Michigan Shoplifting Defense Attorneys
Do not feel ashamed or embarrassed if you’ve been charged with shoplifting. Good people make mistakes, and there is almost always a reason to explain why someone made a thoughtless or impulsive decision. We can help you.
A person charged with Retail Fraud or Shoplifting does not have to go to jail, and a savvy defense lawyer may be able to prevent a conviction.
In the vast majority of these cases, extenuating circumstances can result in a dismissal of the case, a reduced charge, or a lenient sentence when persuasively explained to a prosecutor. A great defense lawyer will convince a judge to focus on rehabilitation at sentencing instead of punishment when there is any conviction. With decades of experience representing over a thousand clients on retail fraud charges, the Michigan shoplifting defense attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. know that good people can make mistakes. Most people charged with Retail Fraud in Michigan have no or little criminal history; they have jobs or take care of family, are educated, and have lived a responsible and honest life.
There Are No Typical Shoplifting Defendants
Each person has a unique story. Most of those accused of retail fraud have led good, honorable lives, and shoplifting is out of their character. These charges can result from a misunderstanding, an accident, a moment of thoughtlessness, or an impulsive decision. It is common to find out that a person was under extreme stress or anxiety when an alleged retail fraud incident occurred. The defense attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., do not judge our clients. We will take the time to listen to you, answer all of your questions, and figure out a strategy to help you. Every person who works with our attorneys will be treated with dignity and respect. Our lawyers have an unparalleled track record of success on these cases because we know how to persuade prosecutors that our clients are good people and that the incident was not the action of a bad or dishonest person.
Retail Fraud Charges and Penalties
Every crime in Michigan is made up of parts called elements. The defendant is not guilty if the prosecutor cannot prove any element. The elements of shoplifting are:
- the defendant took property,
- the property was offered for sale to the public, and
- the defendant had the intent to steal.
“Taking property” is broadly defined and includes the movement of property, even within the store, so long as the defendant intended to steal. Exiting or attempting to exit the store is not required for a Shoplifting charge—intent to steal means the intent to permanently deprive the store of the property without payment or consent.
The penalty for Retail Fraud increases based on the value of the property and the defendant’s prior record. If the defendant has previous retail fraud convictions, the charge can be enhanced to a more serious misdemeanor or a felony charge.
Shoplifting maximum penalties are:
Value Over $1,000 – Retail Fraud – First Degree (felony) – Up to 5 years of prison, a maximum of 5 years on probation, and fines and costs.
Value Between $200 and $1,000 – Retail Fraud – Second Degree (misdemeanor) – Up to 1 year in county jail, up to 2 years of probation, and fines and costs.
Value Less than $200 – Retail Fraud – Third Degree (misdemeanor) – Up to 93 days in county jail, up to 2 years of probation, and fines and costs.
Prior convictions for a felony or misdemeanor retail fraud can enhance a Retail Fraud Second or Third Degree to a felony, Retail Fraud First Degree. Jail is not mandatory for retail fraud charges, even with prior convictions. A seasoned and effective Michigan shoplifting defense attorney may convince a judge, who is intent on ordering jail or prison time, to reconsider and impose a term of probation or fines and costs instead.
Shoplifting and Retail Fraud Defense Attorneys
Shoplifting Defense Attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented over a thousand clients charged with retail fraud and other theft-related offenses in Michigan’s district and circuit courts. It is normal to be concerned about the possibility of jail time; however, the reason for hiring LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is to have Michigan shoplifting defense attorneys with an unparalleled track record of success persuading prosecutors to reduce charges and judges not to impose incarceration. We are routinely successful in helping clients avoid jail and prison time, even when they have prior convictions, are on probation or parole, or appear before a notoriously harsh judge.
A person accused of shoplifting is innocent if they didn’t intend to steal or was unaware they took property from a store. There are many defenses to retail fraud charges, including:
- mistaken identity,
- improper attribution of value,
- and actual innocence.
Although retail fraud cases rarely go to trial, the Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is comprised of veteran trial lawyers. They have a well-earned reputation for winning trials. Our attorneys work as a team and collaborate to achieve our client’s best possible outcome. When you hire one of us, you get all of us. Because we work as a team and will devote the attention and skill of multiple lawyers, we can obtain results that most defense lawyers rarely achieve.
Shoplifting Consequences and Immigration Implications
The consequences of a retail fraud conviction extend well beyond the possibility of incarceration and probation. A conviction for retail fraud stays on a person’s criminal history for life, unless they qualify for and obtain an expungement after several years. With a record of retail fraud, finding or advancing in employment may be difficult. A conviction can also result in the loss or suspension of a professional license, discharge from a college or university, damaged credit, the inability to obtain credit, and more. Our highest priority is to seek dismissal of retail fraud charges when possible, or in the alternative, get the charge reduced so that a person’s future and reputation are not jeopardized.
Clients who are not United States citizens face the possibility of severe consequences. A retail fraud charge is considered a “crime of moral turpitude” under immigration law. It can result in deportation, inability to enter the United States, or a long delay in obtaining U.S. citizenship. Our attorneys have an in-depth understanding of the potential penalties for retail fraud misdemeanor or felony plea. We know what steps to take to give our clients the best possible chance of avoiding possible immigration consequences. It would be best to understand that a “conviction” for retail fraud is broadly defined under immigration laws. A plea in court taken under advisement and dismissed is still considered a conviction in immigration court.
Defense Attorneys Who Can Help You with Shoplifting Charges
If you call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. for a free consultation, your call will be answered by a highly experienced retail fraud defense lawyer who will take the time to consult with you for free. The attorney will want to know about you and the accusations against you. Again, you will not be judged, and you will be treated with the utmost respect. There will be a way to help you. Our lawyers will know the best strategy to seek the dismissal of your charges, advocate for a reduction in charges, or reduce or eliminate the possibility of jail time. Please do not lose hope; 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. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.
We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!
The courts in Southeastern Michigan where defendants are regularly charged with Shoplifting include but are not limited to:
In Oakland County:
- Oakland County Circuit Court (6th Judicial Circuit Court), in Pontiac, Michigan
- 52-1 District Court in Novi Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 52-2 District Court in Clarkston Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 52-3 District Court in Rochester Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 52-4 District Court in Troy Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 35th District Court in Plymouth Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 43rd District Court in Hazel Park Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 43rd District Court in Madison Heights Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 43rd District Court in Ferndale Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 44th District Court in Royal Oak Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 45-B District Court in Oak Park Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 46th District Court in Southfield Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 47th District Court in Farmington Hills Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 50th District Court in Pontiac Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 51st District Court in Waterford Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- Macomb County Circuit Court in Mt. Clemens, Michigan
- 37th District Court – Warren
- 38th District Court – Eastpointe
- 39th District Court – Roseville
- 40th District Court – St. Clair Shores
- 41A District Court – Sterling Heights
- 41A District Court – Shelby Township
- 42nd District Court – Romeo
- 42nd District Court – New Baltimore
- 41B District Court – Mt. Clemens
- Wayne County Circuit Court in Detroit, Michigan
- 16th District Court – Livonia Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 17th District Court – Redford Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 18th District Court – Westland Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 19th District Court – Dearborn Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 20th District Court – Dearborn Heights Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 21st District Court – Garden City Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 22nd District Court – Inkster Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 23rd District Court – Taylor Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 24th District Court – Allen Park and Melvindale Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 25th District Court – Lincoln Park Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 26-1 District Court – River Rouge Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 26-2 District Court – Ecorse Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 27 District Court – Wyandotte Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 27 District Court – Riverview Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 28 District Court – Southgate Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 29 District Court – Wayne Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 30 District Court – Highland Park Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 31 District Court – Hamtramck Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 32A District Court – Harper Woods Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 33rd District Court – Trenton, Rockwood, Flat Rock, Woodhaven, Brownstown, Grosse Ile.
- 34th District Court – Romulus, Belleville Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 35th District Court – Northville, Plymouth, Canton Township Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 36th District Court – Detroit Shoplifting Defense Attorney
In Livingston County:
- Livingston County Circuit Court in Howell, Michigan
- 53rd District Court – Brighton Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 53rd District Court – Howell Shoplifting Defense Attorney
In Washtenaw County:
- Washtenaw County Circuit Court in Ann Arbor, Michigan
- 15th District Court – Ann Arbor Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 14A District Court – Ypsilanti Township Shoplifting Defense Attorney
- 14B District Court – Balance of Washtenaw County Shoplifting Defense Attorney