Attorneys with Experience Defending Organized Retail Fraud Charges
Retail fraud, or shoplifting, is a serious crime with both direct and indirect consequences, such as jail, probation, criminal record, inability to secure employment, damaged reputation, loss of firearm rights, and more.
Organized Retail Fraud in Michigan
Retail fraud is the stealing of merchandise offered for sale. Organized retail fraud charges constitute a felony and involve multiple people cooperating in retail fraud offenses for profit. In many of these cases, one or two individuals enlist the help of several people to steal merchandise and then re-sell the items on the internet for profit. The attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully defended clients charged with Organized Retail Fraud. For example, we had a client who had students steal books from university and college bookstores, and then he would re-sell the items at his retail location. Our lawyers got the charges reduced to a misdemeanor, and the client avoided jail time.
The Organized Retail Crime Act and its Penalties
In January 2013, Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation establishing the Organized Retail Crime Act to protect consumers by cracking down on the increasing prevalence of retail fraud. Organized Retail Fraud is a felony offense, regardless of the value of the merchandise allegedly stolen.
The possible maximum sentence for Organized Retail Fraud is up to 5 years in prison, five years of probation, and a fine of $5,000.00.
Aiding and Abetting, Accessory, RICO, Conspiracy
Aiding and Abetting – Organized Retail Fraud can include allegations of Aiding and Abetting. A person who assists, encourages, helps, or participates in a criminal act with another person is an aider and abettor. A person who aids and abets someone committing a crime in Michigan is just as guilty as those who primarily committed the crime. For example, if John drives Bob to rob a store while armed, John is just as guilty as Bob, even though he did not go into the store or hold the gun.
Accessory – Accessory is similar to Aiding and Abetting. Typically, an accessory is not present when the crime is committed. An accessory either helps plan, prepare, or encourage the commission of the offense. A person who assists after the offense is completed, such as cleaning up the crime scene or disposing of evidence, is called an Accessory After the Fact.
RICO – In many Organized Retail Fraud cases, the government can also charge a RICO offense. RICO or the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act criminalizes participation in a criminal organization. The government charges RICO when it believes a group with an organizational structure operates, at least in part, to commit a crime.
Conspiracy – Organized Retail Fraud always involves a conspiracy. The prosecution can charge a conspiracy as a separate offense. A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime.
Defenses Attorneys for Organized Retail Fraud and other White-Collar Crimes
The attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are highly experienced criminal lawyers in Michigan. We have had consistent success with defending clients on misdemeanor and felony charges in Michigan. Our lawyers appear daily in courts throughout Oakland County, Wayne County, Livingston County, Macomb County, and Washtenaw County. We have also been hired to take cases throughout Michigan and achieve results unheard of by local lawyers.
A felony conviction can have many consequences that can affect your family, employment, and finances. The attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are passionate and aggressive criminal lawyers. They will work as hard as possible to ensure that your rights are protected and do everything they can to achieve the best possible outcome.
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.