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. Retail fraud in Michigan 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 the merchandise stolen and the individual’s prior criminal history.
- 1st-Degree: Felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. You could face charges for 1st degree if the value of the property offered for sale is:
- $1,000 or more; or
- $200 or more, but less than $1,000 with a prior conviction.
- 2nd-Degree: Misdemeanor and punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine. You could face charges for 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: Misdemeanor and punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. You could face charges for 3rd degree if the value of the property offered for sale is:
- Less than $200 with no prior retail fraud convictions.
A hidden penalty of a retail fraud conviction is the misdemeanor/fraud conviction disclosure checkbox. After receiving a conviction, you have to check that box. After checking this box, it can be incredibly challenging to obtain loan approval, secure job offers, or gain acceptance into colleges.
Michigan Retail Fraud Defense | Fausone & Grysko, PLC
Along with a retail fraud conviction, you’ll encounter many challenges. Namely, when applying for a job, college, even a new car, these applications have “Misdemeanor/Felony Conviction Disclosure” checkboxes. Once you’re convicted, you have to check that box. Many that have been previously convicted cited the incredible difficulty they have when encountering that checkbox. This is why it’s imperative to hire top-notch legal representation.
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 & Grysko, PLC is a Michigan Criminal Defense attorney with years of experience handling 1st-degree, 2nd-degree, and 3rd-degree retail fraud criminal charges.