Michigan Theft Crimes Lawyers
Defending Clients Against All Types of Theft Offenses
Retail fraud, commonly referred to as shoplifting, is a serious crime in Michigan. Shoplifting is the stealing of property from a store during regular business hours. There are three degrees of retail fraud and the punishments vary depending on whether you are convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony.
First degree retail fraud is a 5-year felony and carries a fine of up to $10,000 or 3 times the value of the stolen property. There is also a maximum 5-year probation term. A person can be charged with first-degree retail fraud if, while the store is open to the public:
- the person changes, transfers, or otherwise misrepresents the price at which property is offered for sale with the intent to pay less if the resulting difference is $1,000 or more,
- stealing property that is offered for sale at a price of $1,000 or more, or
- obtains or attempts to obtain a fraudulent refund or exchange of property that is $1,000.
A person can also be charged with first-degree retail fraud if they steal property that is valued between $200 and $1,000 and they have a prior retail fraud or attempted retail fraud conviction on their record.
Second-degree retail fraud is a misdemeanor that has a possible 1-year jail term plus fines and costs. There is also a maximum 2-year probation term. A person can be charged with second-degree retail fraud if the theft of property is between $200 and $1,000, or if the theft is under $200 but the person has a prior theft-related conviction on their record.
Third-degree retail fraud is a misdemeanor that carries a possible 93-day jail term plus fines and costs. There is also a maximum 2-year probation term. A person can be charged with third-degree retail fraud if the theft of property is valued below $200. This often occurs with the stealing of small items from stores such as Meijer, Target, Kmart, or CVS.