Shoplifting Lawyer Ingham County
Having to appear in Court for a Ingham County Michigan shoplifting (retail fraud) arrest or ticket does not make you a bad person. In fact, shoplifting is prosecuted daily in Ingham County Michigan by the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office and local city/community prosecutors, but it is often only based upon a single incident of theft due to a momentary lapse in good judgment. However, just because shoplifting is prosecuted daily in Ingham County courtrooms, it does not mean that there are not serious potential results or that it will not affect your life, because any shoplifting offense can have many damaging and long term repercussions. The results of such a conviction may include: the loss of freedom (serving a period of incarceration at the discretion of the Judge); 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); embarrassment, etc. If you need to appear in any Ingham County Court (54A District Court, 54B District Court, 55th District Court, or the 30th Circuit Court), for a shoplifting charge, you need experienced legal representation who will fight to protect you and your future.
There are several legal theories in which both the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office and local city/community prosecutors can allege that you committed shoplifting: 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 shoplifting offenses commonly prosecuted in Ingham County Michigan, including:
First Degree Retail Fraud is a felony charge that carries up to a 5 year maximum prison sentence 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 [the decision to incarcerate is discretionary with the Judge].
Organized Retail Theft is felony charge that carries up to a 5 year maximum prison sentence that is also subject to applicable habitual offender sentencing provisions [the decision to incarcerate is discretionary with the Judge]. The charge of Organized Retail Theft is sought by Ingham 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 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 [the decision to incarcerate is discretionary with the Judge].
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) [the decision to incarcerate is discretionary with the Judge].
Removal of a Theft Detection Device is a misdemeanor charges that carries up to a 365 day maximum county jail sentence under State law [again, the decision to incarcerate is discretionary with the Judge].
Hire a Top Defense Lawyer that Specializes in the Defense of Shoplifting Cases in Ingham County
Many Ingham County stores (especially national chain stores) demand prosecution to the fullest extent of the law because they have implemented strict loss prevention policies that seek, through prosecutions, to reduce retail fraud losses, reduce insurance costs, and to deter store theft. It is not uncommon for many Ingham County stores to take the time and money to train loss prevention personnel and to use expensive theft detection devices with up to date technology to guard against the costs and liabilities associated with shoplifting. Even with many hours of training and the best 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 represent you for your Ingham County shoplifting 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 all available discovery and discussing the case with your lawyer, you will have to make a decision to either fight your case at trial 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 shoplifting conviction sealed through a diversion program, plea bargaining, or pleas under advisement.
Retain lawyer Daniel Hilf to help you make the best out of your bad situation through great legal representation. Again, a shoplifting conviction will likely cause you many headaches, including employment issues, because many prospective employers do not want to risk hiring someone convicted of theft. Lawyer 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 accusations.
If you have been accused of shoplifting in Ingham County Michigan, the right time is now to make an impactful decision regarding your future by contacting us for help right away for great legal representation.
The defense of shoplifting in Ingham County Michigan includes individuals from the following places: The cities of East Lansing, Lansing, Leslie, Mason, and Williamston; the villages of Dansville, Stockbridge, and Webberville; the townships of Alaiedon, Aurelius, Bunker Hill, Delhi, Ingham, Lansing Charter, Leroy, Leslie, Locke, Meridian, Onondaga, Stockbridge, Vevay, Wheatfield, White Oak, and Williamstown; the communities of Edgemont Park, Fitchburg, Haslett, Holt, and Okemos.
Shoplifting accusations in Ingham County are defended in the following Court locations: 54A District Court (124 West Michigan Avenue in Lansing 48933); 54B District Court (101 Linden Street in East Lansing 48823); 55th District Court (700 Buhl Drive in Mason 48854); and the 30th Circuit Court (313 West Kalamazoo Street in Lansing 48901).