MICHIGAN RETAIL FRAUD LAWYER


MICHIGAN RETAIL FRAUD

Most people who have been charged with first offense Michigan retail fraud (also commonly known as ‘shoplifting’) simply made an isolated bad judgment. They’d do just about anything to take back that decision. The embarrassment of being caught and detained by store security is more than enough punishment. Unfortunately, Michigan retail fraud is a crime – a crime that can do real damage to your current and future employment.

The key to minimizing the impact of a Michigan retail fraud arrest is working out a resolution that keeps the conviction off of your criminal record. Criminal Defense Attorney Jeffrey Buehner is a former Oakland County Prosecutor who has worked in Michigan’s criminal justice system for over 28 years. He knows how to present a retail fraud case to both prosecutors and judges in a way that maximizes your likelihood of keeping a first offense retail fraud charge from becoming a part of your criminal record.

Don’t let a Michigan retail fraud conviction impact your career, your reputation and peace of mind. We can help you put this incident behind you so that you can move on with your life. If you’ve been charged with misdemeanor or felony Michigan retail fraud, give us a call for a consultation with an experienced Michigan retail fraud defense lawyer. Call (248) 865-9640 or fill out our Consultation form.


What Is Michigan Retail Fraud?

Many are surprised to find out that Michigan retail fraud can include various criminal acts. Yet, it’s important to examine how Michigan law defines retail fraud in order to know how to handle charges.

Michigan Penal Codes 750.356c and 750.356d makes it abundantly clear what retail fraud is, along with what penalties can be used as punishment.

According to these laws, retail fraud occurs when a person intentionally does one of the following acts while in a store that is open to the public:

  1. Alters, transfers, removes and replaces, conceals, or in any other way misrepresents the price of an item with the intent to not pay for the item or to pay less than the actual price
  2. Steals property of the store that is offered for sale
  3. With intent to defraud, obtains or attempts to obtain money or store property as a refund or exchange for property that was not paid for and belongs to that store.

Understanding what the definition of retail fraud is according to Michigan law can be one of the most important steps when it comes to handling retail fraud accusations.


Criminal Penalties For Michigan Retail Fraud

There are three degrees of retail fraud in Michigan. Accordingly, the penalty for each degree is dependent upon the value of the merchandise stolen and a person’s prior criminal history.

First Degree Michigan Retail Fraud
First degree retail fraud is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or $10,000 fine (or 3 times the value of the difference in price, property stolen, or money/ property obtained, whichever is greater). First degree can be charged where:

  • The value of the stolen property offered for sale is $1,000 or more; or
  • The value of the stolen property offered for sale is $200 or more but less than $1,000 with a prior retail fraud conviction.

Second Degree Michigan Retail Fraud
Second degree retail fraud is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine (or three times the value of the difference in price, property stolen, or money/ property obtained, whichever is greater). Second degree can be charged where:

  • The value of the stolen property offered for sale is $200 or more but less than $1,000; or
  • The value of the stolen property offered for sale is less than $200 with a prior retail fraud conviction.

Third Degree Michigan Retail Fraud
Third degree retail fraud is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or $500 fine (or three times the value of the difference in price, property stolen, or money/ property obtained, whichever is greater). Third degree is charged where the value of the stolen property offered for sale is less than $200 and the person has no prior retail fraud convictions.


Michigan Retail Fraud Civil Demand Notice

These other charges come from a retailer (or their lawyer) who may provide you with a civil demand notice. This is basically a letter in the mail asking you to pay for civil damages. This letter is often from a law firm or a lawyer representing the business, which means that it may be from a state other than Michigan. For example, a large business with locations across the country may have a law firm in one state handle legal matters.

Michigan law provides that a merchant can recover the full retail price of unrecovered property or recovered property that is not in salable condition, and civil damages of 10 times the retail price of the property up to $200.00. Again, this is a civil action in addition to the criminal prosecution.

If the civil demand is not paid, the merchant can pursue a civil lawsuit in small claims court, district court, or any court of competent jurisdiction.


Experienced Michigan Retail Fraud Lawyers

Being arrested for retail fraud is a crime, no matter how insignificant the act of shoplifting. During his time in court, Jeffrey Buehner’s proficiency as a retail fraud lawyer has resulted in positive results in many cases. Using his over 28 years of experience in this area of law, Michigan Retail Fraud Lawyer Jeffrey Buehner will always work to minimize the impact a Retail Fraud charge will have on your future. Under his counsel, alternatives to jail time, case dismissals, and reduced charges are regularly reached. Let our team and Michigan Retail Fraud Lawyer Jeffrey Buehner find the best possible result for your difficult situation.


The Right Attorney for Your Michigan Retail Fraud Case

Every state has its own retail fraud laws. That’s why choosing a Michigan retail fraud lawyer with expertise in the State of Michigan is a must. Whether you reside in Livonia, Troy, Sterling Heights, Novi, Ann Arbor, or beyond, Jeffrey Buehner is the premier Michigan retail fraud attorney for resolving shoplifting cases. We’ll help you understand the Michigan laws and potential consequences of your case and seek the best possible outcome to minimize the impact on your life. We strive to find a way to allow you to continue to live your life with minimal impact. In many cases, this includes keeping your record clear of a conviction – a key factor in keeping your employment options open in Michigan. Find out more by reaching out to our outstanding legal team today.


Contact Our Michigan Retail Fraud Lawyers

To avoid the costly and potentially life-altering effects of Michigan misdemeanor or felony retail fraud charges, contact the law offices of criminal defense attorney Jeffrey Buehner today. You’ll receive a free consultation with an experienced Michigan retail fraud lawyer and find out all your options. Become one of the many satisfied clients who have reaped the rewards of working with our team on your Michigan shoplifting case.

Call (248) 865-9640 or fill out our Consultation form now. We’re ready to help win your Michigan retail fraud case.