Retail Fraud Criminal Defense

If you have been accused of retail fraud, you need a lawyer who has experience defending against these types of charges. Criminal charges can stay on your record for a long time and affect your ability to get a job or take out a loan. I am Jonathan Jones, a Detroit area criminal defense attorney who has been protecting people’s rights for more than 25 years. If you have been accused of a crime, it is essential to seek legal advice right away.

We are 100 percent dedicated to the practice of criminal defense and we are 100 percent committed to helping you get the best possible results. Call or text us at (248) 310-3399, or contact us online.

Building a Strong Defense Against Shoplifting and Retail Fraud

Retail fraud is the legal term for shoplifting, but it encompasses many other crimes that involve a retail establishment. Retail fraud occurs when a person in a store that is open to the public intentionally alters, transfers, removes and replaces, conceals, or in any way misrepresents the price of an item with the intent to not pay for the item or to pay less than the actual price. It also occurs when a person attempts to steal an item for the store. Additionally, it occurs when a person with the intent to defraud, obtains or attempts to obtain money or store property as a refund or exchange for property that store.

Criminal Retail Fraud Penalties

There are 3 degrees of retail fraud in Michigan and each differs depending on the prior criminal history of the person and the value of the merchandise stolen

  • 1st degree retail fraud is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or $10,000.00 fine (or 3 times the value of the difference in price, property stolen, or money/ property obtained, whichever is greater). 1st degree can be charged when the value of stolen property offered for sale is $1,000.00 or more, or the value of stolen property offered for sale is $200.00 or more but less than $1,000.00 with a prior retail fraud conviction.
  • 2nd degree retail fraud is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine (or 3 times the value of the difference in price, property stolen, or money/ property obtained, whichever is greater). 2nd degree can be charged when the value of the stolen property offered for sale is $200 or more but less than $1,000 or the value of the stolen property offered for sale is less than $200 with a prior retail fraud conviction.
  • 3rd degree retail fraud is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or $500 fine (or 3 times the value of the difference in price, property stolen, or money/ property obtained, whichever is greater). 3rd degree is charged where the value of the stolen property offered for sale is less than $200 and the person has no prior retail fraud convictions.

There are many factors involved in defending a shoplifting or retail fraud case, including your past criminal history. We can challenge the state's accusations of intent, and whether your right to be free from unreasonable searches or seizures was violated. Regardless of the dollar amount of the allegations, you need an experienced criminal attorney by your side.

Contact Our Royal Oak Law Office

We provide the personal attention and respect our clients need and deserve. When you hire us, you get us, not a junior associate or a paralegal. Call or text us at (248) 310-3399, or contact us online. We have our mobiles on us at all times, so you can expect a prompt response. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can get to work building you a strong defense.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
In life sometimes good people do or experience bad things. These people should be as lucky as I have been to be represented by Jonathan Jones. Mary P.
★★★★★
Thank you again you are a excellent lawyer I wish you many more of those outcomes throughout your career as a dedicated lawyer. Rick R.
★★★★★
Thanks for your professional representation on my recent case. I was arrested when driving through Detroit and, being from out of state, had no idea on how to proceed in responding to the charges. Andy D.
★★★★★
Jonathan, You advocated my position with the utmost professionalism and clarity. Thank you for your fine representation. Don M.