Retail Fraud Attorney Rochester MI
Being arrested or receiving a ticket 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 regularly prosecuted offense by both Oakland County and city of Rochester prosecutors, but it is often based only upon an single incident due to a momentary lapse in judgment. However, just because retail fraud accusations are commonly heard in Court, 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 can have a long lasting impact. The Judge's sentence for a retail fraud conviction may lead to the following: the loss of your freedom (incarceration); probation with strict conditions; loss of job opportunities; professional licensing issues (for lawyers, accountants, nurses, stock brokers, etc.); loss of educational opportunities; steep fines and costs; immigration complications (for persons that are not United States citizens); and personal embarrassment. If you are faced with a retail fraud charge, you need a respected and capable criminal defense attorney who will aggressively fight for the best result.
There are several different behaviors that all can result in a shoplifting charge: 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 felony and misdemeanor retail theft offenses that are commonly prosecuted in the State of Michigan, including:
First Degree Retail Fraud is a felony charge that carries up to a 5 year maximum prison sentence (the Judge, however, has the ability to impose no 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 (the Judge, however, has the ability to impose no 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 (the Judge, however, has the ability to impose no 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 (the Judge, however, has the ability to impose no 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 1 year maximum county jail sentence (the Judge, however, has the ability to impose no incarceration) under Michigan law.
Hire a Top Rated Lawyer in Oakland County that Specializes in the Defense of Retail Fraud Charges
Many retail stores have implemented well thought out 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 retail stores to hire and train asset protection personnel and use sophisticated shoplifting prevention equipment (sensors, closed circuit television, etc.) to combat the costs and liabilities associated with retail fraud. Even with the most up to date shoplifting prevention equipment and hours of employee training, mistakes are still made and persons are still sometimes falsely arrested due to errors in judgment (false identification, false interpretation of a situation, etc.), cultural issues, and procedural errors.
If you retain an experienced retail fraud defense 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 and fight for a great outcome, or accept a plea or plea bargain and try and persuade the Judge to be lenient. Resolving your retail fraud accusation may include reaching a plea bargain (an agreement with the prosecution to dismiss 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 term of confinement).
Your next decision should be to hire an aggressive retail fraud defense attorney to help you obtain the best possible result for your circumstances. As stated previously, 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 Rochester Michigan and throughout Oakland County - attorney Daniel Hilf - to properly and fully defend you. He is an impassioned, widely known criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years of experience inside and outside of courtrooms helping clients fight for great results for shoplifting accusations. Choose an experienced criminal defense lawyer that has the confidence and ability to handle your case the right way from start to finish!
If you have been accused of a theft offense in Rochester Michigan or elsewhere, it's time to make an impactful, intelligent, and wise decision to contact us right away.