Retail Fraud Attorney Sterling Heights MI
If you’ve been charged with misdemeanor or felony retail fraud in Sterling Heights, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who will fight for you. No matter if your accusation is from Lakeside Mall, a national chain retailer, or a local Sterling Heights business we can help. Get Hilf & Hilf, PLC on your side for swift action toward the obtaining positive results. We routinely appear at the 41A District Court, the 16th Circuit Court, and throughout Macomb county defending shoplifting charges.
Facing a retail fraud allegation does not make you a bad person. In fact, retail fraud is a regularly prosecuted offense by the Sterling Heights City Attorney and the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office, but it is often based only upon an single incident of attempted shoplifting due to a temporary lapse in judgment. However, just because shoplifting accusations are commonly heard in courtrooms in Sterling Heights 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 shoplifting sentence may include and/or cause any or all of the following: the loss of your freedom (incarceration); probation with strict conditions; loss of employment; 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 this accusation, you need a respected, experienced shoplifting defense attorney who is on your side.
There are several different alleged actions by an individual that can lead to a retail theft charge: when store merchandise is stolen or an attempt to steal store merchandise is made; the price tag of the merchandise is intentionally changed to a lower price to defraud the store; or merchandise is fraudulently exchanged in order to obtain money or other store merchandise. Felony and misdemeanor retail theft offenses that are commonly prosecuted in Sterling Heights include:
First Degree Retail Fraud is a felony charge that carries up to a 5 year maximum prison sentence (the Judge is not required to place the Defendant in jail or prison) 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 is not required to place the Defendant in jail or prison), that is also subject to applicable habitual offender sentencing provisions. The offense occurs when the prosecution believes that the alleged intent of the Defendant is to shoplift and then 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 is not required to place the Defendant in jail), 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 is not required to place the Defendant in jail), 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 (the Judge can elect not to impose any jail time), that is prosecuted under State law.
Hire a Top Rated Sterling Heights Lawyer Who Specializes in Defending Shoplifting Accusations
Many national and local merchants in Sterling Heights 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 a team of loss prevention personnel and sophisticated shoplifting prevention equipment (merchandise sensors, closed circuit television, etc.) to be used to combat the costs and liabilities associated with retail fraud. Even with the latest technology and loss prevention training for employees, 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.
Your lawyer should immediately try to 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 up to you to have a trial in front of a Judge or jury and fight the accusation, or to choose to accept a plea or plea bargain and try and persuade the Judge to be lenient with you. It is up to you if you want to seek a plea bargain (an agreement with the prosecution to dismiss or reduce the charge(s) against you) or seek a favorable 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 number one priority is to hire an experienced and confident 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 a mountain of problems in addition to the criminal penalties, including making it extremely hard to find a job or career, because many companies do not want to risk hiring someone convicted of theft. Retain a leading retail defense lawyer for your Sterling Heights case - attorney Daniel Hilf - to help you. He is a widely respected attorney with over twenty years of experience inside and outside of courtrooms helping individuals like yourself achieve favorable results.
If you have been accused of retail theft in Sterling Heights Michigan, now is the time to make an impactful, intelligent, and wise decision. Contact Hilf & Hilf, PLC right away for outstanding criminal defense representation.