Shoplifting Lawyer St. Clair County
Having to appear in a St. Clair County Michigan courtroom for a shoplifting (retail theft or retail fraud) arrest or ticket does not make you a bad person. In fact, retail fraud is regularly 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 judgment. However, just because retail fraud is routinely prosecuted in St. Clair County courtrooms, it does not mean that there are not serious consequences or that it will not negatively affect your life, because any criminal record for a shoplifting offense can have many damaging long term consequences. The repercussions of a shoplifting conviction may include: the loss of your freedom (serving a period in custody 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 shoplifting charge, you need great legal representation who will fight to protect you.
The St. Clair County Prosecutor's Office and local city/community prosecutors can pursue the following theories of 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 crimes 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 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 minimum sentence is zero, meaning that any incarceration is solely up to 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 minimum sentence is zero, meaning that any incarceration is solely up to the Judge]. The charge of Organized Retail Theft 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 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 minimum sentence is zero, meaning that any incarceration is solely up to 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 minimum sentence is zero, meaning that any incarceration is solely up to 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 minimum sentence is zero, meaning that any incarceration is solely up to the Judge].
Hire a Leading Defense Attorney that Specializes in the Defense of Shoplifting Cases in St. Clair County
Many stores (especially national chain stores) demand that criminal prosecutions occur because they have implemented a loss prevention policy that seeks, through prosecutions, to reduce retail fraud losses, reduce insurance costs, and to deter in store theft. It is not uncommon for many stores in St Clair County to take many hours to train asset protection personnel and to employ expensive theft detection devices to guard against the costs and liabilities associated with shoplifting and other store theft. Even with extensive training and the use of 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 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 the discovery materials and fully discussing the case with your attorney, you will have to make a decision to stand trial or to resolve the case through a plea or plea bargain (if a plea bargain is offered). In some cases (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 the plea bargaining process, a plea under advisement, or through a diversion program.
Engage the legal services of lawyer Daniel Hilf to help you make the best out of your bad situation through his legal experience and legal acumen. Again, a shoplifting conviction may cause you future problems, including employment issues, because many prospective employers do not want to risk hiring someone convicted of any type 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 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.
Shoplifting defense 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.
Shoplifting cases in St. Clair County are fought 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).