Retail Fraud Defense in Ann Arbor, Michigan
With a focus on avoiding serious punishment for shoplifting in Ann Arbor, we will fight for a resolution without jail or a conviction. We will forcefully fight your case to protect your freedom throughout the criminal process.
Let a Defense Attorney Fight Your Charges
Frequently, people who commit retail fraud or shoplifting regret it instantly. They may have made an impulsive decision or had contributing mental health issues. An exceptional lawyer will fight to convince the prosecutor and judge of the treatment of these issues rather than criminal punishment. With our experience guiding and helping thousands of clients through retail fraud charges, all with unique and individualized cases, we are committed to helping you. We understand that this may be a mistake and often involves those with no criminal history. It would be best if you had an Ann Arbor retail fraud defense attorney who would fight to keep a conviction off your record.
Criminal lawyers fight for your individualized and unique case
These crimes are often the result of a misunderstanding, a moment of thoughtlessness, or an impulsive decision. When we consult our clients, we commonly find something occurring during the time of the incident that is anxiety and stress-provoking. We have an excellent record of explaining how the incident was not representative of the client’s character.
What is Retail Fraud in Ann Arbor?
Retail Fraud, also known as shoplifting, is much more than just stealing an item from a store. It includes altering prices to avoid paying full price. Shoplifting can also involve removing or replacing a price tag. The Court takes both acts just as seriously. The consequences of these actions, no matter the value, can result in jail time, fines, criminal records, and more. With decades of successfully defending and protecting clients, we utilize our skills and knowledge to make sure to walk away with a great case result.
Criminal punishments for Retail Fraud in Ann Arbor
The three degrees of Retail Fraud are based on the stolen item’s value and the client’s prior criminal history.
3rd degree retail fraud is a misdemeanor that will result in:
- 93 days in jail
- A $500 fine (3 times the difference in price, property stolen, or money obtained, whatever is the highest).
This conviction occurs if a client stole property that was under $200 and has no history of retail fraud convictions.
2nd degree retail fraud is a misdemeanor that will result in:
- One year of jail time
- A $2000 fine (3 times the difference in price, property stolen, or money obtained, whatever is the highest).
This conviction occurs if a client stole property that was $200 or over, but less than $1,000, or there is a history of a retail fraud conviction, but the item was under $200.
1st degree retail fraud is a felony that will result in:
- 5 years in prison
- A $10,000 fine (3 times the difference in price, property stolen, or money obtained, whatever is the highest).
This conviction occurs if a client stole property that was $10,000 or more or there is a history of a retail fraud conviction, but the item was over $200 but less than $1,000.
Retail fraud is considered a crime of moral turpitude for individuals who are not U.S. citizens, such as exchange students or those visiting the United States on a temporary visa. Even a misdemeanor retail fraud can cause negative immigration consequences such as deportation or refusal of re-entry.
False Accusations are Common
Experienced and skillful Ann Arbor retail fraud criminal attorneys can mount a powerful defense against a false shoplifting accusation. One way we do this is by focusing on intent. Genuine mistakes happen. For example, someone might place an item in a bag without realizing that the self-service scanner failed to register it. Perhaps a customer accidentally put a coat or purse on top of an item while answering an important phone call. There are situations when store security or loss prevention officers falsely accused someone of intentionally concealing something when the customer intended to pay for the item. Sometimes people’s actions are misconstrued. A rush to judgment might result in a mistaken belief a customer was attempting to steal when they were not.
Defense Attorneys who can make a life-changing impact
Having the right attorney could make a difference in the outcome of your case and how it impacts your life and future. How your attorney advocates on your behalf to the prosecuting attorney or before the judge in your case could mean the difference between a dismissal and a conviction. In some cases, an experienced attorney, like the retail fraud defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., takes these cases to trial and successfully seeks our client’s exoneration. A dismissal of charges can save your reputation and your future.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.