year maximum prison sentence (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 that carries a 1 year maximum county jail sentence, 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 that carries a 93 day maximum county jail sentence, 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 that carries either up to 1 year in jail (under State law) or a 93 day maximum jail sentence (under local ordinance).
Hire a Respected Criminal Defense Lawyer that Specializes in the Defense of Retail Fraud Charges
Many Farmington Michigan shoplifting cases involve national chains stores. All major retail national chains have established store procedures with the goal of reducing retail fraud losses, reducing insurance costs, avoiding litigation, and deterring theft. It is not uncommon for a store to hire well trained lost prevention personnel and use theft detection devices with the latest technology (sensor devices, closed circuit television, etc.) to combat the costs and liabilities associated with retail theft. Even with the latest technology and hours of employee training, mistakes are still made and persons are still sometimes falsely arrested. The mistakes can be based upon errors in judgment (false identification of a suspect, etc.), cultural issues, and procedural errors - all of which can potentially lead to obtaining an acquittal, dismissal, or negotiating a great result.
An attorney working on your behalf 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. At Court your lawyer can request a trial date in front of a Judge or jury, or seek a resolution of the case on your behalf through a plea. Settling your retail fraud 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). A wise decision, when it comes to your retail fraud case, is to hire an experienced top rated criminal defense attorney 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 extremely difficult to find a job or establish a career, because many employers do not want to risk hiring someone with any type of theft history. It is time to make a great decision and hire top rated and respected criminal defense attorney Daniel Hilf, who is an impassioned, aggressive lawyer with over 20 years of experience inside and outside of courtrooms helping clients obtain outstanding results for shoplifting accusations. You and your future are very important and results are what count, so choose your lawyer wisely!
If you have been accused of retail fraud in or near Farmington Michigan, it's time to make an impactful decision to contact us right away for outstanding legal representation.