How to Get Misdemeanor Retail Fraud Charges Reduced or Dismissed
In Michigan, misdemeanor shoplifting is called retail fraud. Depending on the defendant’s prior record and the value of the allegedly stolen property, there are as many as three degrees of seriousness.
A Retail Fraud Conviction Should be Avoided if Possible
Retail fraud misdemeanor charges are more complicated and involved than most people realize and you, need a reputable and ruthless legal team with years of experience representing you. Your best hope of avoiding jail and the damage a conviction can do to your life is with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. by your side.
Retail Fraud in the State of Michigan
How does the state of Michigan define retail fraud? Shoplifting is when an individual steals or attempts to steal property from a retail store or removes or alters price tags in any way while in the store. An individual attempting to exchange merchandise intending to defraud the merchant falls under the definition of shoplifting.
Mistakes and Thoughtless Errors Happen
We have all been in stores when we are rushing or we have stressful things on our minds. It is not uncommon for someone to inadvertently fail to pay for an item when under stress or otherwise distracted. Although some people intentionally take an item from a store for one reason or another, others make an honest mistake and are accused wrongfully. Innocent conduct can result in the perception of a person having the intent to defraud the store. Many clients who hire LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. to defend themselves from retail fraud charges have no prior record and are professionally educated and employed.
Penalties for Retail Fraud in the State of Michigan
The Michigan Penal Code breaks down the different degrees of retail fraud, and each crime is punished differently depending on the specifics of the case. The estimated value of stolen goods, the defendant’s prior record, and whether there are co-occurring criminal offenses against the accused will impact the judge’s sentence. Felony retail fraud charges can result in up to 5 years of jail time with a fine of $10,000 or three times the value of the stolen property. Consequences are severe, which is why it is necessary you hire a reputable attorney to defend you.
An experienced lawyer will know how to fight for a lenient sentence, an exceptional plea bargain, or dismissal of the retail fraud charges altogether. At least for misdemeanor retail fraud, jail can often be avoided; however, the collateral consequences of a retail fraud conviction can be worse than prison. For example, a retail fraud conviction can result in the inability to obtain employment, damaged credit, deportation for immigrants, damage to reputation, or removal from college or post-graduate school. For felony retail fraud, an experienced defense lawyer can usually help you avoid jail or prison.
We can protect and defend you on Misdemeanor Retail Fraud Charges!
While shoplifting is not a crime that directly harms another’s well-being, compared with other crimes like assault and battery or domestic violence, judges and prosecutors are concerned with the indirect harm to the community and increased prices for retail goods. In other words, retail fraud is taken seriously in the state of Michigan. With empathy and understanding, we do not judge our clients and instead understand the factors that may drive an individual to make a mistake or commit such a crime. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. will fight tirelessly to have charges dropped or lessened. We are among the most aggressive and successful attorneys and one of the only teams of shoplifting lawyers in the state. We have helped clients avoid jail and, in many cases, convictions for retail fraud for decades.
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.