Retail Fraud in Michigan
Criminal Defense Attorney Mark Mandell joins us to discuss Retail Fraud in Michigan. In this article, we will discuss what retail fraud is, the varying degrees of charges, and how a conviction can hinder your life moving forward.
Michigan Retail Fraud
First, let’s address what retail fraud is if you are not already familiar with it. In Michigan, retail fraud occurs when an individual in a store that is open to the public, intentionally: alters, transfers, removes and replaces, conceals, or in any other way misrepresents the price of an item with the intent to not pay for it or to pay less than the actual price.
Retail fraud is a very serious crime to be charged with, we would not recommend fighting this on your own. If you are facing this type of charge, we highly suggest retaining an attorney as soon as possible. The penalties can be very heavy and can impact your life after the fact.
Penalties for a Retail Fraud Conviction
There are three degrees of retail fraud in Michigan. But keep in mind, each degree is dependent on the value of merchandise stolen and the individual’s prior criminal history.
- 1st Degree is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. You may be charged with 1st degree if the value of the stolen property offered for sale is:
- $1,000 or more; or
- $200 or more but less than $1,000 with a prior conviction.
- 2nd Degree is a misdemeanor and punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine. You may be charged with 2nd degree if the value of the property offered for sale is:
- $200 or more but less than $1,000; or
- Less than $200 with a prior conviction.
- 3rd Degree is a misdemeanor and punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. You may be charged with 3rd degree if the value of the stolen property offered for sale is:
- less than $200 and the person has no prior retail fraud convictions.
Putting away the specific degrees of charges for a second, we want to include another reason why legal representation is crucial for a Michigan retail fraud charge. Whether you’re applying for a job, college, or a new car, that application will most likely have a checkbox asking, “Have you ever been convicted of a Felony or Misdemeanor crime?”
Once you are charged and convicted, you will have to check that box. When that happens, you will have a strenuous time getting a loan approved, job offer, or college acceptance.
Michigan Criminal Defense | Fausone Bohn, LLP
Convictions for this charge can severely limit your opportunities in life, don’t make the mistake of representing yourself in this matter. Partner Mark Mandell at Fausone Bohn, LLP is a Michigan Criminal Defense attorney with years of experience handling 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd degree retail fraud criminal charges.