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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2

    Exclamation First Offense Retail Fraud, 3rd Degree

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Michigan

    I'm a 23 year old broke college student that was caught shoplifting at a local grocery store near Grand Rapids. The misc. food items totaled to $53.00 and I was given a written notice of paying the store civil damages of $200.00. I was also given a court date in two weeks and I'm wondering what to expect.
    I was polite and compliant with the security officer that caught me and the police officer that escorted me out of the building. I was not put in hand cuffs, but I was read my rights. I probably shouldn't have said anything, but I did verbally admit to stealing the items due to lack of employment/funds to pay for them.
    Is there any way to prevent this from going on to my permanent record? I'm earning my master's degree in social work and do not want this infraction to cause me a potential job. Because it is my only offense (I've never even had a parking ticket) is it possible I may only have to pay fines? Or should I be preparing for community service/jail time/probation? I'm pretty upset about the whole thing and would appreciate it if someone could get back to me soon!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: First Offense Retail Fraud, 3rd Degree

    It may go on your record.

    Expect a Civil Demand letter from the store, pay it immediately. That looks good in court.

    At arraignment, plead "I stand mute" and that will get you a Public Defender (expect to pay atleast $200).

    In court.....expect another $300 in fines.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: First Offense Retail Fraud, 3rd Degree

    Oh ok, thanks. Another thing, I have absolutely no money because I don't have a job yet, but I may be able to borrow a few hundred from a family member. Should I put this money towards the civil demand from the store and pay that immediately or should I wait and put it towards court fines? Also, does hiring a lawyer help my chances of not having this on my record or getting into a diversion program? I've read that if you plead no contest or something along those lines you may not actually be charged with anything and it won't go on your record.. but you will have to do community service, pay fines, have probation. Does this sound accurate?

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