When a person takes something from a store or attempts to alter the price tag on the item so that they pay less than the market value, they are attempting illegal deception. This is why shoplifting in Michigan is classed in legal terms as "retail fraud".
If you have been accused of retail fraud in Michigan, it is important that you understand the way that the legal system prosecutes such crimes, so that you can adequately defend yourself.
What is the definition of retail fraud?
Retail fraud is defined as an act executed in a public store whereby a person tries to conceal or remove property that is intended for sale with the intention of not paying for it. Alternatively, they may intentionally try to misrepresent the price of the property in order to pay less for the item. Finally, a person can be convicted of retail fraud if they try to gain a refund on property that was not paid for.
What are the consequences of retail fraud?
If you are found guilty of fraud, the legal consequences that you will likely face will depend on the value of the items that were taken or misrepresented. If the value of the items was less than $200, and you have not been convicted of a crime before, you will likely face a misdemeanor. However, if the goods were valued at over $1,000, you will probably face a felony.
If you want to defend yourself from retail fraud, it is important that you do not delay in taking action so that you have time to make preparations. An attorney can provide much-needed advice and guidance.