Retail Fraud And Shoplifting In Sterling Heights And Clinton Township

Retail fraud or shoplifting occurs when a person intends to take an item from a store or merchant without paying for it or knowingly engages in price tag switching. In today's high-tech world, it is usually very easy for a store to prove that someone shoplifted due to high-definition video and audio surveillance equipment. Look up at the ceiling. Do you see the black globes? Those are most likely cameras. Many stores also have undercover employees posing as customers.

Hiring an attorney who will obtain and review all the evidence is essential to developing a defense strategy for your case. Contact the Law Offices of Nickolas Daniels and Associates, where we have extensive knowledge and experience with all degrees of retail fraud. Mr. Daniels has successfully defended clients and limited penalties throughout Macomb County, including Sterling Heights, Clinton Township, Shelby Township, Warren, Roseville, New Baltimore, Chesterfield, Romeo and Richmond.

Retail Fraud Penalties

1. Retail fraud third degree: If the value of the merchandise is under $200, the punishment is up to 93 days in jail and/or a fine up to $500, or three times the value of the merchandise.

a. A prior conviction for third-degree retail fraud could elevate this offense to second-degree retail fraud.

2. Retail fraud second degree: If the value of the merchandise is between $200 and $1,000, the punishment is up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $2,000, or three times the value of the merchandise.

a. A prior conviction for second-degree retail fraud could elevate this offense to first-degree retail fraud.

3. Retail fraud first degree: If the value of the merchandise is $1,000 or more, the punishment is up to five years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000, or three times the value of the merchandise.

Civil Liability From Retail Fraud

Not only is someone subject to the above penalties, but the store or merchant could file a civil lawsuit seeking money damages. The Law Offices of Nickolas Daniels and Associates can also help with a collection firm or civil lawsuit by providing good legal advice at every stage of a retail fraud case.

Keeping A Conviction Off Of Your Public Record

A retail fraud conviction can prevent you from obtaining employment, college or university admission and loans. In some cases, a deal can be reached with the prosecutor and the judge to keep a conviction off of your record. Typically this occurs after successful completion of probation.

Youthful offenders (17 to 21) may qualify for dismissal pursuant to the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act after admitting responsibility and pleading guilty. Adult offenders may be eligible for a delayed sentence, which can result in a dismissal after completion of a successful probation period (during the probation period, the crime would show up on a criminal history report).

The Law Offices of Nickolas Daniels and Associates has the experience and knowledge to provide effective and efficient representation for misdemeanor and felony retail fraud charges.