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Shoplifting Lawyer Grand Rapids

Searching for a Shoplifting Defense Lawyer for Your Grand Rapids Area Case?

Having a court date in the Grand Rapids area for a shoplifting charge (also known as retail fraud) does not make you a bad person.  In fact, shoplifting is an often charged and prosecuted offense, but it usually is based upon a momentary lapse in otherwise good judgment.  However, just because shoplifting accusations are frequently charged and prosecuted, it does not mean that there are not serious consequences or that it will not affect your life in some type of bad way, because any criminal record for shoplifting can have many potential damaging consequences.  The consequences of a shoplifting conviction potentially includes: the loss of freedom (incarceration); probation with stringent strictly enforced 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/damage to reputation, etc.  If you need to go to Court for a shoplifting charge anywhere in Kent County, you need a top notch criminal defense lawyer who will fight to protect you, your interests, and your way of life.

There are several different types of shoplifting under Michigan law: the classic situation when store merchandise 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 criminal offenses for alleged shoplifting in or near the Grand Rapids area, including:

First Degree Retail Fraud is a felony charge that carries up to a 5 year maximum prison sentence [there is no mandatory minimum period of required 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 [there is no mandatory minimum period of required incarceration].  The offense of Organized Retail Theft occurs in Michigan when the alleged intent of the Defendant is to shoplifting and to resell the stolen merchandise to another person or business for financial gain.

Second Degree Retail Fraud is a misdemeanor charge that carries up to a 1 year maximum county jail sentence 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 [there is no mandatory minimum period of required incarceration].  

Third Degree Retail Fraud is a misdemeanor charge that carries up to a 93 day maximum county jail sentence that is prosecuted under either State law or local ordinance, when the merchandise involved in the offense is less than $200 (two hundred dollars) [there is no mandatory minimum period of required incarceration].

Removal of a Theft Detection Device is a misdemeanor charges that carries up to a 365 day maximum county jail sentence under State law [there is no mandatory minimum period of required incarceration].

Hire a Highly Respected Criminal Defense Attorney that Specializes in the Defense of Retail Fraud Accusations

Many shopping malls and major retail stores have well established loss prevention related procedures with the goal of reducing retail fraud losses, reducing high insurance costs, avoiding contested and costly litigation, and deterring theft.  It is not uncommon for a shopping mall or major retail store to hire a well trained asset prevention team and use theft detection equipment with the latest technology (closed circuit television, high resolution video, sensor tags, etc.) to combat the costs and liabilities associated with shoplifting.  Even with great technology and thorough employee training, mistakes are still made and persons are still sometimes falsely arrested due to errors in judgment (false identification of a suspect, false interpretation of a situation, etc.), cultural issues, and procedural errors - all of which can potentially lead to obtaining an acquittal, dismissal, or negotiating for a great result.

Your criminal defense legal counsel for your shoplifting case 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, your legal counsel can request a trial date in front of a Judge or jury, or seek a resolution of the case on your behalf through a plea or plea bargain if this is what you want to do.  Resolving your shoplifting accusation short of trial may involve a plea bargain (an agreement with the prosecution to dismiss, expunge, or reduce the charge(s) against you) or a sentence agreement (an agreement with the Judge [such as a Cobbs or Killebrew agreement] to impose a specific sentence in exchange for a guilty or no contest plea, such as avoiding or limiting any confinement).  The wisest choice, when it comes to your shoplifting defense, is to hire an experienced top tier criminal defense attorney to help you obtain the best possible result for your facts and circumstances.  Again, a shoplifting conviction will likely affect your life in a very bad way, including making it extremely hard to find a job or establish a great career, because many employers do not want to risk hiring someone convicted of stealing.  It is time to start making some wise choices for yourself and your family and hire top rated criminal defense attorney Daniel Hilf to defend your shoplifting case.  Attorney Hilf is an impassioned, aggressive, no nonsense criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years of experience inside and outside of courtrooms helping clients obtain outstanding results for shoplifting and other theft accusations.  

If you have been accused of any shoplifting related crime in or near Grand Rapids Michigan, it's time to make an impactful decision to contact us right away to begin your best defense.