Retail Fraud Attorney Grand Rapids MI
Having to go to Court in the Grand Rapids area for a retail fraud charge (also known as shoplifting) does not make you a bad person. In fact, retail fraud is often charged and prosecuted, but it is often only an isolated incident due to a momentary lapse in judgment. However, just because retail fraud accusations are often charged and prosecuted, it does not mean that there are not serious repercussions or that it will not affect your life in some type of negative 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 (incarceration); probation with stringent conditions; loss of employment opportunities; professional licensing issues; loss of educational opportunities; steep fines; immigration complications (for persons that are not United States citizens); embarrassment, etc. If you need to go to Court for a retail fraud charge anywhere in Kent county Michigan, you need a top notch criminal defense lawyer who will fight to protect your interests and way of life.
There are several different types of retail fraud: the classic situation when store merchandise is stolen or an attempt to steal store merchandise is made; the price tag of the merchandise is intentionally misrepresented or changed; or 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 or near the Grand Rapids area, including:
First Degree Retail Fraud is a felony charge that carries up to a 5 year maximum prison sentence (there is no mandatory minimum term of incarceration) 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 (there is no mandatory minimum term of incarceration), 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 (there is no mandatory minimum term of incarceration), 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 (there is no mandatory minimum term of incarceration), 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 (there is no mandatory minimum term of incarceration) under State law.
Hire a Highly Respected Criminal Defense Attorney that Specializes in the Defense of Retail Fraud Accusations
Many shopping malls and major franchise 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 shopping mall or major franchise store to hire well trained lost prevention personnel and use theft detection devices with the latest technology (theft detection devices, closed circuit television, etc.) to combat the costs and liabilities associated with retail theft. Even with technology and employee training, mistakes are still made and persons are still sometimes falsely arrested due to errors in judgment (false identification of a suspect, false interpretation of a situation, 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 available discovery materials 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 legal counsel 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 or plea bargain. 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 [such as a Cobbs or Killebrew agreement] to impose a specific sentence, such as avoiding or limiting any confinement). The smart decision, when it comes to your retail fraud defense, 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 will likely affect your life in a negative way, including making it extremely difficult to find a job or establish a career, because many employers do not want to risk hiring someone convicted of stealing. It is time to make start making some smart choices for yourself and your family and hire top rated criminal defense attorney Daniel Hilf to defend you. Attorney Hilf is an impassioned, zealous criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years of experience inside and outside of courtrooms helping clients obtain outstanding results for retail fraud and other theft accusations. You and your future are very important so choose a lawyer that will go the extra mile to help you!
If you have been accused of any theft crime in or near Grand Rapids Michigan, it's time to make an impactful decision to contact us right away for outstanding criminal defense representation.