Retail Fraud Attorney Livingston County
Being arrested, ticketed, or otherwise having to go to Court for a Livingston County Michigan retail fraud charge does not make you a bad person. In fact, retail fraud is a frequently prosecuted offense in Livingston County by the Livingston County Prosecutor's Office and local city/community prosecutors, but it is often only based upon an isolated incident from a temporary lapse in judgment. However, just because shoplifting accusations are frequently prosecuted in Livingston County courtrooms (the 53rd District Courts in Howell and Brighton, and the 44th Circuit Court in Howell), it does not mean that there are not serious consequences or that it will not affect your life in some type of negative manner, because any type of criminal record for a theft offense can have many potential damaging repercussions. The negative consequences of a Livingston County shoplifting conviction may include: the loss of your freedom; probation with strict, inconvenient conditions; loss of employment opportunities; professional licensing issues; loss of educational opportunities; steep fines and costs; immigration complications (for persons that are not United States citizens); embarrassment, etc. If you need to appear in a Livingston County District or Circuit Court for a retail fraud charge, you need experienced and dedicated legal representation who will fight to protect you and your way of life.
There are several different ways in which both the Livingston County Prosecutor's Office and local city/community prosecutors can allege you committed an act of retail fraud: 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 in Livingston County Michigan on a daily and frequent basis, including:
First Degree Retail Fraud is a felony charge that carries up to a 5 year maximum prison sentence (it is important to know that there is no mandatory amount of incarceration that a Judge is obligated to impose) 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 (it is important to know that there is no mandatory amount of incarceration that a Judge is obligated to impose), that is also subject to applicable habitual offender sentencing provisions. The charge is sought by Livingston County Prosecutors when they believe that 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 (it is important to know that there is no mandatory amount of incarceration that a Judge is obligated to impose), 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 (it is important to know that there is no mandatory amount of incarceration that a Judge is obligated to impose), 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 under State law (it is important to know that there is no mandatory amount of incarceration that a Judge is obligated to impose).
Hire a Leading Defense Lawyer that Specializes in the Defense of Retail Fraud Accusations in Livingston County
Many merchants and retail stores always want retail fraud cases to be prosecuted because they have implemented strict loss prevention related procedures that seek, through prosecutions, to reduce retail fraud losses, reduce insurance costs, and to deter store theft. It is not uncommon for many merchants and retail stores in Livingston County to hire asset protection personnel and to use theft detection devices with up to date technology to combat the costs and liabilities associated with shoplifting. Even with the most sophisticated employee training methods and the use of the latest advanced surveillance equipment, mistakes are still made and persons are still sometimes falsely arrested due to errors in judgment (such as the false identification of a suspect, false interpretation of a situation), cultural issues, and procedural errors.
If you make the sound decision to retain lawyer Daniel Hilf for your Livingston County retail fraud case, he 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, you will have to make a decision (with advice and counsel from your attorney) to either fight your case at trial in front of a Judge or jury, or to resolve the case through a plea or plea bargain (if a plea bargain is offered). In some instances (depending upon your age, background, and the facts and circumstances of the case) you can even avoid having a retail fraud conviction through plea bargaining, diversion programs, and pleas under advisement.
Make the right decision for you and your family to retain top tier defense lawyer Daniel Hilf to help you obtain the best possible result for your circumstances. Again, a retail theft conviction will likely cause you many problems well into your future, including making it very difficult to find a well paying job or to establish a desired career, because many prospective employers do not want to risk hiring someone convicted of a theft offense. Retain top tier Livingston County shoplifting defense specialist Daniel Hilf to properly defend you, because he is an impassioned, respected, and talented criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years of experience inside and outside of courtrooms helping clients obtain great results for retail fraud and other theft accusations.
If you have been accused of any theft crime anywhere in Livingston County, the right time is now to make an impactful decision regarding your legal representation by contacting us right away.
The defense of retail fraud in Livingston County Michigan includes individuals from the following communities:
The cities of Brighton and Howell;
The townships of Brighton, Cohoctah, Conway, Deerfield, Genoa, Green Oak, Hamburg, Handy, Hartland, Howell, Iosco, Marion, Oceola, Putnam, Tyrone, Unadilla;
The villages of Fowlerville, Pinckney;
The communities of Anderson, Bullis Crossing, Chalkerville, Chilson, Cohoctah, Cohoctan Center, Deer Creek, Deerfield Center, Fleming, Green Oak, Hallers Corners, Hamburg, Hell, Island Lake, Kaiserville, Lakeland, Nicholson, Oak Grove, Parkers Corners, Parshallville, Plainfield, Pettysville, Rushton, Tyrone Center, Unadilla, Whitmore Lake, and Williamsville.
The defense of retail fraud accusations in Livingston County occurs at the following Court locations: 53rd District Court (at either 204 South Highlander Way, Howell 48843 or 224 N First Street, Brighton 48116); 44th Circuit Court (204 South Highlander Way, Howell 48843). It is important that you appear on time and on the right date for any Court date, at the location specified in any type of notice that you receive. For retail fraud cases it is highly recommended that you retain counsel prior to any scheduled court date (if you have the financial ability to do so).