Retail Fraud Attorney Pontiac MI
Having to go to a Pontiac Court (50th District Court or 6th Circuit Court) for a retail fraud charge (also known as retail theft or shoplifting) does not make you a bad person. In fact, retail fraud is a frequently prosecuted offense by both Oakland County and city of Pontiac prosecutors, but it is often only based upon an isolated incident due to a momentary lapse in judgment. However, just because retail fraud accusations are frequently prosecuted, it does not mean that there are not serious consequences or that it will not affect your life in a bad way, because any criminal record for shoplifting theft can have a lasting impact. The outcome of a conviction for retail fraud may include: the loss of your freedom (incarceration); probation with strict conditions; loss of job opportunities; professional licensing issues (for doctors, lawyers, accountants, nurses, etc.); loss of educational opportunities; steep fines and costs; immigration complications (for persons that are not United States citizens); and personal embarrassment. If you need to go to the 50th District Court or 6th Circuit Court for a retail fraud charge, you need a top notch defense attorney who will aggressively fight for the best result.
There are several different ways that Oakland County and city of Pontiac prosecutors accuse people with retail fraud: when store merchandise is stolen or an attempt to steal store merchandise is made by one or more individuals; 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 theft offenses prosecuted in Michigan, including:
First Degree Retail Fraud is a felony charge that carries up to a 5 year maximum prison sentence (there is no mandatory term of incarceration that a Judge is obligated to impose by law) 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 term of incarceration that a Judge is obligated to impose by law), 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 term of incarceration that a Judge is obligated to impose by law), 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 term of incarceration that a Judge is obligated to impose by law), 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 term of incarceration that a Judge is obligated to impose by law) that is prosecuted under State law.
Hire a Well Respected Oakland County Lawyer that Specializes in the Defense of Retail Fraud Charges
Many merchants and businesses have implemented loss prevention related procedures with the goal of reducing retail fraud losses and insurance costs, avoiding litigation, and deterring store theft. It is not uncommon for merchants and businesses to hire trained asset protection personnel and use sophisticated theft detection equipment (sensors, closed circuit television, etc.) to combat the costs and liabilities associated with retail fraud. Even with the most up to date technology and 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, false interpretation of a situation, etc.), cultural issues, and procedural errors.
If you retain the right lawyer, he or she 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 can either go to trial trial in front of a Judge or jury, or accept a plea or plea bargain. Resolving your retail fraud accusation without a going through a trial may involve reaching a plea bargain (an agreement with the prosecution to dismiss, expunge, or reduce the charge(s) against you) or reaching a sentence agreement (an agreement with the Judge and/or prosecutor to impose a specific sentence, such as avoiding or limiting any confinement). Before you do anything further, make the decision to hire an aggressive retail fraud defense attorney to help you obtain the best possible result for your circumstances. Again, a shoplifting conviction will likely cause you many problems throughout your life, including making it extremely difficult to find a job or career, because many employers do not want to risk hiring someone convicted of theft. Retain the leading attorney for retail fraud cases in Michigan - attorney Daniel Hilf - to defend you. He is an impassioned, aggressive, and zealous criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years of experience inside and outside of courtrooms helping clients obtain great results for shoplifting accusations. Choose a lawyer that has the confidence and ability to handle your case the right way!
If you have been accused of a theft offense in Michigan, it's time to make an impactful and intelligent decision to contact us right away for your best defense.