Shoplifting Lawyer Sterling Heights
Looking for Sterling Heights Lawyer Who Specializes in Defending Shoplifting Accusations?
If you’ve been charged with shoplifting in Sterling Heights, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who is 100% in your corner. No matter if your accusation is from Lakeside Mall, a national retailer, or a local Sterling Heights business we can help you fight for a great result. Attorney Daniel Hilf has the experience you need at the 41A District Court, the 16th Circuit Court, and throughout Macomb county defending shoplifting charges. Contact attorney Hilf for immediate action.
Facing a shoplifting allegation in Sterling Heights does not make you a bad person. In fact, shoplifting 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 lapse in otherwise good judgment. However, just because shoplifting accusations are commonly heard at the 41A District Court, the 16th Circuit Court, and other courthouses, 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 in Macomb County may include and/or cause any or all of the following: the loss of your freedom (incarceration); probation with strict and burdensome conditions; loss of employment and employment opportunities; 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 a shoplifting accusation, you should not hesitate to seek legal help.
There are several different alleged actions taken by an individual that can lead to a shoplifting 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. Criminal shoplifting offenses that are commonly prosecuted in Sterling Heights and Macomb County include:
First Degree Retail Fraud is a felony charge that carries up to a 5 year maximum prison sentence 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 that is prosecuted when the merchandise involved is $1,000 (one thousand dollars) [the Judge is not required to place the Defendant in jail or prison].
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]. The offense of Organized Retail Theft 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; the theory is that the Defendant created an illicit business to gain profit through shoplifting.
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 Judge is not required to place the Defendant in jail or prison].
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 Judge is not required to place the Defendant in jail or prison].
Removal of a Theft Detection Device is a misdemeanor charges that carries up to a 365 day maximum county jail sentence that is prosecuted under State law [the Judge is not required to place the Defendant in jail or prison].
Hire an Experienced Lawyer Who Specializes in Defending Shoplifting Accusations at the 41A District Court and 16th Circuit Court
Both nationally based stores 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 contested litigation, and deterring in store theft. It is not uncommon for a team of loss prevention personnel with shoplifting prevention equipment (merchandise sensors, closed circuit television, cameras, etc.) to be used to combat the costs and liabilities associated with shoplifting. Even with great technology and comprehensive 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 take immediate steps to 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 your choice to have a trial in front of your Judge or a jury you select 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 to decide 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 top and immediate priority is to hire an experienced and confident shoplifting defense lawyer to help you obtain the best possible result for your circumstances. As stated earlier, a shoplifting conviction will likely cause you a mountain of problems in addition to the possible criminal penalties, including making it extremely hard to find a job or a great career, because many companies do not want to risk hiring someone convicted of shoplifting. Retain a leading retail defense lawyer for your Sterling Heights case - attorney Daniel Hilf - to help you fight for your best result. He is a widely respected attorney with over twenty years of experience inside and outside of courtrooms throughout Macomb County helping individuals like yourself defend shoplifting charges.
If you have been accused of shoplifting 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 to present your best defense.