Shoplifting may look compelling and without consequences in films and TV, but the state of Michigan imposes harsh penalties on shoplifters. Shoplifting, also known as retail fraud, is a serious crime under Michigan law with tough penalties. A conviction for the crime can include time in jail and required court fines that are thousands of dollars. Additionally, your retail fraud conviction will then become public information and could interfere with your ability to obtain employment, a professional license, or housing.
If you or someone you know has been charged with retail fraud, then we urge you to gain legal representation as soon as possible. A skilled Michigan theft defense attorney can examine the evidence and find holes in the prosecution’s argument. They can then present that to the jury and do whatever they can to obtain an acquittal or reduced charges.
Oakland County Retail Theft Defense Lawyer | Shoplifting in MI
If you or someone you know has been accused of retail fraud, contact Dallo Law, P.C.. Years of experience and a dedication for what he does sets Mr. Dallo apart as he puts his all into each and every single one of his client’s cases. He will diligently review evidence, bring in experts and effective witnesses, detect any illegal search and seizure activity, and do whatever necessary to ensure you get the best possible outcome for your case.
Schedule your first consultation for free with attorney Dallo by calling his office at (248) 283-7000. Dallo Law, P.C. has offices set up in Bloomfield Hills Michigan, but we accept clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area including Utica, New Baltimore, Roseville, Troy, West Bloomfield Township, Warren, Sterling Heights, Fraser, Pontiac, Oakland Charter Township, Royal Oak, Auburn Hills, and Novi.
- Michigan Retail Fraud Laws
- What is the Penalty for Shoplifting in Michigan?
- Possible Defenses for Retail Fraud in MI
- Additional Resources
Michigan Retail Fraud Laws
Retail fraud, also known as shoplifting, in the state of Michigan is prohibited and violation of this will result in serious penalties. According to the Michigan Penal Code Section 750.356(c) and (d), a person commits retail fraud if they do any of the following in or in the vicinity of a store that is open to the public:
- Stealing any sort of property from the store.
- Attempting to return stolen property with the intent of fraudulently obtaining a refund.
- Transferring, replacing, altering, removing concealing or otherwise misrepresenting the price of a product with the intent of paying less than the listed price.
What Is the Penalty for Shoplifting in Michigan?
The penalties for shoplifting depend on the value of the property or services stolen from the retail establishment. Shoplifters who steal goods that amount to less than $200 will face a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a fine of up to $500 or three times the value of the stolen property, whichever has more value.
If the goods stolen were between $200 and $1,000, then the punishment is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000 or three times the value of the stolen goods, whichever is more. A second conviction for stealing retail goods under $200 will also result in the same penalty.
Offenders who stole retail goods exceeding the cost of $1,000 will face a felony. The maximum sentencing for felony retail fraud is up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 or three times the value of the stolen property. The court will extend the same penalty to offenders who are facing their third shoplifting conviction where the goods are under $1,000.
Possible Defenses for Retail Fraud in Michigan
The best way to fight retail fraud charges is to hire an experienced Michigan larceny defense attorney who has a thorough understanding of the Michigan criminal process. They can examine the evidence against you to determine the strength of the prosecution’s case. These cases are typically based on video surveillance footage and testimony from store security personnel (also known as loss prevention officers or LPOs). Discrediting that evidence could be the key to receiving reduced or dismissed charges.
Some tactics your defense attorney may utilize to undermine the prosecution’s evidence includes, but are not limited to:
- Pointing out evidence where loss prevention officers mishandled the situation such as falsely detaining you in violation of your rights.
- Illustrating the poor quality and/or inconclusiveness of the surveillance footage to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case.
- Detecting discrepancies between the loss prevention officer’s report and the footage from the surveillance cameras.
- Demonstrating the loss prevention officer(s) couldn’t have known of the shoplifting because of their lack of training and/or prejudice. Your attorney can also use this information to determine the LPO lacks credibility as a witness.
Michigan Shoplifting Laws – Visit the official website for the Michigan Legislature to learn more about their laws pertaining to shoplifting. Access the site to learn more about the different degrees of retail fraud, how prior convictions are determined by the court, and more.
National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) — NASP is a nonprofit organization that was originally founded in 1977 as Shoplifters Anonymous, Inc to help those who are struggling with the impulse of shoplifting. The organization focuses on the study and prevention of shoplifting tendencies in those who can’t control themselves. On this website, you can learn more about NASP’s community programs and educational services.
Bloomfield Hills Attorney for Shoplifting
If you or someone you know has been charged with shoplifting or any type of theft, call Dallo Law, P.C.. J. Dallo of Dallo Law, P.C. has practiced criminal defense for years and has represented numerous people accused of shoplifting over the years. He can utilize his experience, knowledge, and extensive resources for your case. Call his offices now to set up your first consultation for free and Mr. Dallo will outline all your legal options to you.
Call Dallo Law, P.C. today to set up your first consultation at (248) 283-7000. Dallo Law, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area including Pontiac, Troy, Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham, West Bloomfield Township, Royal Oak, Roseville, Warren, Mount Clemens and Eastpointe.