Theft Attorneys in Detroit, Michigan
According to the FBI’s 2019 Crime in the United States report, there were 2,346 robberies, 6,820 burglaries, over 14,000 larceny thefts, and over 6,000 motor vehicle thefts in Detroit in 2019. If you are facing theft charges, it is important to understand all of your legal rights and options.
Our team at Detroit Legal Group PLLC will stand by your side—and we won’t back down. We’re ready to fight for the outcome you deserve regardless of if you’ve been charged with a minor infraction or a felony. Our experienced and knowledgeable team of attorneys has the experience and diligence to defend you each step of the way and we’re committed to fighting for each of our clients. Detroit Legal Group PLLC proudly represents clients in Detroit, Michigan, as well as Dearborn, Southfield, Warren, and the rest of the state.
Theft Charges in Michigan
Theft is a general term that describes many different types of stealing, such as receiving stolen property, embezzlement, fraud, stealing that involves trickery or deception, and larceny. Larceny is the most common type of theft. The Michigan Penal Code defines larceny as stealing certain property, mostly personal property, from another.
Misdemeanor Theft vs. Felony Theft
Most thefts are considered misdemeanors. Misdemeanor larceny involves stealing money, goods (such as personal property), chattels, deeds, receipts, and other certain records related to money owed.
A conviction for a misdemeanor theft can result in a minor punishment. On the other hand, a conviction for felony theft can lead to consequences that truly last a lifetime. For a theft to be charged as a felony, a certain condition or set of conditions must be met. If the value of the property stolen equals or is more than $20,000, then the theft will automatically be classified as a felony. According to the Michigan Penal Code, if the property stolen was worth more than $1,000 and the person who stole it has two or more prior convictions, then it will automatically be charged as a felony.
Keep in mind that if someone commits several misdemeanor crimes within a short period of time, they could be charged with a felony. Speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to learn more about these charges.
Types of Theft
Thefts are categorized according to the value of the property taken. Some serious thefts are categorized as fraud in Michigan. However, most thefts fall under the classification of larceny.
If the value of the property stolen is less than $200, then the charge will be for misdemeanor larceny. For most property stolen valuing up to $1,000, the charge will still be for misdemeanor larceny. However, for certain stealing certain property, such as firearms and vehicle parts, this action could qualify as a felony charge no matter the value of the items.
Michigan classifies shoplifting charges as retail fraud. There are three degrees of retail fraud:
Third-degree retail fraud: the value of the stolen property was less than $200
Second-degree retail fraud: the value of the stolen property was more than $200 but less than $1,000
First-degree retail fraud: the value of the stolen property was over $1,000
While third-degree and second-degree retail fraud are considered misdemeanor charges, first-degree retail fraud is a felony. A shoplifting conviction can result in serious penalties.
Possible Penalties for Theft Charges
There is a wide range of possible penalties for theft charges. You may be required to pay a fine, attend classes, complete community service hours, or serve time in jail or prison. Consult with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to learn more about the possible penalties for theft in your case.
Common Theft Defenses
Theft charges could seriously impact your family, your career, and your life for years to come. It is important to build a strong defense against theft charges. Two common theft defenses are:
Alibi: An alibi may be able to prove that you were not present when the theft was committed.
Lack of intent: You did not intend to keep the item and permanently deprive the owner of their property.
These are just two possible theft defenses that may be used as part of your legal strategy.
Serving Detroit, Michigan
Facing theft charges may feel hopeless. But with a knowledgeable legal advocate at your side, it’s possible to build a strong strategy against those charges. At Detroit Legal Group PLLC, we are passionate about protecting our clients’ rights, and we never shy away from going to court to seek the best possible outcome. Detroit Legal Group PLLC represents clients in Detroit, Michigan, Dearborn, Southfield, and Warren. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.