Criminal Defense Law Center
West Michigan

  • Wyoming, MI 49519
  • attorneyshawnhaff@gmail.com
  • 616-438-6719
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Retail Fraud Defense Attorneys
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Attorney Shawn Haff of The Criminal Defense Law Center of West Michigan represents those who are accused of Retail Fraud.  You can rest easy knowing that our lawyers have a good understanding of the law and how to work the legal process to you the best results possible.

Retail Fraud is one of the most common criminal offenses in the State of Michigan. This crime is commonly referred to as shoplifting

The consequences for a shoplifting conviction in Michigan include jail time, prison, extensive probation, community service, therapy, drug, and alcohol testing and fines and costs. 

Attorney Shawn Haff of The Criminal Defense Law Center of West Michigan has the experience you need in defending clients from retail fraud charges all across West Michigan. He will fight hard to get your charges dismissed when possible.

The fact that you are being charged in a Grand Rapids court for retail fraud does not mean you are bad individual. The Criminal Defense Law Center of West Michigan often represents people have never been in trouble before. The incident can be described correctly as an isolated incident and something that will never happen again. 

The repercussions a person faces though can be very serious and have a very negative impact on your life.  A conviction of retail fraud can include: probation, loss of freedom, loss of professional licensing, negative immigration complications, loss of your job and educational opportunities. 

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What is Retail Fraud?

For a prosecutor to prove the charge of Retail Fraud several elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

  1. The prosecutor must prove that the defendant took control of the property a store offered for sale.
  2. The Prosecutor must show that the defendant moved the property.
  3. The Prosecutor must prove the collective value of the property in question.
  4. The Prosecutor must prove the defendant intended to steal the property.

If the Prosecutor can prove the value of the property stolen was $1,000 or more, the charge is First Degree Retail Fraud which is a felony. The defendant can receive a prison sentence.  If the value was $200 or more but less than $1,000 the offense is Second Degree Retail Fraud.  This is a misdemeanor and is punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail.  finally if the value is less than $200, the offense is Retail Fraud in the third degree which is punishable by 93 days in jail.

What would otherwise be a retail fraud-third or second degree can be enhanced to a retail fraud first degree if the defendant has prior retail fraud convictions.

Embezzlement, fraud and retail fraud charges can be very complex and very unique for every individual. This makes it very important to have an experienced lawyer in your corner. We can provide you with aggressive criminal defense against any and all forms of fraud or embezzlement charges.  Our defense attorneys can also represent you against all white collar criminal charges such as embezzlement and retail fraud. We won’t judge you. Instead, we will work hard on your case and keep you in touch every step of the way.

Retail Fraud First Degree

(1) A person who does any of the following in a store or in its immediate vicinity is guilty of retail fraud first degree, a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $10,000.00 or 3 times the value of the difference in price, property stolen, or money or property obtained or attempted to be obtained, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine:

(a) While a store is open to the public, alters, transfers, removes and replaces, conceals, or otherwise misrepresents the price at which property is offered for sale, with the intent not to pay for the property or to pay less than the price at which the property is offered for sale, if the resulting difference in price is $1,000.00 or more.

(b) While a store is open to the public, steals property of the store that is offered for sale at a price of $1,000.00 or more.

(c) With intent to defraud, obtains or attempts to obtain money or property from the store as a refund or exchange for property that was not paid for and belongs to the store, if the amount of money or the value of the property obtained or attempted to be obtained is $1,000.00 or more.

(2) A person who violates section 356d(1) and who has 1 or more prior convictions for committing or attempting to commit an offense under this section or section 218, 356, 356d(1), or 360 is guilty of retail fraud first degree. For purposes of this subsection, however, a prior conviction does not include a conviction for a violation or attempted violation of section 218(2) or (3)(b) or section 356(4)(b) or (5).

(3) The values of the difference in price, property stolen, or money or property obtained or attempted to be obtained in separate incidents pursuant to a scheme or course of conduct within any 12-month period may be aggregated to determine the total value involved in the offense under this section.

(4) If the prosecuting attorney intends to seek an enhanced sentence based upon the defendant having 1 or more prior convictions, the prosecuting attorney shall include on the complaint and information a statement listing the prior conviction or convictions. The existence of the defendant’s prior conviction or convictions shall be determined by the court, without a jury, at sentencing or at a separate hearing for that purpose before sentencing. The existence of a prior conviction may be established by any evidence relevant for that purpose, including, but not limited to, 1 or more of the following:

(a) A copy of the judgment of conviction.

(b) A transcript of a prior trial, plea-taking, or sentencing.

(c) Information contained in a presentence report.

(d) The defendant’s statement.

(5) A person who commits retail fraud first degree shall not be prosecuted under section 218(5) or 356(2).

(6) If the sentence for a conviction under this section is enhanced by 1 or more prior convictions, those prior convictions shall not be used to further enhance the sentence for the conviction pursuant to section 10, 11, or 12 of chapter IX of the code of criminal procedure, 1927 PA 175, MCL 769.10, 769.11, and 769.12.

Organized Retail Theft is also a felony charge. This charge carries with it a maximum prison sentence of up to five years in prison. The charge is filed against a person with the defendant steals merchandise for sale with the intent to resell the stolen goods to another business or person. 

Retail Fraud Second Degree

Sec. 356d.

(1) A person who does any of the following in a store or in its immediate vicinity is guilty of retail fraud second degree, a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $2,000.00 or 3 times the value of the difference in price, property stolen, or money or property obtained or attempted to be obtained, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine:

(a) While a store is open to the public, alters, transfers, removes and replaces, conceals, or otherwise misrepresents the price at which property is offered for sale with the intent not to pay for the property or to pay less than the price at which the property is offered for sale if the resulting difference in price is $200.00 or more but less than $1,000.00.

(b) While a store is open to the public, steals property of the store that is offered for sale at a price of $200.00 or more but less than $1,000.00.

(c) With intent to defraud, obtains or attempts to obtain money or property from the store as a refund or exchange for property that was not paid for and belongs to the store if the amount of money or the value of the property obtained or attempted to be obtained is $200.00 or more but less than $1,000.00.

(2) A person who violates subsection (4) and who has 1 or more prior convictions for committing or attempting to commit an offense under this section, section 218, 356, 356c, or 360, or a local ordinance substantially corresponding to this section or section 218, 356, 356c, or 360 is guilty of retail fraud in the second degree.

(3) A person who commits retail fraud in the second degree shall not be prosecuted under section 360.

(6) The values of the difference in price, property stolen, or money or property obtained or attempted to be obtained in separate incidents pursuant to a scheme or course of conduct within any 12-month period may be aggregated to determine the total value involved in the offense under this section.

(7) If the prosecuting attorney intends to seek an enhanced sentence based upon the defendant having 1 or more prior convictions, the prosecuting attorney shall include on the complaint and information a statement listing the prior conviction or convictions. The existence of the defendant’s prior conviction or convictions shall be determined by the court, without a jury, at sentencing or at a separate hearing for that purpose before sentencing. The existence of a prior conviction may be established by any evidence relevant for that purpose, including, but not limited to, 1 or more of the following:

(a) A copy of the judgment of conviction.

(b) A transcript of a prior trial, plea-taking, or sentencing.

(c) Information contained in a presentence report.

(d) The defendant’s statement.

Retail Fraud Third Degree

A person who does any of the following in a store or in its immediate vicinity is guilty of retail fraud third degree, a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500.00 or 3 times the value of the difference in price, property stolen, or money or property obtained or attempted to be obtained, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine:

(a) While a store is open to the public, alters, transfers, removes and replaces, conceals, or otherwise misrepresents the price at which property is offered for sale, with the intent not to pay for the property or to pay less than the price at which the property is offered for sale, if the resulting difference in price is less than $200.00.

(b) While a store is open to the public, steals the property of the store that is offered for sale at a price of less than $200.00.

(c) With intent to defraud, obtains or attempts to obtain money or property from the store as a refund or exchange for property that was not paid for and belongs to the store, if the amount of money, or the value of the property, obtained or attempted to be obtained is less than $200.00.

(5) A person who commits retail fraud third degree shall not be prosecuted under section 360.

(6) The values of the difference in price, property is stolen, or money or property obtained or attempted to be obtained in separate incidents pursuant to a scheme or course of conduct within any 12-month period may be aggregated to determine the total value involved in the offense under this section.

(7) If the prosecuting attorney intends to seek an enhanced sentence based upon the defendant having 1 or more prior convictions, the prosecuting attorney shall include on the complaint and information a statement listing the prior conviction or convictions. The existence of the defendant’s prior conviction or convictions shall be determined by the court, without a jury, at sentencing or at a separate hearing for that purpose before sentencing. The existence of a prior conviction may be established by any evidence relevant for that purpose, including, but not limited to, 1 or more of the following:

(a) A copy of the judgment of conviction.

(b) A transcript of a prior trial, plea-taking, or sentencing.

(c) Information contained in a presentence report.

(d) The defendant’s statement.

What Is Shoplifting

For a prosecutor to prove the charge of shoplifting several elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • The prosecutor must prove that the defendant took control of the property a store offered for sale.
  • The Prosecutor must show that the defendant moved the property.
  • The Prosecutor must prove the collective value of the property in question.
  • The Prosecutor must prove the defendant intended to steal the property.

If the Prosecutor can prove the value of the property stolen was $1,000 or more, the charge is First Degree Retail Fraud which is a felony. The defendant can receive a prison sentence.  If the value was $200 or more but less than $1,000 the offense is Second Degree Retail Fraud.  This is a misdemeanor and is punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail. Finally, if the value is less than $200, the offense is Retail Fraud in the third degree which is punishable by 93 days in jail.

Will I Have To Do Jail Time for my Retail Fraud Charges?

We get asked this question all the time during consultation with potential clients in retail fraud cases. The answer to this question is complex and dependent on many factors but the vast majority of the time The Criminal Defense Law Center of West Michigan keep their clients from doing any jail or prison time in retail fraud cases.

When you first call us, we will want to know about your past, and if you have a criminal record. From there, we will want to know where this happened and who was involved. Next, we will order all of the police reports and evidence in your case.  We will try to track down any video and audio and if necessary will get a private investigator to help build your various defenses. We will try to win your case with a dismissal or by getting a not guilty verdict at trial. If those are your best options, we will work on getting our clients the best plea deal possible.

No matter what type of computer fraud you are being investigated for or have been charged with, our Our defense attorneys can assist you through the process. By fighting the prosecution at every turn, we can help to minimize the consequences you face and will strive to have your charges eliminated. Whether you are facing accusations of computer fraud, health care fraud, business fraud, insurance fraud or retail fraud, you can rely on our experience.

 

Defenses To Retail Fraud And Shoplifting

The vast majority of shopping malls and franchise stores have full time employees called loss prevention detectives. These people are well trained to prevent the theft of the stores property. They use the latest technology out there such as cameras, theft detection devices and more to help the store lower the costs associated with retail fraud. Even with all this training, mistakes are till made and people are falsely accused of theft. There are instances of false identification, cultural issues, procedural errors and misinterpreting the situation.  All of these things can lead to getting an acquittal, getting a dismissal or getting a great result for you!

Attorney Shawn Haff will gather all the discovery materials to provide you with the best possible defense. These materials include a police report, any loss prevention reports that can be gathered, videos, videos from the police, any photographs that can be found and statements from witnesses. 

In some cases getting our clients the best results possible is achieved through a plea bargain. This plea agreement can lead to the prosecution dismissing the case or by getting an agreement with the Judge, called a Cobbs agreement. 

Case Results For Retain Fraud and Shoplifting Charges

2019

Our Client was sentenced under HYTA and walked away without a criminal record. 

2019

Our client walked away with a delayed sentence. This allowed our client to complete probation without a criminal record. 

2019

We worked hard for our client and got the charges dismissed by a tough local prosecutor!

Request A Free Consultation

  • 2675 44th Street SW
    Suite 208
    Wyoming, MI 49519
  • 616-438-6719
  • attorneyshawnhaff@gmail.com
Criminal Defense Law Center West Michigan

Attorney Shawn Haff
We are available by phone 24/7