Experienced Grand Rapids Retail Fraud and Theft Offense Lawyer Assisting Clients in Grand Rapids
What is retail fraud? Most often, this is a criminal offense that is charged for what we know more colloquially as “shoplifting.” There are retail establishments of many sizes in Grand Rapids, some locally owned and some national chains. Many of these stores take steps to reduce loss and to prevent theft, and they can have surveillance cameras in their shops in addition to training their employees in loss-prevention techniques. Even the most diligent retailers, however, experience losses as a result of theft and retail fraud, and as such Michigan courts are eager to penalize individuals who have been accused of these offenses.
If you were arrested for a theft or retail fraud offense in Michigan, you could be facing serious penalties, including a felony conviction and a term of imprisonment. It is extremely important to begin working with a Grand Rapids retail fraud attorney who can get started on your defense today.
Michigan Law and Theft Offenses
Depending upon the type of property stolen in a retail fraud or theft case, and the value of the property, the accused can face anywhere from a third degree retail fraud misdemeanor conviction up to a first degree retail fraud felony conviction. Under MCL 750.356, the following are possible charges and penalties for retail fraud or retail theft offenses:
- First degree retail fraud (felony offense): if the value of the property stolen is worth anywhere from $1,000 to $19,999, then the charge is a first degree retail fraud felony that is punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, and a fine of up to $10,000 or three times the value of the property stolen—whichever is greater. Retail fraud can also be a felony offense if the value of the property stolen is less than $1,000 but the offender has certain prior convictions.
- Second degree retail fraud (misdemeanor offense): if the value of the property stolen is between $200 and $999, then the charge is a second degree retail fraud misdemeanor that can result in a period of imprisonment of up to 1 year and a fine of $2,000 or three times the value of the property stolen—whichever is greater.
- Third degree retail fraud (misdemeanor offense): if the value of the property stolen is less than $200, then the charge is a third degree misdemeanor that can result in a period of imprisonment of up to 93 days and a fine of $500 or three times the value of the property stolen—whichever is greater.
Youth Offenders and Diversionary Programs
For college students and other young offenders, the court may determine that diversionary programs are appropriate. For instance, offenders under the age of 24 can be eligible to have their cases dismissed, depending upon specific circumstances of the case, once a probationary period has been completed. First-time offenders can also be eligible for certain diversionary programs, and an experienced Grand Rapids defense lawyer can work to keep a criminal charge off your record.
Discuss Your Case with a Michigan Retail Fraud Defense Attorney
Retail fraud convictions can result in imprisonment and substantial fines, not to mention a criminal record. An experienced retail fraud defense attorney in Michigan can assist with your defense. Contact Van Den Heuvel Law Office for more information.