Shoplifting and Retail Fraud Charges in Sterling Heights

Are you facing retail fraud charges in Sterling Heights, Michigan? It would be a mistake to take these charges lightly. Retail fraud is considered a crime of dishonesty and can impact many areas of your life.

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It is wrong to assume someone charged with retail fraud is a dishonest person. That is just not true.

Among approximately 132,000 residents and major retail shopping centers, retail fraud is one of the most common crimes charged in the 41-A District Court in Sterling Heights, Michigan. If you face retail fraud or shoplifting charges, a retail fraud attorney in Sterling Heights is your best hope of getting charges dismissed and avoiding the various potential direct and indirect consequences of a conviction.

Do not mistake retail fraud or “shoplifting” as a minor crime. Whether this is your first or third offense, or the item was $50 or $2000, you NEED a retail fraud attorney. Without aggressive and reliable support and a strong retail fraud defense strategy, any charge of retail fraud may easily result in jail time, expensive fines, and a misdemeanor or felony conviction on your record.

Retail Fraud and Shoplifting Defense

What You Need to Know About Retail Fraud

Retail fraud is when someone “shoplifts” or steals or attempts to steal an item available for sale to the public at a retail outlet or store. Under Michigan law, retail fraud goes beyond intentionally walking out of a store without paying for the concealed merchandise. This crime encompasses concealing, replacing, transferring, or misrepresenting the sale price of an item with intentions of not paying, paying less, or defraud.

There are three different degrees of retail fraud that depend on item price and prior offenses, and each entails different punishments.

  • First Degree Retail Fraud if the item is over $1000, and this is your first offense, OR the item is over $200, and you have any prior convictions.
  • Second Degree Retail Fraud if either of the following is true:
    • The item is between $200 and $1000, and this is your first offense.
    • The item is less than $200, and this is your second offense.
  • Third Degree Retail Fraud if the item is less than $200, and this is your first offense.

The extent to which you are penalized varies based on degree.

  • First Degree Retail Fraud
    • Felony charge
    • Up to five years in prison
    • Fine up to $10,000 or triple the value of the item(s)
  • Second Degree Retail Fraud
    • Misdemeanor charge
    • Up to one year in prison
    • Fine up to $2,000 or triple the value of the item(s)
  • Third Degree Retail Fraud
    • Misdemeanor charge
    • Up to 93 days in prison
    • Fine up to $500 or triple the value of the item(s)
Sterling Heights Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you are facing retail fraud charges at the 41-A District Court in Sterling Heights, Michigan, LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. understands your situation, and our retail fraud attorneys in Sterling Heights can help you:

  • Remember, you are NOT a horrible person. We know that you are a good person, and you do not belong in prison. Retail fraud is a common yet serious crime, but we will prove to the judge that this is inconsistent with your true character, and you will never do this again.
  • Being accused of or caught shoplifting is simply shameful and embarrassing. Any charge of retail fraud looks the same to future potential employers, clients, university admissions, peers, family, etc. We will work restlessly to eliminate or minimize the charge on your record.
  • Mental illness may explain shoplifting. Kleptomania, addiction, bipolar disorder, dissociative disorder, severe anxiety, and depression are mental illnesses that are frequently associated with retail fraud cases. We will not only help you obtain the best possible result but also make arrangements with the judge and prosecutor to get you any help you may need.
  • Many accusations are false or exaggerated. We have successfully dealt with many cases where our clients were wrongly accused.
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Are you falsely accused of Retail Fraud in Sterling Heights, Michigan?

Do not panic. This may be a frightening and frustrating time, but LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. knows precisely how to advocate for and defend you in court. Our lawyers have extensive experience defending clients who allegedly concealed merchandise, but the situation was misinterpreted. Leave it up to us to appropriately and effectively convince the prosecuting officials or judge that you did not intend to leave the store without paying for the item.

Do not say goodbye to your future… LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has your back. We will not let you down.

A stellar lawyer is crucial in any retail fraud case. There are multiple objectives in successfully defending someone facing retail fraud charges. Our goal is always to obtain dismissal of all charges if possible.  Please call us today at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form, and we will promptly contact you. Read through our retail fraud frequently asked questions for more information.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

The Best Retail Fraud Defense Law Firm

The lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience successfully defending clients facing retail fraud charges in the 41-A District Court in Sterling Heights, Michigan. We are well known for our unparalleled track record among prosecutors, judges, and society.

Three judges manage the Sterling Heights 41-A District Court docket: Honorable Annemarie M. Lepore, Steven S. Sierawski, and Kimberley A. Wiegand.

The 41-A District Court is located at 40111 Dodge Park Road, Sterling Heights, Michigan 48313.

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.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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