Retail Fraud

Retail Fraud

las law shop lifting retail fraudRetail fraud, better known as shoplifting, is a serious crime in the state of Michigan and can have lasting effects on a person’s future. For example, people convicted of retail fraud might have to disclose this conviction, regardless of degree, on an employment application or a background check.

An individual can be charged with retail fraud not only for the typical shoplifting scenario but also for various other situations, for example:

• Changing the price tag on an item or otherwise misrepresenting the price in order to pay less;

• Attempting to obtain a refund or an exchange for an item that was not paid for and belongs to the store; and

• Intentionally failing to scan, and thus pay for, an item in the self-checkout aisle

Under MCL 750.356, retail fraud can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the monetary amount of the fraud. To determine what degree an individual should be charged with, the monetary values of separate incidents of retail fraud occurring in a 12-month period may be aggregated to determine the total value involved in the offense.

 

Third Degree

Under MCL 750.356d, retail fraud in the third degree is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days, and/or a fine of not more than $500, or 3 times the value of the property stolen. Retail fraud in the third degree may be charged when:

  • The value of the property is less than $200.

 

Second Degree

Under MCL 750.356d, retail fraud in the second degree is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year, and/or a fine of not more than $2,000, or 3 times the value of the property stolen. Retail fraud in the second degree may be charged when:

  • The value of the property is between $200 and $1,000; or
  • The value of the property is less than $200, and the individual has 1 or more prior retail fraud convictions.

 

First Degree 

Under MCL 750.356c, retail fraud in the first degree is a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, and/ or a fine of not more than $10,000, or 3 times the value of the property stolen. Retail fraud in the first degree may be charged when:

  • The value of the property is $1,000 or more; or
  • The value of the property is between $200 and $1,000, and the individual has 1 or more prior retail fraud convictions.

If you or someone you know has been charged with retail fraud, it is imperative that you seek legal representation from a lawyer familiar with this area of law. Finding resolution that can keep someone’s criminal record clean and keep you out of jail may be available.

 

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