I got shoplifting and the merchandise was worth less than 20 dollars, was around 14 dollars but i wasn't arrest....

Asked almost 5 years ago - Michigan

Well my question is this: i got shoplifting and the merchandise was worth less than 20 dollars, was around 14 dollars and the security of the store told me to sing some papers and they told that i was going to get a letter in a few weeks. And i am really scare this is the first time and the last but can some one tell me what to expect and was is going to say in my record? Is this a felony?

Additional information

Also i wasn't arest and it was in the state of michigan. Do you know was to expect for it? Additional info: i'm 20 and it happened in the city of lincoln park,MI. My criminal record is clear exept if they wrote a report. But they didn't told me about getting a letter from the court, they just said that i was going to get a letter asking to pay for the item. And also they said that i can go in a few days if i want shopping in there store. What i should do? Just wait for the mail? And if they wrote a report when is this going to show up in my report? Or is now in my report?:-(

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Answered . Under Michigan law, your offense is called "retail fraud." It is a serious matter. However, the value of the items you stold limits the severity of the charge to a 3rd degree misdemeanor, not a felony. The charge is punishible by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500.00. See MCL 750.356d(4). The penalty you might recieve for the offense, if the case against you is prosecuted and proven or conceded to be true, may depend on your past criminal record, if any, your age, any sentencing recomendations, etc. I'm not sure about this paperwork that you signed. Perhaps it's some type of statement of guilt on your part. In any event, it's good that you say that this is "the first and last time" you will be involved in something like this. And you should always read whatever you sign carefully, regardless of the situation.

    Best of luck





    THE RESPONSE ABOVE IS BASED ON THE FACTS AND REPRESENTATIONS MADE IN THE QUESTION TO WHICH IT IS DIRECTED. THE ABOVE IS ONLY MY EDUCATED OPINION ON THE SUBJECT MATTER, AS A LICENSED ATTORNEY IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. IT IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE, AND THEREFORE SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS SUCH. NOTHING IN THIS RESPONSE FORMS ANY TYPE OF ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ON WHAT IS STATED ABOVE IN TAKING OR FOREGOING ANY ACTION.

  2. Answered . A couple of things might be going on here. You will almost certainly receive a letter from the store advising you that you are banned from all of their properties and that if you are found on their properties you will be arrested and charged with criminal trespass. You might also be advised that you are to pay them a certain sum of monies which stores are permitted to try to collect for reimbursement for civil expenses associated with the incident, (sometimes a flat fee, other times a multiplier of the value of the property you tried to take). You can refuse to pay it, however, I suspect that they had you sign a statement admitting your crime. Lastly, they can forward your signed statement on to the authorities in filing a criminal complaint for retail fraud. This is a criminal offense, a misdemeanor to be exact. It carries a fine and a maximum period of incarceration of up to 93 days in jail. If you have never been any kind of criminal trouble before it might be possible for a case such as yours to be resolved in a manner that would not necessarily result in a permanent conviction entering on your record. Somthing like Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, (HYTA), status, or delayed sentencing. In either scenario if a period of time goes by with you avoiding getting into trouble, and paying any monetary assessments the matter would be dismissed.

  3. Answered . Generally, a person is not arrested and taken to court for a misdemeanor retail fraud in most cities in Michigan. Most often, the person is released and receives a letter at some point in the future that a warrant is issued for their arrest and he or she is instructed to turn themselves in to the police department or court. In some jurisdictions, it is possible to avoid charges with proper pre-charge intervention. Please feel free to call me for a free consultation. Loren M. Dickstein (248) 263-6800. www.notafraidtowin.com.

  4. Answered . You will probably have a warrant out for you as soon as the information is forwarded to the prosecutor's office. You may be able to mitigate the situation by getting an attorney involved in pre-charged negotiations. In some counties there are diversion programs that will keep this off your record.

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