A Retail Fraud Criminal Charge is a felony or misdemeanor theft offense in Michigan!
In Michigan, shoplifting is referred to as retail fraud. A Michigan retail fraud case occurs when a person commits theft or an act of deception to obtain goods or services from any retail establishment. This can be done by using false pretenses, altering the price tags on items, falsifying discounts, and more. In all situations, the store must be open to the public.
The value of the property stolen determines the degree of retail fraud that is charged. The severity of the punishment for Michigan retail fraud charges also depends on whether or not the accused has any prior retail fraud convictions. A prior conviction can be used to enhance a shoplifting charge.
Talk to a retail fraud lawyer if you are facing a Michigan retail fraud case
A Michigan retail fraud charge can be a felony charge or a misdemeanor charge under Michigan law. A Michigan retail fraud case can be very complicated. Discussing the issue with a retail fraud lawyer is imperative to discuss your options. An experienced lawyer can be the difference between a criminal conviction and no criminal record.
Talk to a criminal defense lawyer at Bruce Law Firm who is experienced in defending retail fraud shoplifting cases. A conviction for Michigan retail fraud can have far-reaching consequences. It can affect a person’s employability and financial options.
The more severe the charges, the more significant the impact on a person’s life. A criminal conviction can damage your reputation and future employment opportunities.
Table of contents
- A Retail Fraud Criminal Charge is a felony or misdemeanor theft offense in Michigan!
- How many degrees of retail fraud are there in Michigan?
- Immigration Consequences for a Michigan Retail Fraud Conviction
- Contact a criminal defense attorney experienced at defending against retail fraud charges
What is a Michigan Retail Fraud?
Michigan Retail fraud can be defined as the act of stealing store property or merchandise from a retail outlet without paying for it. Retail fraud occurs in many ways. Most retail fraud takes place when a person steals goods from a store. The store must be open to the public, and the person stealing the property must intend to take the property.
However, altering, transferring, removing, and replacing items or property to misrepresent their sale price is also considered retail fraud. This often occurs when the person accused of Michigan retail fraud changes a price tag and attempts to purchase an item at a lower price. The store must be open for business when this occurs.
Finally, Michigan retail fraud might take the form of attempts to get money or property from the store as a return or exchange for goods that were not purchased. This is often an attempts to obtain cash by returning items you did not purchase. Again, the business or store must be operational and open for business.
What are the criminal penalties for Michigan retail fraud?
The criminal penalties for Michigan retail fraud depend on the degree of retail fraud you are charged under the Michigan penal code. Therefore, there are many factors in considering what sentence you will receive upon conviction on Michigan retail fraud charges listed under Michigan laws.
How many degrees of retail fraud are there in Michigan?
There are three degrees of Michigan retail fraud. The value of property or money attempted to be stolen the degree of the retail fraud. Prior convictions for retail fraud can also be used to enhance the degree of the offense.
What is Michigan Retail Fraud 1st Degree?
A 1st degree retail fraud charge qualifies as a felony in the state of Michigan. A first degree retail fraud conviction is a felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000.00 or three times the value of the stolen property and court costs. In addition, a person convicted can face up to 5 years in prison.
The prosecutor could charge someone with 1st degree of retail fraud if they attempted to steal an item available for sale to the public that has a value of over $1000.00. The store must be open to the public at the theft to be charged with retail fraud.
A first degree crime may also come upon someone who steals more minor than this amount but has a previous criminal record for shoplifting. So if the person accused has one or more prior convictions, they can be charged with a higher level offense.
What is Michigan Retail Fraud 2nd Degree?
With a 2nd degree retail fraud charge, a person will face stiff fines and jail time. A second degree retail fraud is committed when an individual steals something of value worth between $200.00 and $1,000.00.
A person could be charged with a 2nd degree of retail fraud if they stole merchandise valued at less than $200.00 and had a previous criminal record for Michigan retail fraud.
Second degree retail fraud in Michigan is a misdemeanor. A second degree retail fraud conviction is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. In addition, you can face a fine of up to $2,000.00 or three times the value of the stolen property in addition to court costs.
What is Michigan Retail Fraud 3nd Degree?
Third degree retail fraud will be charged in cases where the person steals property worth less than $200.00 and has no prior criminal record of Michigan retail fraud convictions.
Third degree retail fraud is the most common form of a shoplifting charge in that it has the lowest dollar amount and does not require prior retail fraud convictions. A third degree offense can involve stolen property of meager value. The key is the stolen property has to be available for sale to the public.
Other states treat shoplifting offenses as petty theft offenses. Thus, the criminal process is very similar across state lines in handling retail fraud shoplifting cases.
The penalty for a Michigan retail fraud 3rd degree conviction is 93 days in jail. It is also punishable by a fine of up to $500.00 or three times the value of the stolen property and court costs.
If you are charged with retail fraud, talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney
As with any criminal charge when you have a right to a trial. At trial, the prosecuting attorney has to present evidence and convince a jury that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Often this will involve testimony from store employees and loss prevention personnel.
A retail fraud lawyer can review the police reports with you and see any weaknesses in the case against you. The police report is one of the first things you will want to check with your lawyer. A not guilty verdict is possible with proper presentation of your criminal defense.
An experienced attorney can also help you negotiate a plea deal with the prosecuting attorney if you do not have a good case. Often charges can be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.
All of these forms of Michigan retail fraud have been represented by the Bruce Law Firm. We will work hard to get you a favorable result in all cases. Call today for a free consultation.
Is diversion or delayed sentencing available to avoid a criminal record?
Many Courts have diversionary programs available to help defendants avoid a criminal record. You want to consult with an attorney in the court system you are charged in to see what diversionary programs may be available in that jurisdiction.
Another common way a retail fraud lawyer can keep a retail fraud conviction off of one’s record is through a delayed sentence. With a delayed penalty, a person will plead guilty to the offense, and if they complete successful probation, the charge will be dismissed.
Each court system is different in the way they handle retail fraud cases. If you face a Michigan retail fraud case, you will want to talk to an attorney to possibly take advantage of any diversion programs you may have available to you. In addition, keeping a retail fraud conviction off your record is possible.
What is a Retail Fraud Civil Demand Notice?
There are also civil penalties and criminal charges when you are charged with a Michigan retail fraud charge. In addition, a merchant may issue you with a retail fraud civil demand letter.
A merchant can sue for the total retail price of the unrecovered or unsalable property and civil damages, often the retail value of the goods up to $200.00 under Michigan law.
An attorney experienced with Michigan retail fraud cases can advise you on dealing with a retail fraud civil demand notice.
Immigration Consequences for a Michigan Retail Fraud Conviction
Under United States immigration law, a criminal conviction can affect your immigration status. If you are not a US citizen, your conviction for a criminal charge can result in immigration issues that will need to be addressed. For example, Michigan retail fraud can be classified as a crime involving moral turpitude. Deportation may follow from a conviction for a crime of morals turpitude.
Contact a criminal defense attorney experienced at defending against retail fraud charges
Retail fraud is a severe crime in Michigan, with penalties that include hefty fines and jail time. Suppose you are charged with retail fraud call today. We offer comprehensive representation to defend your case.
If you are accused of Michigan retail fraud shoplifting by the police, it’s essential to take action quickly. Hiring an attorney who specializes in criminal defense will help ensure your rights are protected throughout this process.
Contact a criminal defense lawyer today at (734) 240-2611 for more information about how we can defend you against these charges. We offer a free consultation to review your case. In addition, we have free phone and an in-office consultation available.