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Defense Against Shoplifting Charges in Michigan

Shoplifting is against the law and involves taking possession of an item or items that are for sale without paying for them. You can be charged with retail fraud without even stealing. Just concealing the item is proof of intending to shoplift. The value of the items you have been charged with stealing will determine the severity of your penalties. There are three levels of retail fraud and they are first, second, and third degree retail fraud. First degree retail fraud is a felony and is the most punishable offense of the three. If you have been charged with first degree retail fraud, you could be facing up to 5 years in prison as well as a fine of $10,000, or an amount three times the value of the stolen goods, whichever is more. This means you would be looking at a $10,000 fine minimum. To be charged with felony retail fraud, the value of the shoplifted items must exceed $1,000 unless you have been convicted of shoplifting before, in which case the amount of the stolen goods can be between $200 and $1,000. Second degree retail fraud is a misdemeanor and is punishable with up to a year in county jail as well as a fine of $2,000, or an amount three times the value of the stolen goods, whichever is more. This means you would be looking at a $2,000 fine minimum. Third degree retail fraud is punishable by up to 93 days in jail and at least a $500 fine or three times the value of the stolen merchandise. Third degree retail fraud is only available for individuals with no past shoplifting convictions. When you face any shoplifting charges, it is important to hire qualified and relentless legal representation to fight to keep your record clean.

Michigan Shoplifting Laws for Minors

No matter how young you are, you can be charged with the crime of shoplifting which is known throughout the legal system as retail fraud. Just because a minor commits shoplifting, that doesn’t protect them from the severity of punishment for the act. It is important to hire legal representation to represent a minor to find the best possible solution out of the charges of retail fraud. Hiring a strong lawyer can help your son or daughter avoid fines and other penalties.

Tips for How to Beat a Shoplifting Charge

If you have been accused of shoplifting and store security officers have detained you, you should be aware of your legal rights in this position. It is important for your case that if you are caught by store security officers, that you do not attempt to flee the scene of the alleged crime. Fleeing the scene will be viewed as a sign of guilt on your part. If the retailer is seeking restitution, it is paramount that it be paid promptly in order to obtain a more favorable outcome in your retail fraud case. No matter the severity of your shoplifting charges, it is also very important that you appear for your court dates and be counseled by your legal representation on how to behave and what to say at the trial.

Understanding Michigan’s Diversion Program

In Michigan, a diversion program is available in some cases that allow an individual to avoid a conviction as long as they fulfill the program’s requirements. Diversion programs are a great option for people who are facing minor charges and it’s only their first-time offense. If diversion is not an option, entering a plea bargain may be the best solution for lessening the charges, which will decrease the maximum amount of potential penalties for the accused party. Whether you are a minor in need of a Ferndale shoplifting lawyer in Oakland County, are looking to qualify for a diversion program, even if you are facing first-degree felony retail fraud, you need to find legal representation to fight for you. Hire a reputable lawyer who has experience practicing law in the county and one with experience getting results for their clients in court.