What are Shoplifting Laws in Michigan?
If you steal items from a retail store in the state of Michigan, you may have to serve a prison term if proven guilty. Business owners in Michigan are quite focused on the shrinkage in their inventories. As such, in case the law of the state alleges you of committing retail fraud, you should consult a seasoned attorney in Michigan to save yourself from criminal punishments. When you have the charge of shoplifting on your record, it can damage your future employment opportunities. Also, the costs of being criminally convicted can be quite steep.
Shoplifting in Michigan
In Michigan, a person is said to have committed the crime of shoplifting when he/she steals goods from a retail establishment pretending to be a customer and does mote than just pocketing goods. The offense of shoplifting can also include the following acts:
- Trying to rob merchandise
- Trying to intimidate the staff of the store to look somewhere else while robbing
- Shuffling price tags of the items so that they have to pay less for that item
- Returning stolen items to get store credit or cash
- Collaborating with any staff so that inventory can be taken
- Using kids to remove goods from the retail store and not paying
Any person who commits any of these above acts is held guilty of the commission of retail fraud in Michigan and can be criminally prosecuted.
In Michigan, thus a person is said to have committed retail fraud when he/she commits any of the acts mentioned below:
- Conceals, misrepresents the price, removes, or alters the price of a product that is available for sale and the actual intention was to not pay for that item or not pay the actual price for which the item was being offered for sale when the shop was opened for the public, or
- The accused had the intention to defraud, attempts to get money, or gets the money in lieu of returning the stolen good in a retail store but had not paid initially for that item and the item belonged to that shop.
These shoplifting charges in Michigan are considered to be the most severe. If the amount of the stolen property is over 1,000 USD, the person can be charged with first-degree shoplifting. In Michigan, if the person is convicted of first-degree retail fraud, he/she has to face a minimum fine of 10,000 USD or thrice the stolen property's value and a maximum term of five years.
Second-Degree Retail Fraud and Penalties in Michigan
In Michigan, a shoplifting offense will be regarded as the second-degree shoplifting charge if a person defrauds or steals a business and the value of the stolen property is between 200 USD and 1,000 USD. Upon conviction of the second-degree retail fraud, the guilty have to pay a minimum fine of 2,000 USD, as well as, a maximum jail term of one year. The fine amount can be also thrice the stolen property's value in the state of Michigan.
Third-Degree Retail Fraud and Penalties in Michigan
The state of Michigan considers shoplifting charges as third-degree retail fraud when the worth of the item being stolen is the differences between the price tags that were switched or when the attempt to defraud is below 200 USD. When a person is convicted of the charge of the third-degree retail fraud in Michigan, he/she may have to pay a minimum fine of 500 USD, up to thrice the stolen property's value and a maximum jail term of 93 days.
In case you have been slapped with a shoplifting charge in Michigan, make sure to approach a good criminal lawyer to help you out and represent your case well.
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