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Can I Go to Jail for Shoplifting in Michigan?

Shoplifting, sometimes known as retail theft and officially known as “retail fraud,” is a fairly minor charge—as much as any charge can be described as “minor.” However, that doesn’t mean conviction won’t come with heavy penalties. Shoplifting in Michigan comes with both civil and criminal penalties.

To answer the question of this blog, yes, you can go to jail if you’re convicted of shoplifting in Michigan. How long you’ll be sentenced for will depend on the retail value of the property you’ve been accused of stealing.

Shoplifting Penalties in Michigan

For instance, if you’re accused of stealing less than $200 of property, you’ll be facing up to 93 days in jail, plus a $500 fine or 3x the value of the property in question—whichever is greater. This is third degree retail fraud.

If you’re accused of stealing between $200 and $1,000 of property, you’re facing up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine or 3x the value of the property in question—whichever is greater. This is second degree retail fraud. Note that if you have a prior retail fraud conviction, you’ll be charged with second degree retail fraud if you’re accused to stealing anything worth $200 or less.

If you’re accused of stealing anything worth $1,000 or more (or you have a prior shoplifting conviction and you’ve stolen something between $200 and $1,000), you’re facing up to 5 years in prison and potentially a $10,000 fine or the value of the property stolen—whichever is larger.

Michigan is particularly harsh when it comes to shoplifting, or even misrepresenting the price of an item to pay less than retail price. If you’ve been accused, speak with a Farmington Hills retail fraud lawyer as soon as possible. I’ve been serving the people of Farmington Hills since 2002, providing strong and successful defenses to keep my clients protected and out of jail.

Call (248) 599-0054 to speak with me directly about your retail fraud case. I look forward to helping you protect your rights and your future.

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