SHOPLIFTING, RETAIL FRAUD, MICHIGAN, ROSEVILLE, MACOMB COUNTY

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Shoplifting Charge in Michigan

What is the specific law in Michigan regarding Shoplifting or Retail Fraud. I was stopped upon exiting a grocery store in Roseville Michigan, Macomb County with the suspicion of shoplifting. The police report states that I was not seen taking anything but was observed in one aisle with an item in my hand and the observed in the next aisle without it. I was not observed taking anything. When the police officer in Roseville arrived and upon my arrest asked the managers which one saw me take the item they said none of them did but went by the observations stated above. I thought the the way the law reads is that the person must be observed picking up the item, following the person and actually witnessing him conceal it. This was not the case. I was stopped at the door and asked what I had. I did not say anything and was subsequently arrested. I feel that the stop was illegal, illegal search and seizure and also false arrest. Does anyone know where I can find the specific law on this. Thank You.

Comments

  1. Peter A. Torrice on October 3, 2010 at 10:39 am said:

    The law on retail fraud in Michigan is as follows depending on your record:

    750.356c Retail fraud in first degree.

    Sec. 356c.

    (1) A person who does any of the following in a store or in its immediate vicinity is guilty of retail fraud in the first degree, a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $10,000.00 or 3 times the value of the difference in price, property stolen, or money or property obtained or attempted to be obtained, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine:

    (a) While a store is open to the public, alters, transfers, removes and replaces, conceals, or otherwise misrepresents the price at which property is offered for sale, with the intent not to pay for the property or to pay less than the price at which the property is offered for sale, if the resulting difference in price is $1,000.00 or more.

    (b) While a store is open to the public, steals property of the store that is offered for sale at a price of $1,000.00 or more.

    (c) With intent to defraud, obtains or attempts to obtain money or property from the store as a refund or exchange for property that was not paid for and belongs to the store, if the amount of money or the value of the property obtained or attempted to be obtained is $1,000.00 or more.

    (2) A person who violates section 356d(1) and who has 1 or more prior convictions for committing or attempting to commit an offense under this section or section 218, 356, 356d(1), or 360 is guilty of retail fraud in the first degree. For purposes of this subsection, however, a prior conviction does not include a conviction for a violation or attempted violation of section 218(2) or (3)(b) or section 356(4)(b) or (5).

    (3) The values of the difference in price, property stolen, or money or property obtained or attempted to be obtained in separate incidents pursuant to a scheme or course of conduct within any 12-month period may be aggregated to determine the total value involved in the offense under this section.

    (4) If the prosecuting attorney intends to seek an enhanced sentence based upon the defendant having 1 or more prior convictions, the prosecuting attorney shall include on the complaint and information a statement listing the prior conviction or convictions. The existence of the defendant’s prior conviction or convictions shall be determined by the court, without a jury, at sentencing or at a separate hearing for that purpose before sentencing. The existence of a prior conviction may be established by any evidence relevant for that purpose, including, but not limited to, 1 or more of the following:

    (a) A copy of the judgment of conviction.

    (b) A transcript of a prior trial, plea-taking, or sentencing.

    (c) Information contained in a presentence report.

    (d) The defendant’s statement.

    (5) A person who commits retail fraud in the first degree shall not be prosecuted under section 218(5) or 356(2).

    750.356d Retail fraud in second or third degree.

    Sec. 356d.

    (1) A person who does any of the following in a store or in its immediate vicinity is guilty of retail fraud in the second degree, a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $2,000.00 or 3 times the value of the difference in price, property stolen, or money or property obtained or attempted to be obtained, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine:

    (a) While a store is open to the public, alters, transfers, removes and replaces, conceals, or otherwise misrepresents the price at which property is offered for sale with the intent not to pay for the property or to pay less than the price at which the property is offered for sale if the resulting difference in price is $200.00 or more but less than $1,000.00.

    (b) While a store is open to the public, steals property of the store that is offered for sale at a price of $200.00 or more but less than $1,000.00.

    (c) With intent to defraud, obtains or attempts to obtain money or property from the store as a refund or exchange for property that was not paid for and belongs to the store if the amount of money or the value of the property obtained or attempted to be obtained is $200.00 or more but less than $1,000.00.

    (2) A person who violates subsection (4) and who has 1 or more prior convictions for committing or attempting to commit an offense under this section, section 218, 356, 356c, or 360, or a local ordinance substantially corresponding to this section or section 218, 356, 356c, or 360 is guilty of retail fraud in the second degree.

    (3) A person who commits retail fraud in the second degree shall not be prosecuted under section 360.

    (4) A person who does any of the following in a store or in its immediate vicinity is guilty of retail fraud in the third degree, a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500.00 or 3 times the value of the difference in price, property stolen, or money or property obtained or attempted to be obtained, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine:

    (a) While a store is open to the public, alters, transfers, removes and replaces, conceals, or otherwise misrepresents the price at which property is offered for sale, with the intent not to pay for the property or to pay less than the price at which the property is offered for sale, if the resulting difference in price is less than $200.00.

    (b) While a store is open to the public, steals property of the store that is offered for sale at a price of less than $200.00.

    (c) With intent to defraud, obtains or attempts to obtain money or property from the store as a refund or exchange for property that was not paid for and belongs to the store, if the amount of money, or the value of the property, obtained or attempted to be obtained is less than $200.00.

    (5) A person who commits retail fraud in the third degree shall not be prosecuted under section 360.

    (6) The values of the difference in price, property stolen, or money or property obtained or attempted to be obtained in separate incidents pursuant to a scheme or course of conduct within any 12-month period may be aggregated to determine the total value involved in the offense under this section.

    (7) If the prosecuting attorney intends to seek an enhanced sentence based upon the defendant having 1 or more prior convictions, the prosecuting attorney shall include on the complaint and information a statement listing the prior conviction or convictions. The existence of the defendant’s prior conviction or convictions shall be determined by the court, without a jury, at sentencing or at a separate hearing for that purpose before sentencing. The existence of a prior conviction may be established by any evidence relevant for that purpose, including, but not limited to, 1 or more of the following:

    (a) A copy of the judgment of conviction.

    (b) A transcript of a prior trial, plea-taking, or sentencing.

    (c) Information contained in a presentence report.

    (d) The defendant’s statement.

    In your case, it all depends on your record and what you stole. Your question as to the illegal search and seizure depends on all the surrounding circumstances. If you are suspected of taking an item there are many different reasons why you can be stopped. For example, you could be a person that is regularly known for taking items out of a particular store. If they see you doing something that is consistent with taking items then the security guard may stop you. Keep in mind that the security guard is not a government official, so you would probably have a difficult time arguing that the security guard violated your 4th amendment rights.

    There is much more that would go into that argument as you can tell. You would probably have to have a hearing to get more evidence on what happened and what the Roseville Police Officers did when they got to the scene. Give us a call and we can discuss more. Below are the contact numbers. Thank you.

    Peter A. Torrice
    Canu Torrice Law
    32059 Utica
    Fraser, MI 48026
    586-285-1700
    http://www.alllegalmatters.com

  2. Thanks for answering my questions Mr. Torrice. I will be calling you tomorrow to come in for a free consultation as advertised on your website. Hopefully I can pay you in payments for your representation. I know how attorneys want all the money up front, but I work at Taco Bell and only make minimum wage.

    Talk to you soon!!

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