Retail Fraud

Retail Fraud - Shoplifting

Michigan laws which cover stealing or larceny from a merchant (shoplifting), obtaining a fraudulent refund or price tag switching are covered under the “retail fraud” statutes. The ABDO LAW FIRM has successfully defended retail fraud cases in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne county. Our firm has defended numerous clients charged with retail fraud in areas with a high volume of retail traffic including Sterling Heights, Clinton Township, Romeo/Washington Township, Shelby Township/Utica, New Baltimore/Chesterfield Township, Harper Woods and Troy.

Retail Fraud and Related Crimes, Maximum Penalties

Retail fraud in the first degree is a felony. Retail fraud in the second or third degree are misdemeanors. Offenders with prior retail fraud convictions face enhanced penalties pursuant to Michigan statutes.

Retail Fraud First Degree: If the value of the merchandise is $1,000.00 or more, the punishment is up to 5 years in prison and/or fine up to $10,000.00, or 3 times the value of merchandise.

Retail Fraud Second Degree: If the value of the merchandise is $200 but under $1,000.00, the punishment is up to 2 years in prison and/or fine up to $2,000.00, or 3 times the value of merchandise.

Retail Fraud Third Degree: If the value of the merchandise is under $200, the punishment is up to 93 years in jail and/or fine up to $500.00, or 3 times the value of merchandise.

Organized Retail Fraud: Is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of $5,000.00, or both.

Larceny in a Building: A felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years.

In addition to the above harsh criminal penalties, a person convicted of retail fraud faces civil liability to the merchant for money damages. The ABDO LAW FIRM provides sound legal advice at every stage of a retail fraud case including whether a client should pay money damages to the merchant.

Knowing Our Clients and the Courts Makes a Difference

Many of our clients accused of retail fraud do not have any prior criminal history. In handling retail fraud cases, we have identified various issues which may precipitate uncharacteristic or impulsive conduct. These factors include peer pressure, financial pressure, marital difficulties, divorce, psychological issues, adjustment to medications or postpartum depression (PPD).

Knowing our client’s personal background allows us to make recommendations that can make in difference in the outcome of a criminal case.

Negotiating Dismissal of Retail Fraud and Other Property Crimes

A property crime or retail fraud conviction can be embarrassing and a barrier to employment and education opportunities. In Macomb County, a plea bargain can be negotiated to have a retail fraud dismissed upon compliance with conditions ordered by the court. Youthful offenders (age 17 but before age 24) may qualify for a disposition pursuant to the Youthful Trainee Act which enables the offense to be dismissed without entry of a judgment of guilt! Adult offenders may be eligible for a delayed sentence which can mean a dismissal after a reasonable period of probation.

The ABDO LAW FIRM provides comprehensive criminal legal representation for all adults and juveniles charged with any felony or misdemeanor property crime including retail fraud, larceny, false pretenses, embezzlement, uttering and publishing, check fraud, malicious destruction of property, credit card fraud or stolen property crimes.

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Michigan Criminal Lawyer Blog - Retail Fraud