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Ann Arbor Shoplifting Criminal Defense Attorney

Thief-1529113.jpgA shoplifting (retail fraud) conviction can result in serious criminal fines, penalties, and possible jail time depending on the value of the property stolen and/or the criminal record of the defendant. It is imperative that you consult with a criminal defense attorney to obtain legal advice upon being charged. Read on to learn more about common retail fraud crimes and the penalties and sentencing that apply in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Common Shoplifting Crimes

Michigan Penal Code outlines three degrees of retail fraud:

1st Degree Retail Fraud

A person will be convicted of retail fraud in the first degree (felony) if he/she does any of the following while in a store open to the public, or its immediate vicinity:

  • Alters, transfers, removes, or replaces a price tag with the intent to not pay for the property, or pay a lesser price in which it is offered for sale;

  • Steals property from a store open to the public; or

  • Obtains or attempts to obtain money or property from a store as a refund or exchange for property that legally belongs to the store.

A conviction will result if any of the above occurs and the property in question is worth more than $1,000.00. If convicted, the possible sentence can range from imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or 3 times the value of the difference of the property stolen, or both imprisonment and a fine.

2nd Degree Retail Fraud

A person will be convicted of retail fraud in the second degree (misdemeanor) if he/she does any of the following while in a store open to the public, or its immediate vicinity:

  • Alters, transfers, removes, or replaces a price tag with the intent to not pay for the property, or pay a lesser price in which it is offered for sale;

  • Steals property from a store open to the public; or

  • Obtains or attempts to obtain money or property from a store as a refund or exchange for property that legally belongs to the store.

A conviction will result if any of the above occurs and the property in question is worth $200.00 or more, but less than $1,000.00. If convicted, the possible sentence can range from imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or 3 times the value of the difference of the property stolen, or both imprisonment and a fine.

3rd Degree Retail Fraud

A person will be convicted of retail fraud in the third degree (misdemeanor) if he/she does any of the following while in a store open to the public, or its immediate vicinity:

  • Alters, transfers, removes, or replaces a price tag with the intent to not pay for the property, or pay a lesser price in which it is offered for sale;

  • Steals property from a store open to the public; or

  • Obtains or attempts to obtain money or property from a store as a refund or exchange for property that legally belongs to the store.

A conviction will result if any of the above occurs and the property in question is worth $200.00 or less. If convicted, the possible sentence can range from imprisonment for not more than 93 days, or a fine of not more than $500.00, or 3 times the value of the difference of the property stolen, or both imprisonment and a fine.

The penalties and fines presented above is just an example of what may occur. By hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can have the possible charges against you reduced, or completely dismissed depending on the amount of evidence the prosecutor presents. Contact Ann Arbor criminal defense attorney Stacey Washington if you have been charged with retail fraud.

Sources

750.356c Retail fraud in first degree

750.356d Retail fraud in second or third degree

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