Retail Fraud or Shoplifting in Michigan – A Dismissal is Possible
If you are charged with retail fraud, call for a free consultation. When the stakes are high and there is no room for errors and false promises, our Retail Fraud Defense Attorneys are here to protect and defend you.
One Bad Mistake Does Not Define a Person’s Character
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 consequences 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 show 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 that 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
LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., 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 a 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.
Experienced Shoplifting Defense Lawyers
If you or a loved one is charged with or being accused of committing a retail fraud, call us for a free consultation with a highly experienced retail fraud defense attorney. We will find a way to help you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.
We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!
Retail Fraud can occur in any circuit or district court and LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. handles retail fraud cases throughout Michigan. The top 10 courts where Retail Fraud is charged include:
- 52-3 District Court in Rochester Hills, Oakland County
- 52-4 District Court in Troy, Oakland County
- 41A District Court in Sterling Heights, Macomb County
- 52-1 District Court in Novi, Oakland County
- 19th District Court in Dearborn, Wayne County
- Oakland County Circuit Court
- Macomb County Circuit Court
- 52-2 District Court in Clarkston
- 46th District Court in Southfield
- 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills