Retail Fraud Attorney Washtenaw County
Being arrested, ticketed, or otherwise having to go before a Judge or Magistrate for a Washtenaw County retail fraud charge does not make you a bad person. In fact, retail fraud is a frequently prosecuted offense in Washtenaw County by the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office and local city/community prosecutors, but it is often only based upon an isolated incident from a temporary lapse in good judgment. However, just because shoplifting accusations are frequently prosecuted in Washtenaw County courtrooms (the 14A District Court, the 14B District Court, 15th District Court, and the 22nd Circuit Court), it does not mean that there are not serious consequences or that it will not affect your life in some type of negative manner, because any type of criminal record for a retail theft offense can have many potential damaging repercussions. The negative consequences of a Washtenaw County shoplifting conviction may include: the loss of your freedom (serving time in custody); probation with strict, inconvenient 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); embarrassment, etc. If you need to appear in a Washtenaw County District or Circuit Court for a retail fraud charge, you need experienced and dedicated legal representation who will fight to protect you and your future.
There are several different theories in which both the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office and local city/community prosecutors can allege you committed an act of retail fraud: when merchandise from a store is stolen or an attempt to steal store merchandise is made; 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 fraud offenses prosecuted in Washtenaw County Michigan on a reoccurring basis, including:
First Degree Retail Fraud is a felony charge that carries up to a 5 year maximum prison sentence (it is important to know that the Judge can opt not to impose any incarceration at his/her discretion) 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 (it is important to know that the Judge can opt not to impose any incarceration at his/her discretion), that is also subject to applicable habitual offender sentencing provisions. The charge is sought by Washtenaw County at other County Prosecutors when they believe that 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 (it is important to know that the Judge can opt not to impose any incarceration at his/her discretion), 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 (it is important to know that the Judge can opt not to impose any incarceration at his/her discretion), 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 (it is important to know that the Judge can opt not to impose any incarceration at his/her discretion).
Hire a Top Rated Defense Lawyer that Specializes in the Defense of Shoplifting Accusations in Washtenaw County
Many stores always request that retail fraud cases are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law because they have implemented strict loss prevention related procedures that seek, through prosecutions, to reduce retail fraud losses, reduce insurance costs, and to deter store theft. It is not uncommon for many stores in Washtenaw County to hire and train asset protection personnel and to use theft detection devices with up to date technology to combat the costs and liabilities associated with retail fraud. Even with the most up to date and thorough employee training methods and the use of the latest surveillance equipment, mistakes are still made and persons are still sometimes falsely arrested due to errors in judgment (such as the false identification of a suspect, false interpretation of a situation), cultural issues, and procedural errors.
If you make the wise decision to have lawyer Daniel Hilf represent you for your Washtenaw 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. Ultimately, you will make a decision (with great advice and strong counsel from your attorney) to either fight your case at 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 your background, age, and the particular facts and circumstances of the case) you can even avoid having a retail fraud conviction appear on your background through plea bargaining, diversion programs, and pleas under advisement.
Make the right and proper decision to retain experienced defense lawyer Daniel Hilf to help you obtain the best possible result under your circumstances for your shoplifting ticket or arrest. Again, a shoplifting conviction will likely cause you many problems, including making it very difficult to find a well paying job or to establish your desired career, because many prospective employers do not want to risk hiring someone convicted of stealing. Retain Washtenaw County shoplifting defense specialist Daniel Hilf to aggressively and impactfully defend you, because he is an impassioned and talented criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years of experience inside and outside of courtrooms helping clients obtain great results for retail fraud and other theft accusations.
If you have been accused of retail fraud or any theft related crime in Washtenaw County, the right time is now to make an impactful decision regarding your legal representation by contacting us for help right away.
The defense of retail fraud in Washtenaw County Michigan includes individuals from the following communities:
The cities of Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Milan, Saline, and Ypsilanti;
The townships of Ann Arbor, Augusta, Bridgewater, Dexter, Freedom, Lima, Lodi, Lyndon, Manchester, Northfield, Pittsfield, Salem, Saline, Scio, Sharon, Superior, Sylvan, Webster, York, and Ypsilanti;
The villages of Barton Hills and Manchester;
The communities of Bridgewater, Dixboro, Delhi, Geddes, Mooreville, Rawsonville, Stoney Creek, Whitmore Lake, Whittaker, and Willis.
The defense of retail fraud accusations in Washtenaw County occurs at the following Court locations: 14A District Court (at either of the following locations: 122 S Main Street, Chelsea 48118; 4133 Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor 48107; and 1000 N. Maple Road in Saline 48176); the 14B District Court (7200 South Huron River Drive in Ypsilanti 48197); the 15th District Court (301 East Huron Street in Ann Arbor 48197); and the 22nd Circuit Court (101 East Huron Street in Ann Arbor 48107). It is extremely important that you appear on time and on the correct date for any Court date, at the location specified in any type of notice that you receive. For retail fraud cases the best course of action is to retain counsel prior to any scheduled court date to properly represent you (if you have the financial ability to do so).