Retail Fraud Attorney Ferndale MI
Having to go to Court for a retail fraud charge (also known as shoplifting) does not make you a bad person. In fact, retail fraud is frequently prosecuted in Ferndale Michigan, but it is often just an isolated incident due to a momentary lapse in judgment. However, just because retail fraud accusations are frequently charged and prosecuted, it does not mean that it is not serious or that it will not affect your life in some type of manner, because any criminal record for retail fraud or theft can have many potential damaging consequences. The consequences of a retail fraud conviction potentially include: 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 need to go to Court for a retail fraud charge in Ferndale Michigan, you need a top notch criminal defense lawyer who will fight to protect your interests and way of life.
There are several ways under the law in which retail fraud occurs: 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 a few different felony and misdemeanor retail fraud offenses prosecuted for alleged shoplifting in Ferndale, including:
First Degree Retail Fraud is a felony charge that carries up to 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 charge that carries up to 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 charge that carries up to 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 charge that carries up to 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 charges that carries up to a 365 day maximum county jail sentence that is prosecuted under State law.
Hire a Highly Respected Criminal Defense Attorney that Specializes in the Defense of Retail Fraud Accusations
Many stores have established loss prevention related procedures with the goal of reducing retail fraud losses, reducing insurance costs, avoiding litigation, and deterring theft. It is not uncommon for a larger store or national chain 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 cutting edge technology and many hours of employee training, mistakes are still made and persons are still sometimes falsely arrested due to 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 for a great result.
Your criminal defense legal counsel 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. Ultimately, your defense attorney 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. Resolving your retail fraud accusation short of trial 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 and well reasoned decision, when it comes to your shoplifting case, is to hire an experienced top tier criminal defense attorney to help you obtain the best possible result for your circumstances. Again, a shoplifting conviction can have a lifetime of negative 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 for yourself and your family and hire top rated and respected criminal defense attorney Daniel Hilf to defend you. Attorney Hilf is an impassioned, aggressive lawyer with over 20 years of experience inside and outside of courtrooms helping clients obtain outstanding results for shoplifting and other accusations. You and your future are very important so choose a lawyer that will fight for you and your outcome!
If you have been accused of retail fraud in or near Ferndale Michigan, it's time to make an impactful decision to contact us right away for outstanding criminal defense representation.