Friday, September 20, 2019

Common Questions from People Charged with Retail Fraud

When people face Retail Fraud charges, they often have these questions:
“Is Retail Fraud a misdemeanor or felony?”
“How do I prove my innocence if I didn’t commit this offense?”
“Will I go to jail/prison if I’m guilty?”
“What is a Civil Demand Notice?”
“If I return the goods, will the whole criminal charge simply go away?”
In Michigan, Retail Fraud is generally defined as “the taking of property from a store that was open to the general public, and with the specific intent to deprive the store of ownership.” If a someone steals from a person, building, or home, it’s a distinct (separate) theft offense and not Retail Fraud. Only where there is a “retail establishment” involved (hence, Retail Fraud) is this charge appropriate. If the person is an employee of the establishment it would be Embezzlement and not Retail Fraud. 

What types of diversion programs exist for criminal charges in Michigan?

Consent Calendar :  For juvenile offenders (currently under age 17), certain offenses qualify for a diversion in which the minor is neither ...