I'm 19 years old, I live in Michigan, I was caught shoplifting at Walmart. They took me into the security room, cops talked to me and I was released. I got a letter from Walmart saying I had to pay, my boyfriend got pulled over with me in the car, they ran my name and I got picked up on a warrant. Why wouldn't they just take me to jail avoiding a warrant? This is my first retail fraud (3rd degree) I plead not guilty at my arraignment, I was thinking about getting a court appointed lawyer? Also I wasn't read my Miranda rights, does this matter?
Family Law Attorney
You should contact a local attorney to represent you in this matter as retail fraud 3rd degree is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail. Depending on the facts of your case, a lawyer may be able to help you get the charge dismissed or delayed sentencing under MCL 771.1. It is difficult to answer your question regarding your Miranda rights without more information. Good luck to you.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
In most cases, the misdemeanor prosecution starts with a warrant. People are infrequently arrested on retail fraud cases in Michigan and held until arraignment. The more likely scenario is that there is an arrest, detention or ticket and then a warrant is issued when the prosecutor reviewed the reports and drafts a complaint.
If you cannot afford an attorney, you should definitely get an appointed attorney. If you can afford a retained lawyer, he or she will have an opportunity to meet with you and prepare your case prior to your court hearing. Preparation in advance of court can often mean the difference between an ordinary resolution and an extraordinary resolution to a retail fraud case.
I encourage you to use www.avvo.com to find a 10.0 rated criminal defense lawyer. Most retained criminal defense attorneys will offer you a free telephone consultation. Feel free to consult with an attorney in any part of Michigan as it is not uncommon for criminal defense lawyers to travel throughout the state.
Mr. Loren Dickstein, Esq.
10.0 Rated Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney
LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.
2000 Town Center, Ste. 2350
Southfield, MI 48075
AV Rated (Preeminent) by Martindale-Hubbell
Super Lawyer – Thomson Reuters
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DUI / DWI Attorney
In situations like this, it is not uncommon for a retailer like Walmart to take an initial report and then turn the information over to the local police or prosecuting attorney to file criminal charges. Remember, Walmart is a private entity and they cannot file criminal charges.
If this happens, it would be polite if the police agency would contact you prior to filing the arrest warrant, but it is has been my experience that they do not unless you have a criminal defense attorney who has made contact either with police agency or the prosecutor's office.
Going forward, I agree with the other attorneys, you should retain local counsel to help you with this matter. There are a few alternatives which might permit you to keep this offense off your record. In terms of Miranda, Walmart is not the government and likely Miranda requirements do not apply to them.
West Michigan Defense Team
Kortes, Lykins, Hunting & Jansma, PLLC
77 Monroe Center
Grand Rapids, MI 49503