Retail Fraud Attorney St. Clair County
Having to appear in a St. Clair County Michigan courtroom for a retail fraud (shoplifting) arrest or ticket does not make you a bad person. In fact, retail fraud is routinely prosecuted in St. Clair County Michigan by the St. Clair County Prosecutor's Office and local city/community prosecutors, but it is often only based upon an isolated incident from a momentary lapse in good judgment. However, just because retail fraud is regularly prosecuted in St. Clair County courtrooms, it does not mean that there are not serious consequences or that it will not affect your life, because any criminal record for a shoplifting offense can have many damaging long term repercussions. The consequences of a retail fraud conviction may include: the loss of your freedom (serving a period of incarceration at the discretion of the Judge assigned to your case); probation with many inconvenient and sometimes tough 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); personal embarrassment/damage to reputation, etc. If you need to appear in any St. Clair County Court for a retail fraud charge, you need excellent legal representation who will fight to protect you and your future.
The St. Clair County Prosecutor's Office and local city/community prosecutors can allege that you committed an act of retail fraud under the following theories: when merchandise from a retail store is stolen or an attempt to steal store merchandise is made; the price tag of the merchandise is intentionally misrepresented or intentionally changed; or merchandise is fraudulently exchanged for money or fraudulently exchanged for other store merchandise. There are a number of different felony and misdemeanor retail fraud offenses prosecuted daily in St. Clair County Michigan, including:
First Degree Retail Fraud is a felony charge that carries up to a 5 year maximum prison sentence (the minimum sentence is zero, meaning that any incarceration is solely up to the Judge) 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 minimum sentence is zero, meaning that any incarceration is solely up to the Judge), that is also subject to applicable habitual offender sentencing provisions. The charge is sought by St. Clair County Prosecutors when they have reason to believe that the intent of the accused is to commit a retail fraud and to generate proceeds by reselling 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 (he minimum sentence is zero, meaning that any incarceration is solely up to the Judge), 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 minimum sentence is zero, meaning that any incarceration is solely up to the Judge), 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 (the minimum sentence is zero, meaning that any incarceration is solely up to the Judge).
Hire a Top Defense Lawyer that Specializes in the Defense of Shoplifting Cases in St. Clair County
Many stores (especially national chain stores) demand that prosecution occurs because they have implemented a loss prevention policy that seeks, through prosecutions, to reduce retail fraud losses, reduce insurance costs, and to deter store theft. It is not uncommon for many stores in St Clair County to take the time to train asset protection personnel and to employ expensive theft detection devices to guard against the costs and liabilities associated with shoplifting. Even with rigorous training and the top of the line surveillance equipment, mistakes are still made and persons are still occasionally falsely arrested due to errors in judgment (such as the false identification of a suspect or the false interpretation of a situation), cultural issues, and procedural errors.
If you choose to make a great investment in your future by having attorney Daniel Hilf fully represent you for your St. Clair 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. After reviewing the discovery and discussing the case with your lawyer, you will have to make a decision to stand 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 the particular facts and circumstances of the case, your age, and your background) you can avoid having a retail fraud conviction or have your conviction sealed through plea bargaining, a plea under advisement, or through a diversion program.
Retain lawyer Daniel Hilf to help you make the best out of your bad situation through his legal experience and legal acumen. Again, a retail fraud conviction may cause you future problems, including employment issues, because many prospective employers do not want to risk hiring someone convicted of stealing. Attorney Daniel Hilf is an impassioned criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years of experience inside and outside of courtrooms helping clients obtain great results for shoplifting and other theft accusations.
If you have been accused of shoplifting or any theft crime in St. Clair County Michigan, the right time is now to make an impactful decision regarding your legal representation by contacting Hilf & Hilf, PLC for help.
The defense of retail fraud in St. Clair County Michigan includes individuals from the following places:
The cities of Algonac, Marine City, Marysville, Memphis, Port Huron, Richmond, St. Clair, and Yale;
The villages of Capac and Emmett;
The townships of Berlin, Brockway, Burtchville, Casco, China, Clay, Clyde, Columbus, Cottrellville, East China, Emmett, Fort Gratiot, Grantm Greenwood, Ira, Kenockee, Kimball, Lynn, Mussey, Port Huron, Riley, St. Clair, and Wales;
The communities of Abbottsford, Adair, Allenton, Anchorville, Atkins, Avoca, Avalon Beach, Bedore, Belle River, Berville, Blaine, Broadbridge Station, Brockway, Casco, Cherry Beach, Clays Landing, Columbis, Copeland Corner, Fair Haven, Fargo, Forster, Gardendale, Grande Pointe, Goodells, Hawthorne, Jeddo, Kimball, Keewahdin, Lakeport, Lambs, Lesterville, Maple Leaf, Martindale Beach, Miller, Muirs, Muttonville, North Lakeport, North Street, Pearl Beach, Perch Point, Peters, Pointe aux Tremble, Rattle Run, Riley Center, Riverside, Roberts Landing, Ruby, Sans Souci, Smiths Creek, Snyderville, South Park, Sparlingville, Starville, Tappan, THornton, Wadhams, Wales, and West Tappan.
The defense of retail fraud accusations in St. Clair County occurs at the following Court locations: 72nd District Court (at 201 McMorran Boulevard in Port Huron 48060 or at 2088 South Parker in Marine City 48039) and the 31st Circuit Court (at 201 McMorran Boulevard in Port Huron 48060).
It is important that you appear on time and on the correct date, at the location specified in any type of notice that you receive (in Court, by telephone, from your lawyer, from a police officer, in the mail, etc.) to appear before a Judge. For all theft related charges the best course of action to take is to hire your lawyer prior to any scheduled court date to properly and fully represent you (if you have the financial ability to do so).