From stealing nail polish at a department store, cans of food at the grocery store, or even big-ticket items, retail fraud in Michigan is a common crime. If you have been accused of retail fraud in Michigan, it is important to work with an attorney that knows the law and the courts, someone you can trust to handle all aspects of your case to get you the best possible outcome.
In Michigan, there are three levels, or criminal penalties, for retail fraud or retail theft. The determination is made based on the value of the items that were subjected to the alleged theft.
First Degree Retail Fraud
Assets valued at $1,000 or more. The penalties can be up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Second Degree Retail Fraud
Assets valued between $200 and $1,000. The penalties can be up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Third Degree Retail Fraud
Assets valued at less than $200. The penalties can be up to 93 days in jail and $500 in fines.
At Tanis Schultz PLLC, we work every angle and explore every option for your case. Sometimes we are able to work directly with the retailer to figure out an arrangement that keeps you out of the criminal system, avoids them pressing charges. Such solutions could be repayment, an apology letter, or community service. If that is not an option, and you have been criminally charged, we work with the prosecuting attorney, the person pressing charges against you, to convince them to reduce or dismiss the charges against you. If need be, we will go the extra step and fight your case in court. We are courtroom attorneys who fight to win.
Consequences of Retail Fraud
The consequences of a retail fraud conviction can have lasting effects on your record and life. An employer may overlook a drunk driving (OWI) or a drug possession charge, but it is very unlikely that an employer will hire someone with a retail fraud or theft conviction. Simply because retail fraud is considered a crime of dishonesty. Not only may an employer use the conviction against you to either fire you or if you are looking for a job, they may reject your application, but the courts can use the conviction against you if you are ever in a situation as a witness to a crime. The effects of a retail fraud conviction are long-lasting. Do not jeopardize your job opportunities and future.
There are options under Michigan law to prevent retail fraud, theft, and shoplifting charges from staying on or entering your record. We will work diligently to help you avoid jail and/or a conviction by working out a plea to a lesser charge or other potential options depending on your individual situation.
If you or a loved one have been charged with retail fraud, contact us today to discuss your options.