Michigan Shoplifting Laws
Under Michigan law, shoplifting is the illegal act of taking possession of an item(s) without paying for it (them). The value of the item(s) you’ve been charged with stealing will determine the severity of your penalties.
You can be charged with retail fraud without stealing. Concealing the item is proof of intending to shoplift.
Levels of Retail Fraud
There are three levels of retail fraud; which are,
- First degree retail fraud
- Second degree retail fraud
- Third degree retail fraud
Retail Fraud 1st degree
Retail fraud 1st degree is a felony shoplifting and is the most punishable offense of the three.
- Up to 5 years in prison
- Fine of $10,000, or an amount three times the value of the stolen goods.
- Value of the shoplifted items must exceed $1,000 – unless convicted of shoplifting punishment before
Retail Fraud 2nd degree
Retail fraud 2nd degree is a misdemeanor
- Up to a year in county jail
- Fine of $2,000, or an amount three times the value of the stolen goods
Retail Fraud 3rd degree
Retail fraud 3rd degree is only available for individuals with no past shoplifting punishment.
- Up to 93 days in jail
- At least a $500 fine or three times the value of the stolen merchandise
Don't hesitate to launch a robust defense against allegations of fraud. Protect your reputation and future with an experienced retail fraud attorney. Contact our Oakland County white collar crime attorneys for a free consultation today.
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 in Michigan
If you have been accused of shoplifting charges 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 charge, 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.