Retail Fraud Cannot be Charged With Larceny in a Building
Facing criminal charges for a theft offense? Michigan criminal lawyer, Aaron J. Boria fights for his clients and gets results, call (734) 453-7806.
In Michigan, a person cannot be charged with both retail fraud and larceny from a building in the same offense.
If you are facing theft charges and you are unfairly being charged with both retail fraud and larceny from a building contact our office today (734) 453-7806
Michigan’s Retail Fraud Statute
The retail fraud statute was an organized attempt by lawmakers to stop prosecutors from their former practice of over charging all shoplifting offenses with a felony rather than a misdemeanor. For an example of the prosecutor’s abuses in regard to this type of cruel charging practice take a look at the case People v Evans, 94 Mich App 1. In the Evan’s case the prosecutor saw to it that Evan’s saw 14 years in prison as a habitual offender for stealing a $1 Sears’ scarf.
The retail fraud statute has been modified to prevent this type of abusive prosecution and now has built in protection for a defendant, which can be found at MCL 750.356d. Specifically, MCL 750.356d(3) states, “A person who commits retail fraud in the second degree shall not be prosecuted under section 360”. Section MCL 750.360 is the felony of larceny from a building and is specifically precluded.
The statute goes on to say, “a person who commits retail fraud in the second degree shall not be prosecuted under section 360 [larceny in a building]”; MCL 750.356d(5): “A person who commits retail fraud in the third degree shall not be prosecuted under section 360 [larceny in a building].”
Abuse By Prosecutors
Other local attorneys have reported to our office that the Oakland County prosecutor has tried to get around the built in protection of the Retail Fraud statute by charging larceny from a person arguing that the stolen property was under the constructive possession of the sales clerk at the retail store. This is a bunch of bologna.
Criminal Defense Lawyer
Retail fraud and theft offenses can be defended. My office has won trials where someone was accused of something and the defense was that we believed the property in question has been abandoned. In another case, we obtained a not guilty verdict where multiple people could have stolen the item in question.
Other defenses could include a claim of right, or an innocent accident.
If you are facing theft crime charges in the State of Michigan you need a lawyer that knows the law and fights to results where other lawyers fall short. Call criminal defense lawyer, Aaron J. Boria today (734) 453-7806.
Aaron J. Boria, PLLC, is a criminal defense law firm dedicated to protecting your rights. We don’t judge our clients, we stand up for them.