Due to the popularity of Somerset Mall, Oakland Mall, Nordstrom Rack, and other shopping destinations, there is a large volume of retail fraud investigations in the city of Troy. Most retail fraud cases begin with an individual’s apprehension by a lost prevention employee (asset protection) from the store. The lost prevention employee typically detains the individual and recovers the merchandise in question and determines whether or not the merchandise was purchased. If the lost prevention employee makes a determination that shoplifting occurs he/or she will usually attempts to have the individual admit verbally and sometimes in writing to the theft, contacts the police, and writes a store report about the incident. The responding police officer is usually given a copy of that store report, along with any store video. The merchandise that is the subject of the complaint is photographed, and a determination is made as to the retail price of the merchandise involved. The individual is given notice by the store that he or she will be considered a trespasser.
The police officer has the discretion to issue a ticket, which will require the individual to be arraigned at the district court within 10 days, or to take the individual into custody. If the alleged retail fraud is a felony, or the individual has warrants, the individual is typically taken into custody. If the individual is a minor, typically a parent or guardian is contacted and the minor is released to their custody. A person who is in custody, in most circumstances, is arraigned within 72 hours before a magistrate.
At the arraignment a magistrate or Judge will read the charge or charges in open court, provide notice of the potential penalty, determine if the individual needs a court appointed lawyer for the next court date, and sets bond. For bond purposes the magistrate or Judge will typically consider the individual’s risk of flight (whether or not they will appear in court) and danger to the community (typically the individual’s prior record or information about the alleged offense) when setting the bond amount. The bond amount can be a personal bond (no money is required), cash, surety, or 10%. The bond amount can include restrictions such as (but not limited to) drug/alcohol testing, inability to leave the State of Michigan, no new criminal offenses, etc. The legal representation that an individual receives can influence the bond amount and bond conditions.
Retail Fraud cases in Troy Michigan can be prosecuted by the city of Troy (for misdemeanor cases only) or the Oakland County Prosecutor’s office (for felony and misdemeanor cases). Retail Fraud can be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony (depending on the individual’s prior record and/or the amount of the alleged shoplifting, or the intent of the individual ( i.e. organized retail fraud in which items are stolen for the purpose of being resold). There are different nuances in the manner in which cases are handled by the city of Troy and the Oakland County Prosecutor’s office that are best left for an experienced criminal lawyer to handle.
Resolution of the retail fraud case can be through a trial or a plea. Resolving the case by a plea may be, in some cases, by a plea bargain and a sentencing agreement. An experienced lawyer can often avoid having a theft related conviction appear, which is important for work, education, travel, and immigration law related reasons.
When charged with Retail Fraud in the city of Troy, Michigan it is extremely important to have great legal representation. The quality of your legal representation can make a difference in terms of your bond, trial result (if a trial occurs), attempting to obtain a plea bargain, and sentencing result.
A great choice for legal representation in the city of Troy, Michigan is attorney Daniel Hilf of Hilf & Hilf, PLC. Why? His office is approximately half a mile from the 52/4 District Court, and he regularly appears before Judge Hartig, Judge McGinnis, and the magistrates of the Court. He has extensive trial experience, and is well respected by Judges, prosecutors, probation officers, court staff, and other lawyers. A Retail Fraud charge can have life altering results, and must be addressed in a serious, thorough, and effective manner.