Arrested for Shoplifting at Twelve Oaks Mall

Twelve Oaks Mall is a popular shopping destination due to its collection of great stores. Nordstrom, Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, the Apple Store, and Lululemon Athletica,  and Victoria’s Secret are a few of it’s most sought after destinations.  One of the issues that Twelve Oaks and its merchants deal with on a daily basis is shoplifting (also called retail fraud or retail theft) and employee theft (also called embezzlement).

Twelve Oaks Mall has mall security, close circuit court, and a working relationship with Novi Police to protect its tenants.  The prosecution of shoplifters and people who embezzle money and merchandise is intended to serve as a deterrent for repeated thefts and the public at large.

How are people caught committing theft offenses?

  1. The use of trained loss prevention officers to monitor for suspicious activity;
  2. Theft detection devices attached to products;
  3. Store designs that eliminate blind spots;
  4. Training of store personnel to communicate suspicious activity to loss prevention and/or mall security
  5. Placing products that have a higher value, or which are frequently stolen, in visible locations;
  6. Closed Circuit Television and high definition cameras are used to observe and record persons in the store;

When someone is detained by loss prevention or store security, he or she should not expect to receive only a warning.

If a ticket is issued by police or an arrest is made, what is the next step?  A court date will be scheduled at the 52/1 District Court which is located at 48150 Grand River Avenue in Novi 48374.  The Court’s telephone number is (248)305-6144.

An arraignment is the first scheduled court date. At arraignment the charge and possible penalty are read, and a bond amount is set.  After arraignment, the next scheduled court date is a pretrial date.  At pretrial the case will either get adjourned to another pretrial date, a bench or jury trial date will be set, or the case will be resolved by a plea or a plea bargain.

Needless to say, the best time to have a lawyer is immediately.  The involvement of a lawyer, especially at an early stage in the proceedings, will help you obtain the best possible result given your circumstances.

What type of lawyer do I need?  Not any criminal lawyer.  You need a lawyer that specializes in theft cases.  My recommendation is attorney Daniel Hilf of Hilf & Hilf, PLC.  Mr. Hilf is a local attorney who frequently appears at the 52/1 District Court and is well respected.

What Am I facing?  Generally, retail fraud (shoplifting) can be charged as a 93 day misdemeanor (by the Novi City Attorney), a 1 year misdemeanor (by the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office), or a 4 year felony (by the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office) depending upon the amount involved, your prior record, and your intent.

Embezzlement (employee theft) generally is based upon the amount that is stolen by the employee, and the employee’s prior record.  Embezzlement can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending upon the particular circumstances of the case.

With embezzlement and retail fraud charges charges, if a series of thefts occurred the total amount of the theft can be added together to make the charge more serious.

Other common theft offenses at Twelve Oaks Mall.

Credit card fraud (otherwise known as Financial Transaction Device – stealing/retaining/possessing without the device holder’s consent).  This offense is prosecuted as a 4 year maximum felony.  Larceny from a Person is prosecuted as a 10 year maximum felony offense.

If you are charged with a felony from an offense at Twelve Oaks Mall the case will begin at the 52/1 District Court in Novi, and will continue to the 6th Circuit Court at 1200 N. Telegraph Road in Pontiac 48341 if a probable cause determination is made at the 52/1 District Court

Just because a crime carries a maximum sentence does not necessarily mean you will face jail or prison time.  For any of the above listed offenses, if convicted, the Court has the discretion not to incarcerate you.  It may even be possible to avoid having a theft conviction through the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act or the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office first offender program.