Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney Assisting Clients with Retail Theft Charges
Facing retail theft charges means that you can be facing a misdemeanor or felony conviction in the state of Michigan. Retail theft, or shoplifting, is known under Michigan law as “retail fraud.” Retail fraud typically is charged when a person is caught stealing an item from a store in Birmingham, Michigan. Depending upon the value of the item stolen, the charges can range from a third-degree misdemeanor offense to retail theft in the first degree, which is a felony offense. The penalties for any retail fraud conviction can be severe.
Not only can a person face a significant financial penalty and the possibility of jail time, but a criminal conviction can affect that person’s ability to obtain a rental property, get specific jobs, and sometimes even be approved for certain lines of credit long after the sentence has been served. As such, it is extremely important to have an experienced Birmingham retail theft defense lawyer on your side.
Different Retail Theft Charges in Birmingham, Michigan
750.456d, the following are general retail fraud offenses:
- Retail fraud in the first degree: taking property that is worth $1,000 or more. This is a felony offense.
- Retail fraud in the second degree: taking property that is worth at least $200 but less than $1,000. This is a misdemeanor offense.
- Retail fraud in the third degree: taking property that is worth less than $200. This is a misdemeanor offense.
There are other actions that can also constitute retail fraud. For instance, if a person attempts to return an item to a store in exchange for cash when the original item was not paid for, that might constitute retail fraud. As you can see, the different charging levels largely concern the value of the property that was shoplifted. Once a person is alleged to have stolen property worth $1,000 or more, the offense becomes a felony.
Penalties for Birmingham Retail Fraud
The following are penalties for a retail fraud conviction:
- Retail fraud in the first degree: Five years prison and a fine of up to $10,000 or three times of the value of the property stolen (whichever is greater).
- Retail fraud in the second degree: One year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000 or three times the value of the property stolen (whichever is greater).
- Retail fraud in the third degree: Ninety-three days in prison and a fine of up to $500 or three times the value of the property stolen (whichever is greater).
The penalties for a shoplifting offense can be severe, and you should get started on your defense as soon as possible.