Can You Be Charged & Prosecuted For Accidentally Shoplifting?
In Michigan, a person can be charged and prosecuted for shoplifting even if the act was accidental. Under Michigan law, shoplifting, also known as retail fraud, is defined as the unauthorized removal of merchandise from a store or other retail establishment. This means that if you unintentionally took something from a store without paying for it, you could still be charged with retail fraud.
The severity of the charges and the potential consequences will depend on the value of the merchandise involved. Retail fraud in the third degree, the least serious charge, involves merchandise worth $200 or less and is a misdemeanor that can result in fines and up to 93 days in jail. Retail fraud in the second degree involves merchandise worth more than $200 and is a felony that can result in up to five years in prison and substantial fines.
It is important to understand that a store owner or employee may choose to pursue charges even if the act was accidental. This is because retailers view shoplifting, whether intentional or not, as a threat to their profits. They may also choose to pursue charges as a deterrent to others who might consider shoplifting.
If you have been charged with retail fraud, it is important to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help you navigate the criminal justice system and protect your rights and interests throughout the legal process. They can also help you negotiate a plea bargain or represent you in court if necessary.
In conclusion, while accidental shoplifting may seem like a minor issue, it can still result in serious criminal charges and consequences. If you have been charged with retail fraud, it is important to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to ensure that your rights are protected and to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
Finding a Top Criminal Attorney Near You
Finding a top criminal defense attorney near you is critical when facing criminal charges. When searching for an attorney, look for one who has experience in handling the specific type of case you are facing. Consider their education and credentials, such as whether they are certified by the American Bar Association. Additionally, research their experience and success rate with similar cases. Reach out to the attorney and ask about any specializations or certifications they have in the field of criminal defense. Ask for references from past clients and check these reviews to ensure the attorney will provide the best representation for your case. Finally, be sure to ask about their fees and payment plans before making any commitments. With the right research and preparation, you can find a top criminal defense attorney who can best represent you in the Metro Detroit area, MI.
Jaffe Defense Team is dedicated to serving its Michigan clients in the best way possible. Reach out today to learn more about our process and to schedule a free consultation.