Retail Fraud Attorney Royal Oak MI
Receiving a ticket or being arrested for a retail fraud charge does not make you a bad person. In fact, retail fraud is a regularly prosecuted offense by both Royal Oak and Oakland County prosecutors, but it is often based only upon an single incident of shoplifting due to a temporary lapse in judgment. However, just because shoplifting accusations are commonly heard at the 44th District Court (in Royal Oak) or 6th Circuit Court (in Pontiac for felony cases that are bound over from District 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. A retail fraud sentence may include and/or cause 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, experienced, top level criminal defense attorney who will aggressively fight for the best result.
There are several different behaviors that all can result in a retail theft 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 changed to a lower price; 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 Royal Oak and throughout the State of Michigan, which include:
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 not impose any jail or prison time) 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 not impose any jail or prison time), that is also subject to applicable habitual offender sentencing provisions. The offense occurs when the Defendant's alleged intent 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 not impose any jail time), 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 not impose any jail time), 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 not impose any jail time) under State law.
Hire a Top Rated Lawyer near Royal Oak that Specializes in the Defense of Shoplifting Accusations
Many stores across the United States 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 stores to employ a team of asset protection personnel and use sophisticated shoplifting prevention equipment (merchandise sensors, closed circuit television, etc.) to combat the costs and liabilities associated with retail fraud. Even with the most up to date technology and rigorous asset protection 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 hire a retail fraud defense lawyer with experience, he or she will obtain all the available discovery materials to fully and properly defend you, 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. It is your choice to have a 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. The process of resolving your retail fraud accusation may include seeking a plea bargain (an agreement with the prosecution to dismiss or reduce the charge(s) against you) or seeking 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 first decision should be to immediately hire a zealous and aggressive retail fraud defense lawyer to help you obtain the best possible result for your circumstances. As stated earlier, a retail fraud conviction will likely cause you many difficult problems throughout your life, including making it extremely hard to find a job or career, because many employers do not want to risk hiring someone convicted of theft. Retain the leading defense lawyer for retail fraud cases in Royal Oak Michigan and throughout Oakland County - attorney Daniel Hilf - to help you. He is an impassioned, widely known criminal defense attorney with over twenty years of experience inside and outside of courtrooms helping clients fight for great results.
If you have been accused of stealing merchandise from a store in Royal Oak Michigan or elsewhere, it's time to make an impactful, intelligent, and wise decision to contact Hilf & Hilf, PLC right away.