What is Retail Fraud in Michigan?

Retail Fraud and Shoplifting Defense

A person is guilty of retail fraud in Michigan if he or she does any of the following.

  1. While a store is open to the public, alters, transfers, removes and replaces, conceals, or otherwise misrepresents the price at which property is offered for sale, with the intent not to pay for the property.
  2. While a store is open to the public, steals property of the store that is offered for sale.
  3. With intent to defraud, obtains or attempts to obtain money or property from the store as a refund or exchange for property that was not paid for and belongs to the store.

Retail Fraud Degrees in Michigan

  • $1,000 or more is a Felony punishable by not more than 5 years in prison.
  • $200 to under $1,000 is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail.
  • Under $200 is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail.

The values of the difference in price, property stolen, or money or property obtained or attempted to be obtained in separate incidents pursuant to a scheme or course of conduct within any 12-month period may be added together to determine the total value involved in the offense under this section.

Retail Fraud Enhancements

If a defendant has a prior conviction for retail fraud, a misdemeanor can be enhanced to a felony offense, regardless of the value of the current offense.

Standard Probation Conditions for Retail Fraud in Michigan

  • 1 to 5 years of probation
  • Theft and misdemeanor prevention classes
  • Mental health therapy
  • Drug and alcohol testing
  • Community service
  • $1,000 to $2,500 in fines, costs, and probation oversight fees
  • Reporting 1 to 4 times per month with a probation officer
  • May not leave the State of Michigan without permission of the court.

Court Process for a Retail Fraud Charge in Michigan

  • Arraignment – when bail or bond is set by the judge or magistrate
  • Pre-exam Conference (felony cases) – where it is determined if a preliminary examination is requested by the prosecutor or the defendant
  • Preliminary Examination (felony cases) – where the prosecutor has to show there is enough evidence to proceed to trial
  • Arraignment on the information (felony cases) – where the defendant is formally advised of the charges in Circuit Court
  • Pretrial conference – where the attorneys try to settle the case and discuss contested issues
  • Trial (if necessary) – where the judge or jury decides if there is enough evidence for a conviction
  • Plea (when possible) – where the defendant admits guilty for a plea bargain or sentence agreement
  • Sentencing – when the judge determines the punishment to be imposed

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

Do you have the right to a lawyer?

If you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor retail fraud in Michigan, you have the constitutional right to a lawyer of your choosing.  If you would like the assistance of highly experienced and extremely effective retail fraud defense attorneys, call us today for help at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you.