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Retail fraud is one of the most common criminal offenses charged in the State of Michigan. Retail fraud is more commonly referred to as shoplifting. The consequenses of a retail fraud conviction can include jail, prison, extensive probation, community service, therapy, drug and alcohol testing, fines and costs. The defense lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have extensive experience defending retail fraud charges and our highest priority is to obtain a dismissal of all charges when possible.

What is retail fraud?

To prove a charge of retail fraud, the prosecution must prove several elements beyond a reasonable doubt. Aside from the value of the property, the elements of retail fraud are identical between first, second and third degree retail fraud.
First, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant took control of some property that the store offered for sale. Second, the prosecutor must chow that the defendant moved the property. Many people think that the defendant must have removed the property from the store but the law in Michigan is that, "any movement is enough." The law further indicates that, "it does not matter whether the defendant actually got the property past the cashier or out of the store."
If the prosecutor can prove that the defendant took the property and that he or she moved the property, the prosecution must then prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to steal the property. Intent to steal means the defendant intended to permanently take the property from the store without the store’s consent.
The last element the prosecution must prove is the collective value of the property in question. If the value was $1,000 or more, the charge is First Degree Retail Fraud, a felony, and the defendant can receive a sentence in prison. If the value was $200 or more, but less than $1,000, the offense is Second Degree Retail Fraud, a misdemeanor which is punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail. Finally, if the value is less than $200, the offense is Retail Fraud Third Degree, and the maximum possible sentence is up to 93 days in jail.
What would otherwise be a retail fraud second or third degree can be enhanced to a retail fraud first degree if the defendant has prior retail fraud convictions.

Experienced, Effective Retail Fraud Defense Attorneys

The Retail Fraud Defense Lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have handled several hundred retail fraud cases throughout Michigan. We understand that a conviction for retail fraud can be life changing in a tragic way and everything humanly possible must be done to get a charge dismissed or reduced when possible.
Lewis and Dickstien, PLLC, has represented a multitude of clients who were not citizens of the United States and are facing deportation or other immigration consequences because retail fraud is considered under immigration law to be a crime involving "moral turpitude" which can result in deportation.

Will you have to do jail or prison time?

One of the most common questions that are asked during consultation with potential clients in retail fraud cases is whether the client will have to serve jail time. The answer to that question is complex and dependent upon a multiplicity of factors but the retail fraud criminal defense lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. can almost always help their clients avoid any jail or prison time in retail fraud cases.

Call us and we will find a way to help you.

If you or a loved one is charged with or being accused of committing a retail fraud, call (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation with a highly experienced retail fraud defense attorney. Feel free to fill out a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you.
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